Seeds Gone Crackers

sprouted seed crackersSo many “what’s there to eat?” queries are seeking snacks and crunchy. So when I found Doug’s sprouted seed cracker recipe among my pile of contributions from our recent “Fermentapalooza” was I ever excited. Better yet, this is a simple recipe—truly beyond simple on any difficulty scale—does need a few kitchen tools that not everyone has:

We’ve heard how great chia, flax and other seeds are for our health but they come with a problem: all seeds have chemicals that prevent their digestion. This means the seed can be eaten, pass through the body and still grown into a plant; a great way of ensuring animals, birds and humans distribute seeds. Next time you buy that whole flax seed bakery product, inspect. But this means there is very little nutritional benefit.

The way to overcome the problem created by enzyme inhibitors is to SPROUT THE SEED.

Whenever we cook with seeds, especially legumes but all seeds and nuts, we need to prepare them properly. Anti-nutrients (OK, nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances if you want to be technically correct) found in nuts grains and seeds must be minimized or eliminated by soaking. Not taking the time to do this and you are feeding yourself enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

What are Enzyme inhibitors?

Our bodies as well as the helpful microbes in our gut make digestive enzymes to break down food. Our bodies also make metabolic enzymes to accomplish every bodily process. Enzyme inhibitors are just that, through various means of warping, clogging, binding or blocking, these compounds stop our enzymes from working effectively.

What are Phytates?

These are “claw-like” compounds that bind calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran which is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains leads to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. This includes misguided recommendations for eating large amounts of unprocessed bran for “regularity”. While it may initially move things through, hard bran creates micro-tears leading in the long term to irritable bowel syndrome and other problems.

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

Isn’t it amazing how the habits of traditional peoples are returning to modern health now that we have “scientific explanations”? Traditional people soaked or partially sprouted all seeds before eaten knowing this prevented many health diseases and conditions. We now know that soaking or sprouting allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms start the seed on its way to becoming a plant. When seeds begin to grow, the natural enzyme inhibitors that protect the seed from being digested are significantly reduced. Problem eliminated: the plant proteins, essential fatty acids, starches and vitamins are now BIO-AVAILABLE for human digestion and nutrient absorption:

  1. to remove or reduce the anti-nutrients phytic acid, tannins, and enzyme inhibitors;
  2. to make digestion easier, neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean;
  3. to prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss;
  4. to encourage the production of beneficial enzymes;
  5. to increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins and others that naturally stabilizes the essential fatty acids;
  6. to protect the healthy oils and fatty acids from becoming rancid and make them more efficiently absorbed;
  7. to make the proteins more readily available for absorption.

I’ve been looking for a great and wholesome sprouted seed cracker recipe for a while. I adapted it to suit my cooking style a bit—and my recipe-writing style more (mostly by writing down quanitites). Doug, thank you! Although this recipe was in my stack of “Fermentapalooza” amazingness, I don’t think you were there… last spring’s “Recipalooza” perhaps? In any case, this sprouted recipe is the hands down winner of the blue ribbon in the best crunch category for either recipe party.

Makes four food dryer trays of sprouted seed crackers

Ingredients

¾ cup chia seeds
¾ cup flax seeds
2 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
4 tablespoons organic wheat free tamari or nama shoyu
juice of 2 limes or small lemons

Preparation

1. Place the chia seeds in a bowl, cover with filtered spring water and let soak overnight.

2. Place all the other seeds in a different bowl, cover with filtered spring water and let soak overnight. Enjoy a good night’s sleep!

3. The next morning, drain the water off the mixed seeds and rinse with clean water. Toss off with the water any hulls that float to the surface.

4. Let the mixed seeds sprout for 2-4 hours on the counter. Go do something.

5. Drain any extra water off the soaked chia seeds and place this gelatinous mix into your Magic Bullet of food processor. Add the sliced garlic, tamari, and lime juice and blend thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl.

6. Add batches of the sprouted seed mix to the food processor and lightly pulse the seeds, the should remain as large pieces. Transfer the lightly chopped seeds to the bowl with the chia mix.

7. Mix the chia and seeds thoroughly, then spread onto the fruit roll sheets about as thick as you want your final cracker.

8. Take a thin knife blade and gently “score” the final shape of crackers. Score a single concentric circle inside the middle of the cracker spread halfway between the outside and inside circle of the fruit roll sheet. Be careful not to pull the seed mix, work slowly. Next, score radial spokes from the inside to the outside. This step is optional and omitting it will give you a large cracker sheet that you can simply break into bite-size pieces.

9. Place the fruit roll sheets onto the drying racks of your dehydrator and stack. When assembled, dry at 105 degrees for 24-36 hours until the cracker sheets dehydrate completely.

10. When dried completely, remove the crispy crackers from the sheets and break apart. The crackers will keep for about a month in a sealed container in the pantry.

Variations

Let me know. What other spices or flavors do you add to these?

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