As I continue to get into the mindset that I will soon have a tiny human to care for, I am channeling a lot of my energy toward meal prep. Meal prep is a great tool, regardless of your family status. It encourages healthy eating and helps you save money on takeout. Start a routine of meal prepping on your day off and enjoy simple and accessible meals all week long. I kicked off my "radish ready" mini-series last week with hearty turkey and kale meatballs and super green pesto. This week I continue with pumpkin seed granola and super seeded crackers.
The super seeded crackers are a great protein and fiber-filled snack or accompaniment to a meal. I like to double the batch and hope that I can resist eating them in under a week.
If you have a radish approved pantry, then you are likely to have most of the ingredients on hand. If not, opt for purchasing your ingredients in the bulk bins since buying everything at once can be costly.
Seedy, crunchy, and mineral-rich, these crackers add serious nutrition mileage to your snacking pleasure. Chia seeds, flax seeds, and psyllium husk form a gel-like binder which keep the crackers well secured. The addition of rosemary and black pepper takes these crackers up a notch, but any fresh or dried herbs or seasoning would be a welcome addition (hello, za'atar or everything bagel spice!). Eat them alone or with your favorite dip or cheese, (vegan or reg), and you are in for a hearty and nourishing snack.
I "free-style" my cracker shapes and break them apart by hand for a rustic approach. For a more classic and symmetrical shape, lightly score (do not cut through) the top layer of the dough before baking and use the lines as your guide to break apart.
fully loaded crackers
makes 2 baking sheets
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup golden flax seeds
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (white or black)
- 2 tablespoons dulse, roughly chopped or dulse flakes (Dulse is a sea vegetable loaded with minerals. Make sure you purchase organic or sustainably harvested product.)
- 2 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (Psyllium seed husk is soluable fiber that is derived from the seed of a leafy green weed. I like this brand.)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary
- Additional and optional spice ideas: everything bagel spice, Aleppo pepper, za'atar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Stir well. In another bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and water and add to large bowl. Stir until well incorporated. Let dough sit for 10 minutes, allowing the ingredients to bind together. Stir every few minutes.
- Cut two pieces of parchment to the size of your sheet trays. Split the dough in two. Gather one half of the dough into a ball and place between your parchment paper. Using a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine or oil), firmly roll out mixture into a thin sheet, approximately 1/8" thick. If any dough rolls out from under the paper, simply add it back to the flattened mixture and continue to roll until thin. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. If scoring, use the tip of a knife and lightly run it across your dough, creating a cracker shape of your choice. Let sit for 10 more minutes.
- Slide the bottom half of the parchment paper with the dough mixture onto a baking tray (make sure the top parchment is removed). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, grasp the parchment paper and crackers together, and carefully flip the whole mixture over. Cracker mixture will be flush with the sheet tray. Peel the parchment paper off, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until dry, crispy, and golden. If some pieces are not crisp, break them off and bake some more. Repeat with second batch.
- Let crackers cool, break apart, and store in an airtight container for up to a month.
I also made a double batch of one of my favorite granola recipes. Like most granola recipes, it is adaptable to what you have in your pantry. For this particular version, I did a blend of barley malt, peanut butter, and maple syrup for my wet ingredients. Using only maple syrup as the sweetener works just as well, but it can be expensive.
pumpkin seed granola with extra virgin olive oil
Recipe adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen - Celebrating the Art of Eating Well, by Amy Chaplin
- 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup unhulled sesame seeds
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 1/1 cups dried unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder
- 3/4 cup maple syrup (you can also use 1/2 cup barley malt or brown rice syrup and 1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 2/3 cups dried fruit of your choice (unsulfured dried apricots, unsulfured golden raisins, mulberries, goji berries, and dried cherries all work great.)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper. Place seeds into a medium bowl and fill with water. Swish seeds around, strain, rinse under running water, and set aside to drain.
- Place oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla bean powder into a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. (If using brown rice syrup/barley malt, maple syrup, and peanut butter, warm the ingredients together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. After it simmers, remove from heat, and stir in the olive oil.)
- Add the drained seeds to the oats and toss to combine.
- Pour in maple syrup olive oil mixture to the oat mixture and stir to evenly distribute.
- Divide between baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and rotate sheets. Bake for another 15 minutes. Stir again and cook for anther 5 to 10 minutes until granola is golden and crisp.
- Add dried fruit, toss to combine, and transfer to glass jars to store. Granola can last for four to six weeks, if you can control yourself for that long :)
- When serving, I like to add wheat germ, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds and eat with nut milk or yogurt, and fruit.
For those interested, both of these recipes will ideally serve as lactation promoting foods. Barley malt, oats, and sesame seeds are all lactogenic foods which promote breast milk production.