Mary’s Gone Crackers are so good. Too good. They’re ridiculously addictive and after a few crackers, next thing you know, the whole box is empty! Puts me on this “carb-high!”
True story. On more than one occasion!
You can never just have a few. Or at least, I can never just have a few. That’s probably why they’re called crackers. Crack-ers. Coincidence? I think not!
Well enough is enough. It was time I make some at home. It’s been done before but sometimes, it’s easier to buy the darn box and not have to worry about dirty baking dishes. Last time, I baked crispy homemade crackers using spirulina and organic almond flour – a blend of healthy and natural almond buttery delicious-ness.
Both cracker recipes are subtly sweet and savoury – just how every cracker should be!
While I’m a fan of baking with almond flour, the calories can add up per serving (1/2 a cup can equal to roughly 320 calories). Coconut flour, on the other hand, is a little lower in calories yet still naturally gluten/wheat/grain free, non inflammatory, high in fiber and low carb. And lower in calories, by that I mean you won’t need as much of it compared to almond flour because it’s very dry, like a sponge, it absorbs up moisture like crazy. Cuisine Soleil makes an excellent organic coconut flour product. I’ve used their chickpea flour in my other recipes so I’m a big fan of their goods! Elise Larouche, from Cuisine Soleil, has been so generous in providing me high quality products which I’ve been putting to good use to make healthy and delicious treats. (Like this one that I’m about to share with you!)
For a punch of “health-oomph”, there’s ground chia seeds and hemp hearts that provide beneficial good fats, anti oxidants and some added plant based protein in these crackers. Prana carries an array of top notch certified organic products from must-haves such as chia seeds, maca powder to an assortment of nutritious raw nuts.
This cracker boasts essential healthy fats from the MCT (medium-chain saturated fatty acids) in the coconut flour and coconut oil to the Omega 3’s provided by the chia seeds. While you probably already know that coconut products are high in saturated fats, the truth is, that MCTs found in them have been shown to improve metabolism and used as energy instead of being stored as fat tissue. Coconut products, especially cold pressed virgin coconut oil, is the best (and rare) source to get your daily dose of MCT.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both beneficial polyunsaturated fats that our bodies need but cannot produce. So we must source them from other foods. Unlike almond flour, coconut flour is very low in Omega 6s. Omega 6 is inflammatory when consumed in excess amounts. It is recommended that everyone should have a ratio of Omega 6 – Omega 3 of about 4:1-1:4 for optimal health. Unfortunately, the ratio is much higher than that, with most people on the Western diet, consuming a ratio of about 16:1. This leads to many complications and raises the risk of all sorts of diseases. To simply put it: Omega 6 is inflammatory and Omega 3 is anti inflammatory.
Omega 6 is easily found in many common sources like safflower oil, sunflower oil and various nuts like almonds. So it’s very easy to overdo it and then end up with an unbalanced consumption. But Omega 3 acids are not so easy to come by. One of the best foods to add to your diet in order to increase your Omega 3 intake is organic chia seeds (and flax seeds!) In fact, chia seeds contain a higher content in Omega 3 than salmon! Just like coconut flour in this recipe, it’s rich in dietary fiber, minerals and nutrients but also provide the vital healthy fats your brain and body needs.
Remember, finding the balance is key to optimal health! See? These “No-Non Fat” crackers CAN help you! 😉
Also, did you know that coincidentally Cuisine Soileil and Prana are both booming companies from the same province of Quebec? I guess that means French-Canadiens must know a thing or two about good grade food! 😉
Okay, so….Let’s get cracking!
What you’ll need:
1/4 cup of organic ground chia seeds (black or white is fine) – if you have whole chia seeds, you can ground them up in a blender or food processor
1/2 cup of organic coconut flour, sifted
3 tbsp of hemp hearts (I used 2 tbsp of hemp hearts + 1 tbsp of flax seeds for this one) – you can sub with more ground chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp protein powder if you wish!
1/4 cup of liquid organic virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup of boiled water
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp of onion powder
Seasoning of choice
Sprinkle of dried parsley flakes or dried thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Use a fork to mash away clumps. Add boiled water and liquid coconut oil to the dry ingredients. Mix well!
The batter should be a firm dough, not too wet but not too dry, enough to pick up and form into a ball. On parchment paper, roll dough ball flat with a rolling pin until evenly distributed and there are no cracks and tears. Don’t make them too thick, otherwise it will be more cake-like.
Use a pizza cutter to cut into desired shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will be!
Let completely cool before serving and serve with healthy dip!
Vegans, brace yourself. I have a confession to make: I don’t like tofu. Not only have I read some not so friendly things about westernized soy, but the taste of it makes me want to puke. Anyway, I don’t want to bad mouth soy for those of you who do enjoy it, but as a vegan, most people think that it should be a staple part of my diet. Soy isn’t the only protein substitute out there. One of my all time favourite substitutes are beans, especially chickpeas!
Actually, I have a few chickpea recipes which you can find here:
As I’ve been learning and experimenting the versatility of chickpeas, especially chickpea (garbanzo) flour, this morning I thought of trying to make a “socca” veggie omelette. Well in the midst of flipping over the chickpea omelette, it busted and left me with smaller bites that resembled scrambled eggs. The same cooking process you’d make for regular scrambled eggs. With the inclusion of a few veggies, this dish is a nutritious alternative to traditional scrambled eggs for vegans or those of you with allergies to eggs.
Serve with a side of healthy greens (or maybe some sweet potato hash?) and you got yourself a pow wow soy free, vegan, wheat/gluten free breakfast dish!
What you’ll need:
1-2 tbsp of organic virgin coconut oil (for frying)
1/2 cup of chickpea flour (Cuisine Soleil brand is the best!)
1/2 cup of filtered water
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp of organic dried oregano
1/4 tsp of organic dried parsley or fresh parsley
1/2 tsp of onion powder
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Broccoli florets (about one cup)
Chopped Kale (about one cup or so)
1/4 cup of cilantro
1/2 cup of organic pure crushed tomato sauce (like Eden Organic Crushed Tomato)
Fresh baby spinach (served raw)
Optional: bell peppers (chopped), 1/2 cup of chickpeas, cumin powder, cayenne pepper
Heat coconut oil in a large pan or skillet on medium heat. Add crushed garlic cloves and cook until lightly browned and fragrant.
In a bowl, combine chickpea flour, filtered water and spices and mix thoroughly. Make sure there are no clumps in the batter. Pour into pan and let sit for 3-5 minutes until the perimeter starts to bubble. Flip over and let the other side cook for a bit. Sprinkle in the kale, broccoli florets and tomato sauce.
Using a spatula, break the mix into smaller bite size pieces. Heat for a few more minutes until well cooked and there’s no runny batter in sight. Remove from heat, top with cilantro and serve with fresh baby spinach! Or veggies of choice!
Remember back in the good ol’ days when we used to go out and sell goodies in order to raise money for our school? Candy bars, chocolate covered almonds and my favourite, those thin mint scout cookies!
But as a kid, I didn’t have the knowledge of food that I appreciatively have today and never did I ever think twice about eating a whole box of cookies to myself in one sitting. I was a kid with a major junk food addiction. And a box of thin mint cookies was my antidote. Funny enough, my generous grandma bought 1/3 of my sales because of my ridiculous sweet tooth; actually, she’d have no choice sometimes because I was an impatient little bugger. (Thanks grandma!)
So the other day, I randomly had a hankering for them and for most dishes, I prefer whipping up alternatives that are much healthier yet still satisfying and comforting. Because, let’s face it gang, those original thin mint cookies we all used to love never loved us back!
These are the “ingredients” gathered from their website: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, vegetable shortening (palm and/or partially hydrogenated palm kernel oils), cocoa (processed with alkali), caramel color (WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?), contains less than 2% of: high fructose corn syrup (GROSS), salt, baking soda, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor (?), peppermint oil. Also, 4 itty bitty cookies has about 11 grams of sugars – the bad kind too! So fast forward to an empty box of those bad boys, that’s, well, A LOT of sugar!
Da-dun-dun-da….that’s why I’m here, your convenient bohemian. We still need our cookies, but without all of those so called ingredients and added bad stuff. And to put a spin to it, add protein and green superfoods (the good stuff), just to make it even more beneficial and that much more awesome!
For protein, I used 100% hemp powder from Gold Top Organics, a plant based protein, which is cold milled (so no heat added), organic and made from whole hemp seeds. It gives the cookies an interesting taste and texture but you can opt for sprouted brown rice protein powder which will work just as well. Personally, I think the taste of hemp powder by itself isn’t consumable but I found a way to enjoy it so I’m definitely going to be using in future goodies.
Together to compliment the hemp protein powder, comes my secret ingredient! (I guess not so secret anymore, right?) SunFood formulated a handy and potent green powder that boasts an incredible array of nutrient dense, mineral and vitamin rich elements. Their vegan Sun is Shining Green Superfood is a robust combination of some of the best like whole leaf barley grass, wheat grass, dandelion leaf, alfalfa leaf, spinach juice powder, broccoli juice powder, ginger root, spirulina, kelp, chlorella, enzymes like protease and various probiotics. It can be easily used in juices, smoothies, salads, breakfast bowls and in my case, cookies! A great way to get sneak an extra boost of energy in your day! …and having cookies!! 🙂
These heavenly rounds are highly addictive and easy to make so it is much recommended that one must stock up on the recipe’s ingredients stat! It only takes a few minutes out of your day to throw together, so going back to make seconds is most likely going to happen…
It’s a delectable way to get your protein and dark leafy greens in your day if you’re not in the mood for a protein shake or bar. Plus, it tastes like dessert so you’ll forget they’re even “healthy.”
See, the H word can be a yummy thing too!
Low carb, grain free, sugar free, vegan, gluten and wheat free, preservative free, soy free and nostalgic!
What you’ll need:
1/2 cup of pure hemp protein powder
1 teaspoon of SunFood’s Sun is Shining Green Superfood
1/2 teaspoon of maca powder (omittable)
1/4 cup plus two teaspoons of unsweetened carob powder (can use raw cacao powder but you’ll need to adjust the sweetener because carob is naturally more sweeter than cacao) Or you can do half carob and half cacao too!
Note: I like chocolate but I don’t like to overdo it with caffeine (found in cacao) and carob is a delicious substitute for it!
1 tsp of vanilla (no alcohol)
1/2 tsp of liquid stevia or 1 tbsp of xylitol (adjust to your preference)
1 tsp of peppermint extract
8-9 tbsp of organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil, liquid
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well. Scoop onto parchment paper or cookie sheet and shape into balls then flatten into cookie shapes. If the mixture is too wet to hold, chill for a few minutes in the fridge or add a little bit more protein or carob powder (not too much!) You want the dough to be hard to touch so they’re edible. Keep refrigerated or store in freezer. Enjoy! x
Seeds and nuts are a vital part of our diet – or should be for some. You probably have been told to avoid nuts and seeds due to their high fat and caloric content but don’t underestimate these powerful little gems. Both are high in fiber, antioxidants like Vitamin E and mono saturated heart healthy fats (unsaturated) that help keep our bodies healthy and disease free. They are a great source of plant based protein, minerals, zinc and can even help you lose weight! Munching on them throughout the day or adding them to your meals, like salads and smoothies, help to keep you full longer and aid with keeping your sugar levels down.
Personally, I love eating seeds and nuts in their natural raw form and preferably organic to benefit from their full nutritional components. It’s the best way to derive nutrition because once exposed to heat through roasting or heating, they can produce toxic substances and the essential oils, vitamins and minerals are mostly denatured.
But “bird food” doesn’t have to be boring. These bars are full of seeds, can be made without nuts too, and is a delicious way to nutritionally chirp throughout your busy day! I used the best of the best in this recipe: hemp hearts, raw almonds, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, chia seeds and ground flax meal (from flax seeds).
If you’re allergic to nuts, you can omit the almonds and replace it with more hemp hearts if you wish and the almond butter can be replaced with sunflower seed butter or maybe something stick like brown rice syrup (go easy with it though!)
What you’ll need:
1 tbsp of organic virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp of all natural almond butter (unsweetened)
2 tbsp of vanilla almond milk or other non dairy milk (unsweetened)
1/3 cup of pure unsweetened dark cacao chocolate or vegan unsweetened carob chips (homemade is the best way!)
To quickly make your own homemade chocolate: 1/2 raw cacao or carob powder + 1/2 organic coconut oil + 1 tbsp of raw cacao butter (can omit)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (alcohol free)
2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp of chia seeds
2 tbsp of hemp hearts/seeds
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of raw sliced almonds
2 tbsp of ground flax meal
2-3 scoops of vegan brown rice protein powder (or hemp powder or more hemp hearts)
1/4 cup of xylitol or stevia to naturally sweeten
Dash of cinnamon
In a small sauce pan, on a low setting, heat the coconut oil, almond butter and almond milk. Remove from heat once it starts to bubble a bit. Add the chocolate and mix. Let stand for a few minutes and then whisk until melted and nicely smooth. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
You can pulse the pumpkin seeds and chia seeds in a blender to make a course meal but I like my bars really crunchy so sometimes I skip this step. Add the seeds, almonds and ground flax meal to the melted cacao mixture. Combine thoroughly. Add protein powder and sweetener. Mix it up!
Spread on parchment paper using a spatula or into a rectangular or squared bread pan and evenly distribute. Chill until set. Cut into desired bar shapes Individually wrap the bars and keep refrigerated. Grab and go when you please! x
Some more yummy protein and snack bar options from my blog:
Healthy Breakfast Protein Fudge Bars (Homemade)
Super Granol-Oat Nut Butter Bars (Homemade)
Detoxify with one of my go to delicious and alkalizing raw, green blend. You can have it in the morning or as a mid day snack to fuel up. Having an alkaline environment inside your body helps its systems operate optimally and efficiently. Since the ingredients are blended not juiced, you’ll be happy to know that it’s loaded with fiber that helps to cleanse and rid the body of toxins it doesn’t need. Drinking blends and juices will flood the body with necessary vitamins, minerals and active enzymes. While using very little amounts of energy to soak up these essential building blocks, it allows your body to rebuild, restart and heal naturally. It is an easy and effective way to hit the reset button on your body and restore balance. It’s also one of the most delicious ways too!
Ingredients you’ll need (try to use organic and local if possible):
2-3 stalks of kale
Handful of baby spinach
1 green apple (I use green gala apples!)
1/2 cup of parsley
1/2 cup of unsweetened natural coconut water
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of ice
1/4 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 lemon squeeze
1 heaping teaspoon of blue-green algae powder (I like SunFood’s Green Superfood Sun is Shining)
Optional add ons: 2 slices of honeydew melon (I try to keep the sugar levels down and I don’t like mixing too much fruit with my veggies), 1 tsp of spirulina, chia seeds
Blend all of the ingredients for 60-90 seconds depending on the strength of your blender. Stop until you reached the desired consistency.