Tag Archives: Omega 3

Second time around: homemade crackers

Awhile back some dough that was intended to become a loaf of bread instead morphed into crackers because I’d forgotten to add yeast. And they were good.

Today, though, I had a plan. Homemade crackers were on the agenda. I’d consulted my ancient edition of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, searching for some ideas for foods to eat to reduce pain and inflammation. I knew about the healing properties of flax seed and that it has some analgesic properties. It’s also a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are thought to promote cardiovascular health.

Having stocked up on flax seed, I searched for a cracker recipe and found one in a blog by Tracy Carolyn.

Her recipe, Whole Wheat Flax Seed Crackers, also incorporated sesame seeds. But as usual, I have to make changes. So I substituted white wheat flour for the white flour and added some rosemary and thyme, both from my garden, and set about creating. My version of the recipe follows the photos.0303131158

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Whole Wheat/Flax/Sesame/Wheat Germ Crackers
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. white wheat flour
1/3 c. flax seeds
1/6 c. sesame seeds
1/6 c. wheat germ
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. water

In a medium bowl, mix together flours, flax weed, sesame seeds, wheat germ, salt and baking powder. Add the oil and stir until combined. Add the water and stir to come and create the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead four to five times. Divide into eight equal pieces, cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 (my oven doesn’t register correctly, so I set it for 425). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/16-inch and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (I use a silicone baking mat). Bake on the middle rack of the oven for five to six minutes, then flip and bake for an additional two to three minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, break into desired pieces.

Note: Baking times will vary with actual thickness of dough and oven temperature, so watch them carefully.

Also: I like the unusual shapes of broken crackers, but you could score them before baking to produce consistent size/shapes.
Store in airtight container for up to two weeks — if they last that long.

Walnut butter replaces addiction for PB

Some addictions are okay to have. Like, for example, nut butters. Until about a year ago, I was addicted to peanut butter because it goes well on just about everything…crackers, bread, ice cream, popcorn. As a kid, my favorite sandwich was peanut butter, honey and raisin. Fortunately, I married someone who loves PB almost as much as I do.

But you won’t find any of that mainstream slimy PB with sugar or hydrogenated oils in our house….only the real stuff — just peanuts and salt. Smooth. And yeah, you have to stir it up before you spread it but hey, it tastes MUCH better.

True to form, our oldest daughter inherited that love. All the way through third grade, she packed her lunch every single day. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The only variation was the type of jelly or jam, which could range from strawberry to raspberry to peach.

Along comes daughter number two. Surely she would share our love for PB. But no. Her very blue eyes in a family of brown/hazel should have been a clue that she would veer from the course we three were following. Try as we might, the only item with peanut butter as an ingredient that would cross her lips were honey milk balls, an amazing concoction of peanut butter, honey, oats and powdered milk (see recipe below).

Fast forward 26 years. Daughter number two and I are perusing the various nut butters in Trader Joe’s. She tells me that her tastes are changing as she gets older and admits that she actually likes peanut butter now. So we started comparing the various nut butters and I realized that like every other store I’ve checked, they don’t carry my new addiction — walnut butter.

About a year ago, my mom and my friend, Mary, introduced me to homemade walnut butter. There weren’t a lot of foods that interested me at the time — I was still recovering from abdominal surgery — but walnut butter appealed to me. I decided to learn to make it, which involved finally learning to use my 30-year-old Cuisinart.

Walnut butter on rice cracker

Walnut butter in Cuisinart

Once I mastered that, I haven’t turned back. I buy walnuts in bulk, dump them in the Cuisinart, add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and turn it on. About 10 minutes later, I’ve got smooth walnut butter. Which, by the way, goes really well with cinnamon raisin bread (see recipe for bread machine below).

Okay, so like most nuts, walnuts are high in fat. However, like salmon and flaxseed, they’re also high in Omega 3, which among other things can lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream and reduce inflammation throughout the body. So like everything else…eat them in moderation.

Honey Milk Balls
(Makes 2 dozen)
Combine in bowl:
1/2 c. honey

1/2 c. peanut butter (try this with walnut or almond butter)
1 c. dry milk powder
1 c. uncooked rolled oats
Mix well, then knead by hand until blended. Shape into small balls.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
(For bread machine)
3/4 c. very warm water
1/4 c. applesauce
1/2 c. raisins (Monukkah raisins or other sticky ones, work best)
1 tbsp. olive or canola oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. yeast
Put first eight ingredients into bread machine in the order listed above. Make an indentation on the top of the ingredients and add yeast to indentation.
Set machine according to manufacturer’s instructions for baking. I prefer to bake this recipe on the one-hour setting, but that will depend on your machine.