Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Seed & Grain Crackers and Hazelnut Bean Spread

I have been rather wordy in my last couple of posts, so I shall try to keep this one short on the commentary.  Instead, I will give you two recipes for the price of one.  I'm willing to bet that a "smaller commentary for more recipes" trade is one that everyone can get behind ;)

Prepare for two recipes that go so well together!

These recipes pair perfectly together and definitely go into the healthy snack category.  First, I urge you to make the snappy Seed & Grain Crackers.  I baked these on my silicone baking mat (you want to read excessive commentary? See my love letter to silicone baking liners here.) and they worked out a treat.  If you are not a fan of kasha (it has a strong buckwheat flavour) or cannot find it, you can replace it with an equivalent amount of any preferred small seed or grain such as sesame, flax, or sunflower.  UPDATE: poppy seeds in place of the kasha is one of my new favourite variations of this recipe.

le crackers

Then, while those little seedy gems are baking away, you can whip up the thick Hazelnut Bean Spread.  Trust me, if that combination sounds strange, you will find yourself happily surprised by the rich and savoury flavour.  This spread really is a spread, rather than a dip because of its thickness.  While pureeing you could add some more olive oil to thin it out, but I have not tried this approach myself.

le spread

Seed & Grain Crackers
Adapted from Cara's Healthy Cravings blog.

Makes 50-60 small crackers
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted kasha or poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • salt to taste (up to 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp fines herbes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)
  • flaked salt for garnish (optional, but it makes a difference in my opinion!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (highly recommended) or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except for water, garlic, and flour.
  3. Mix together water and garlic then add to seed and grain mixture. Let it rest for 5 minutes for water to absorb.
  4. If mixture seems too wet, add flour and mix.
  5. Spread mixture on the baking tray.  You want to get it as thin as possible without there being any holes in the layer - this is important for maximum crispiness! Sprinkle with flaked salt, if using.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove from oven.  Flip over (carefully!) and then cut into desired shape.  Place back in oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes.
  7. Let cool to room temperature.  If you are keeping these for several days and they become soft, they could be crisped up by being reheated in the oven at 325F for 5-10 minutes. Serve!
Tips for turning the crackers: The more I make this recipe, the more I love it!  However, turning over the crackers halfway through is a very frustrating, but necessary, step.  I recently found the best way to do it is to use a silicone baking mat to line your tray at the start and then cut the rectangle of "dough" into four pieces before flipping each one and cutting into smaller shapes.  Refining this process finally made this into a simple recipe!

Let's get some spread on those crackers!

Hazelnut Bean Spread
Adapted from love food eat blog.

Makes 3 cups of spread
  •  2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 540ml/19oz can of broad (fava) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for a minute.
  2. Add broad beans, hazelnuts, and oregano to the pan.  Saute until beans just begin to brown, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Empty contents of pan into a blender or food processor and puree until desired consistency is reached.  It will take a few minutes for a completely smooth consistency to be reached.
  4. Add salt and lemon juice, then blend for 10-15 seconds more (just to evenly incorporate salt and lemon).
  5. Transfer spread to a bowl.  Serve - preferably with Seed & Grain Crakers ;)!

I hope you enjoy :)

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