I love crackers! Best way to snack healthy. They go well with almost anything or are great just plain. However, I find the store bought crackers either very expensive or not preservative free. I prefer crackers to biscuits for my evening snacking. They also make a good entry into your fancy cheese boards. Oatmeal gives a different taste and wheat flour is used more as a binder. I tried searching some recipes on the internet for oatmeal crackers but found very few that I liked and was left to experiment on my own.
I wanted to increase the shelf life of my cracker so I decided to negate the fresh herbs and use a different kind of flavor instead. I tend to use a lot of cinnamon in my cooking and decided that this time I will try something “different”.
**Star anise not only gives a sweet flavor but really makes your cracker taste different and at the same time, the taste is not overpowering. I’ve also used some nutritional yeast to give it a bit of a cheesy taste. You can increase the quantity of the yeast more and it will only result in more yumminess. All ingredients used are organic and vegan.
100gms rolled oats
200gms wheat flour and some extra for dusting
20gms flax seed
1 tsp star anise powder
1tsp baking powder
50gms vegetable or olive oil
**50gms nutritional yeast (optional) see note above
1 cup water at room temperature
1tbs raw sugar
salt to taste
Blend rolled oats and flax seed in a blender into a coarsely ground powder.
Add wheat flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, nutritional yeast into the ground mixture and mix well.
Add oil and water slowly into the mixture and roll into a dough.
Flatten the dough with the help of a rolling pin into a thin layer. Cut the crackers into desired shapes and sizes.
Place the crackers on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully towards the end of the cooking time; they should be just beginning to turn brown at the edges.Once done, allow it to cool on a wire rack. Store them in an air tight container for up to two weeks. I got 20 big sized crackers and you may get 30-40 small ones.
My cat loved these cracker and I’m super trilled. No, no its not cat food. Let me introduce to you “Bhunkas” (means vagabond), who sometimes behaves more like a human and less of a cat 🙂
I will be talking about two products in my first post on featured products for this month –
1.Black rice pasta
2.Nutritional yeast flakes (vegan cheese)
1. Black rice pasta
This pasta is unfamiliar in India and is completely gluten-free and vegan. It also suits people who avoid wheat completely in their diet. Well for me it was the colour and the curiosity that made me taste the product 🙂
Cooking time is same as any other pasta. However, it does change the colour of the water unlike other pastas. The pasta turns dark purple when cooked. I found the aroma to be sweet and the texture reminds me a lot of ragi or nachini. The pasta is different than other pastas not only in taste and texture but tends to be sticking in nature. Don’t forget to drizzle some olive oil after straining and avoid over cooking.
Black rice is commonly used in China. It has high level of antioxidants that help fight cancer, heart disease and even diabetics. I found an interesting article describing black rice as a “superfood”.
There is also something known as squid ink pasta which is a coloured pasta made by adding an extract from squids. Do not confuse the black pasta with squid ink pasta though they may look black in colour.
Any type of sauce will go with the black rice pasta. Since the pasta has it’s own flavour and taste unlike other pastas, you can even serve it plain drizzled with some olive oil, pesto and some nuts or make a simple tomato sauce or bechamel sauce.
2.Nutritional Yeast Flakes (vegan cheese)
Nutritional yeast is not only rich in protein but is also nut free and soy free. It is not only vegan but gluten- free also. It is a powerhouse of nutrients and especially rich in B-complex (benefits of B-complex & B12).
Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of cheese. Nutritional yeast can also used by vegetarians who are conscience of animal rennet being used during cheese making process.
Nutritional yeast is made from sugar beet molasses and is different from sugarcane molasses. The molasses is fermented and dried. Do not confuse it to be active dry yeast or baking yeast.
It is a great substitute for cheese. Couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast can enhance your gravies, soups, pastas, popcorn or any vegan dishes. I also found some good information about nutritional yeast here.