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Easier Veggie Flax Seed Crackers

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on July 20, 2012

Easier Veggie Flax Seed Crackers

 

Our favorite morning "energy" juicing recipe is just a matter of throwing in a few beets, carrots, celery stalks, and sometimes a low-sugar apple such as Granny Smith. We add 1/2 half of a raw lemon sometimes. I recently made our juice for the morning - without the apple - and looked at the stack of pulp that was left. We often just stir that into the dog's food dishes and they surprisingly really like it. For some reason that morning I started considering how I could use that pulp in some raw flax seed crackers. I decided to add ground flax seed, whole flax seed, some fresh minced garlic and some fresh chopped onions, plus some seasoning. By "raw", I mean using the dehydrator at around 105 to 110 degrees rather than baking them. I ended up doing both - one batch dehydrated and one batch baked at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. 

Following those successful batches, I then decided rather than juicing the vegetables why not just put them through the food processor. So I did just that and added walnuts and sunflower seeds - a good choice and certainly enhanced the flavor and feel of the cracker. I baked half and dehydrated half. The nutrition is obviously higher in the dehydrated ones, but I do like the instant gratification (well 2 hours) over the 10 to 12 hours in the dehydrator. Very satisfying for us since we haven't had any bread or cracker products in quite some time.

For the last batch, I did use the food processor and for some reason baking them at 350 degrees for one hour ended up burning a large outside portion of the batch - big bummer. (See important note below - after subsequent batches, I found that 250 degrees worked much better. Bake 1 hour, score and turn the crackers over and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes until crispy.) I had put half of the batch in the dehydrator so we at least had those. I should have checked them rather than just setting the timer for one hour, but was busy outside. Lessons learned. I do suggest that since different combinations of vegetables can certainly be substituted as some people aren't as fond of beets as we are, or onions, that you blend the mixture, add the flax seeds, nuts, sunflower seeds and just enough oil to make it possible to spread onto a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet. I suppose if I were industrious enough I would do a You Tube video of this and perhaps will.

HOW TO BAKE FLAX SEED CRACKERS:

The first time I made them into cookie-sized rounds and smashed them down to about 1/2 inch. The next time I realized how wasteful of space this was and remembered some of my raw food cook books where they simply spread the entire batch over the entire baking sheet pressing it until it reaches the edges and assuring about 1/4 inch thickness. For the other ones, I did the same thing. On both I used the paraflex nonstick sheets. After one hour (or until the crackers feel done on one side), I scored them into cracker sizes with a sharp knife and turned them over on the dehydrator tray without the nonstick sheet to allow for additional drying. I turned the crackers over on the baked ones but left the nonstick sheet in the baking sheet. 

 
Yummy spread with soft goat cheese.

How long do I bake them?:

For the first batch, the one hour on one side and another hour on the 2nd side worked great in a 350 degree oven. (See note below - changed my recommendation to 250 degrees.)  I absolutely do not know why the last batch burned! The dehydrated ones, I dehydrated on one side for 4 hours, turned them over and dehydrated until they felt like crackers should - crunchy. Others may like them chewier, so this will require less time. 

INGREDIENTS: (organic where possible)

2 medium beets, peeled and cut into smaller pieces, the size depending on your food processor or juicer
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into smaller pieces, ditto above
5 stalks of medium sized celery, ditto above
5 medium sized carrots, peeled if using the food process, just scrubbed if using the juicer
1/2 of a medium red bell pepper
2/3 cups crushed flax seed (best to crush the whole seeds freshly each time in a coffee/herb grinder)
1/2 cup whole flax seeds
1/3 cup olive oil - or just enough to make the mixture stick together in order to spread
2 Tbsp Westporte Special Seasoning (or use your favorite all purpose seasoning)
5 to 6 twists of garlic salt seasoning
2 to 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped raw organic walnuts
2/3 cups raw organic sunflower seeds

If you are from my generation, you might remember when Chef Boyardee came out with the pizza kits and our favorite things to do would be have pizza parties where we handmade the pizza's and added the toppings. Everything came in the box - you mixed the yeast with the dough and spread it evening onto a baking sheet. The point here is the same gently pressing and spreading the dough onto the sheet is much the same way I spread the cracker recipe over the entire baking sheets - evenly as possible and about 1/4 inch thick.

 For baking use 350 degree preheated oven (see note below) - and watch carefully for the 1st hour to make sure you don't make the same mistake I did. Score them into the size crackers you want and turn them over to bake for about another hour - or less. For the dehydrator ones, spread them onto the paraflex nonstick sheets for 4 hours. Test to see if they are ready to turn. If they are still too moist, dehydrate for another 2 hours. Test again and when ready, score them and turn them over onto a tray without the nonstick sheet. Dehydrate for about another 4 hours, testing as you go.

This is not nearly as complicated as it sounds! After your first batch you can tweak it as you would like, or be adventurous and tweak it from the start.

Note added: July 23, 2012: I made another batch today and changed the oven to 250 degrees. I watched them every 30 minutes and it took a little over an hour to bake the first side. I scored them and turned them over and they looked and tasted much better than the 350 degree oven batch. 

Would really like to hear about your juicing recipes and any crackers that you make.

Thanks for listening!



Natural Aromatherapy Toothpaste

By Aromatherapy Recipes Holistic Healthy Body
on August 12, 2011
2 comments

Homemade Toothpaste - a better alternative?

 

How many of you actually use a "pea-sized amount" of toothpaste when you brush your teeth - and how many of you are sure your kids don't swallow any of that stuff? The warning is clearly there on that tube of toothpaste - look for yourself. And "in case of accidental ingestion, call the poison control center." I know, me either. I have always watched closely when my grandkids brush their teeth, but good grief how can you possibly get your teeth clean with a "pea sized" amount? Dr. Mercola has an interesting article on this and I've shared the link below.

Now I've always had sensitive teeth and gums - hated, hated, hated (did I say hated?) the every six-month trip to the dentist. I've never really paid a lot of attention to the toothpaste I used, probably usually the most inexpensive. I've also never really believed the advertising hype about whiter, brighter, etc. While working on something else the other day and had a bottle of glycerine sitting close by from a batch of cream made earlier in the day, I decided to make myself a new, better, really truly whiter, brighter, cleaner, chemical-free, fluoride-free toothpaste. You know what? It works great and my gums are no longer sensitive and they don't ache periodically through the day. Here's my simple recipe. I think you can get the ingredients in any drug store.

Baking Soda
Glycerine (vegetable)
Lemon (Citrus limonum) essential oil, organic
Hydrogen Peroxide (the low % that's readily available)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Essential Oil
Xylitol (powdered - easily found in health food stores)

You can make it in whatever size you'd like. I would suggest a small jar that you can close since the essential oils will evaporate more quickly otherwise. I simply put a small amount of baking soda in a small dish, added enough glycerine to make it into a thick paste, then added a little bit more hydrogen peroxide for a thinner paste, but thick enough to stick to your tooth brush. I then added about 1 to 2 drops of each essential oil. I added the xylitol just until sweet enough - not too sweet. It's very good for your teeth and kills oral bacteria that causes dental decay.

The lemon essential oil is a well known whitener, it tastes good and it really does work to brighten your teeth. The baking soda gently scrubs your teeth and actually makes them sparkle. The glycerine is a preservative, plus it makes the mixture sweet imparting a pleasant taste. The peppermint can be used or not, but I like to add it because it makes my mouth feel clean - and it is clean. The peppermint is also a powerful antibacterial that will help eliminate plaque. And, of course, the hydrogen peroxide is another antibacterial ingredient - you could also optionally add this one, depending on whether you have any sores or problems at this time.

Additionally, if you have any sores in your mouth, depending on what the root (pun intended) cause, you could switch the peppermint to cinnamon leaf (Cinnamonum verum) essential oil. Go lightly and test as you go with cinnamon as it is a skin irritant and must be diluted quite a bit - but it has amazing antiviral properties. Watch for a blog soon about herpes viruses (I know yuck, but someone has to talk about it, why not me!).

That's it - simple, cheap and seriously cleans, deodorizes and contributes to both teeth and gum health. Not worried about swallowing any of this stuff since it's good for me anyway. I admit I haven't tried this out on my grandkids yet, but I think they'll like it because it's naturally sweet from the glycerine content.

What about you - do you have sore, aching gums and teeth? Have you tried a toothpaste that you particularly like and why? Do you have your own handmade recipe? I'd love to hear what everyone else uses.

Thanks for listening!

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/07/Warning-Never-Swallow-Regular-Toothpaste.aspx

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