Chia Seed Crackers

These crackers are a great healthy alternative to the store bought variety.  Most brands have an over abundance of salt in them, as well as saturated fat, so making the decision about which ones to buy pretty tricky.  These are low in both of those, but with the added bonus of being really tasty.  Chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein and calcium, as well as other vital minerals.  For those who are sensitive to gluten the binding properties of chia seeds works really well here, and if you also can’t tolerate oats then just omit those from the recipe and replace with another favourite seed.  These are great for snacking, and go well with a slice of cheese, avocado or hummus. Enjoy!

Chia Seed Crackers

Serves 36 crackers
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 40 minutes
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Flax Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon Iodised Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Oil

Directions

1. Place all the seeds and dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the water and oil.
2. Combine well and leave for 30-40 minutes to let the chia seeds swell and the mixture to thicken up.
3. Tip the mixture onto a tray with baking paper and spread out thinly over the entire tray. The thinner you spread it the less time is needed to bake it.
4. Score through the mixture, using a knife or pizza cutter, to make your desired cracker shape.
5. Place the tray in an oven heated to 150C. Bake for 30 minutes then take out and flip the crackers over.
6. Return the tray to the oven and bake on this side for another 30 minutes. Keep an eye on how quickly they are drying out, as it will depend on the efficiency of your oven (fan baked vs non-fan) and how thin you spread the mixture (which can be spread really thinly). You could use two trays.
7. The crackers should be crisp after cooling out of the oven for a minute or so. Let them cool completely on the tray before transferring to an air tight container.

Coconut Oat Slice

It seems nowadays coconut oil is either ‘in’ or ‘out’.  Whilst it is not the next Superfood that is going to fix everything, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend you add it to your coffee or cook with it every day, it can be a lovely addition to baking, and with a little less saturated fat than butter it can be a very flavorsome replacement.  This slice uses coconut oil and shredded coconut, and with some heart healthy oils from the nuts and seeds, minimal sugar, and lots of fibre, this is a great slice to have instead of a bought muesli bar, or as a shared snack.

Coconut Oat Slice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (or replace the seeds and water with another egg)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup dates (packed tightly)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cups desiccated or shredded coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 weetbix (crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

1. If using chia seeds, soak them in the water for 10 minutes. Also, in a separate bowl, soak the dates in some boiled water until soft.
2. Whilst the seeds and dates are soaking, melt the coconut oil, add the golden syrup and whisk in the egg(s).
3. Process the almonds and sunflower seeds until they look like bread crumbs. Mix them in with the coconut, oats and crumbled weetbix in a large mixing bowl. Add in the flour and baking powder.
4. Drain the dates, roughly chop them up and then add to the dry ingredients.
5. Add the chia seeds to the wet ingredients and then finally combine both mixtures together.
6. Press the mixture into a lined 20cm x 20cm tray and bake in a 180C degree oven for 20 minutes until slightly golden on top.
7. Allow to cool in the tray and then slice.

Spiced Kumara and Ginger Soup

Kumara is a good source of vitamin C and if you choose orange you will be getting even more natural antioxidants.  Cooking it in a small amount of oil helps the absorption of the fat-soluble antioxidants, and keeping the skin on the vegetables allows extra fibre in the meal. This is a great alternative to pumpkin soup if you are looking for a change as the winter months approach.  To pick up all the ingredients for this heartwarming soup head in store to Raeward Fresh.

Spiced Kumara and Ginger Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch cube fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Large orange kumara
  • 2 Large carrots
  • 3 cups 'real' vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt reduced soy sauce
  • 1-2 cup milk, to taste (or light coconut milk)
  • fresh coriander (to serve)
  • low-fat unsweetened plain yoghurt (to serve)

Directions

1. Scrub the kumara and remove any dark bits (no need to peel), chop up the kumara into cubes about a centimetre thick. Cut the carrot into slightly smaller sizes.
2. Rough chop the onion and fry off in a large saucepan until translucent. Crush and add the garlic and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, taking care not to colour the garlic.
3. Grate the ginger (skin can stay on) and add to the onion mix along with the curry powder, cumin and nutmeg, and stir through for a further 2 minutes. If the spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pan add a little water.
4. Add both the kumara and carrot to the pan, stirring through.
5. Continue to stir the vegetables for a further minute to completely coat them with the spices.
6. Add the vegetable stock, cover to bring to the boil, then bring the heat down so that it can simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the kumara and carrots have softened.
7. Whilst the soup is cooking, toss the seeds in a non-stick pan over a high heat to warm through. Add the soy sauce and stir through to coat the seeds so that the soy sauce is fully reduced from the pan and onto the seeds.
8. Puree the soup using a stick blender (or normal blender), adding the milk to thin it to your preferred consistency.
9. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Ladle the soup into serving dishes, sprinkle with the seeds and some rough chopped coriander, a drizzle of yoghurt, and serve with wholegrain bread.

Nutty Muesli Slice

Muesli bars are a great little energy booster, and with the right ingredients can provide all the right fats, protein, minerals and fibre we need to keep us going.  Whilst we can buy and store them for just an occasion, most are extremely high in added sugars, and generally lack decent amounts of fibre.  Unfortunately they are more convenient for our hectic lifestyles than if we were to make our own.  However, if you do fancy making your own muesli slice this is a great one to give a go.  The only sugar involved is the natural sugars found within the fruit, and the dates also bind it all together.  You can also change it around a bit by adding your own favourite nuts and seeds.  Store in an airtight container to keep a little longer.

Nutty Oaty Muesli Slice

Serves 16
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Sultanas
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup Whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 3/4 cups Pitted dates
  • 8 Prunes
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1/4 cup Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground ginger

Directions

1. Mix together the oats, sultanas, seeds and nuts in a bowl.
2. In a saucepan, place the dates, prunes, water and orange juice and simmer on a low heat until mushy (usually takes around ten minutes, but keep an eye on it in case you need to add more liquid).
3. Add the spices then transfer to a small blender and process with the oil until smooth.
4. Transfer the wet mix to a bowl and add half the dry ingredients. Thoroughly mix through, it usually works best if you get your hands in there and press it all together. Keep adding the dry to the wet until all combined.
5. Press the mixture into two lined loaf tins and bake at 180C for 20 minutes with a baking tray on top. Remove the tray and bake for a further 10 minutes.
6. Allow the slice to cool completely in the loaf tins before turning out and cutting up.