Our preferred diet can change many times over a lifetime. The picky kid that only eats macaroni and cheese, suddenly can’t stand the thought of it. We get diagnosed with an allergy or a disease and have to give up sugar, or gluten, or nuts, or we read something that moves us to eat locally. Maybe our conscience changes, and we decide not to eat animals, or to stay away from processed and fast foods. We get fat and go on a juice diet, we want to bulk up and add protein shakes. It seems to me that Americans, in particular, are very susceptible to new diets. It may be because we lack a food culture that’s unique to us, though some would argue that fast and convenience foods are our food culture.
I recently finished reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. He is a cardiologist who found that when his patients went on a grain free diet, much of their health issues, including heart disease and diabetes disappeared. As an added bonus, most of his patients lost weight, and a lot of it, when they left grains behind. Grain free recipes are, of course, naturally gluten free and safe for celiacs (provided there is no cross contamination). Many grain free recipes abound on the internet, mostly baked goods using a combination of coconut and almond flours. Some are quite good, like this cracker recipe that I adapted from Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly Blog. These crackers are made from ground sesame seeds and are crisp and salty, with big curry flavor. I think they are perfect dipped into hummus, but they are flavorful enough to stand on their own.
Have you tried making gluten free or grain free crackers?
- 2 cups raw sesame seeds
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1¼ cups water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment, grind 1¼ cups sesame seeds to fine meal. Remove and place in large bowl.
- Place shredded Parmesan cheese in food chopper or food processor and pulse briefly until reduced to granular consistency. Add to sesame seed meal and mix. Stir in olive oil.
- Add remaining (unground) sesame seeds, curry powder, cayenne pepper, onion and garlic powder, and sea salt and mix thoroughly. Stir in water. Add additional water, if necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to obtain a pourable consistency similar to pancake batter.
- Pour mixture into a jelly roll pan (a baking sheet with sides) and smooth to fill pan and obtain a thickness of a cracker. It may be necessary to use two baking sheets. Smooth the top of the batter with an offset or rubber spatula.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until edges browned and center firm. If a dry, extra crunchy cracker is designed, bake an additional 15-20 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn.
- Score with a pizza cutter when still warm if you want uniform crackers. Cool and break apart. Store in an airtight container.