You can lately find me perusing the gluten-free and grain-free aisles of local health food stores in Byron Bay, of which there are countless. You almost have to search out the gluten in our hood. Sourdough may be the only exception. Lent has returned for me as I am exploring the world of living without glorious gluten and grains to see how my gut fares in their absence.
Nothing can replace sourdough on my plate or palate, no matter how nutritious it is for me. I blame Brennan’s bread back in Ireland. Their bread factory was based in Donnybrook where I grew up in south Dublin. Every morning my Mom brought me swimming in our local pool, we walked by their factory as they loaded their bread vans with steaming crusty fresh loaves of bread and sliced pans. They would always give me a warm loaf to bring home. I was a very cute child and my Mother Ria totally milked it. My best mate growing up was gluten. Nothing is more comforting to me even now than a thick slice of crusty freshly baked bread with a soft pillowy centre topped with lashings of Kerrygold butter. A meal in itself.
My gluten and grain-free elimination struggle is R-E-A-L. I have had to become super creative and grain-free and gluten-free crackers are my latest distraction. These little seedy specimens are super loaded with healthy omegas, fibre, and protein. I love rye bread hence the addition of caraway seeds. It tricks my tastebuds into believing for a nanosecond that a fresh slice of rye sourdough is on the way. Trust me that split second is worth it.
Havin’ the craic crackers
makes lots and takes 5 minutes plus 40-50 mins baking
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup white / black sesame seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds (cumin/nigella//fennel/coriander/mustard seeds are other options)
1 tbsp psyllium husks powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
3/4 cup filtered water
1 tsp brown rice syrup (maple syrup/raw honey)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil / macadamia oil – which is my current favourite
Preheat the oven to 170c and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix all the seeds and caraway seeds. Pour the oil and brown rice syrup into the water and mix well. Pour this mixture into the seeds and stir until thick and well-combined. This can take a few minutes to fully bind so sneak in a few mindful deep breaths.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking parchment with the back of a spoon no more than 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 170c for thirty minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully flip onto the other side with a fish slice. (They are thicker and easier to handle than a spatula.) Bake for another 25 minutes, watching closely after about 20 minutes. The bottom should be lightly golden in colour. Allow to cool completely on the parchment. If you like me possess somewhat of an obsession with symmetry especially in food presentation, you can score the mixture before popping it in the oven so it snaps into perfect little seedy squares or tiny triangles. Alternatively, go rustic. They will keep fresh and crispy in an air-tight container for five days. They are delicious topped with my harmonious hummus , pumpkin seed and herb pesto. Just sayin’.
📸 cotter crunch