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.

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.

Crispy Polenta Chips

Polenta is a delicious and versatile ingredient. It can be baked, boiled or grilled, and served with vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, in fritters or even in crispy chips like this recipe. Polenta is corn meal and can be used by people following many different diets including, vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten or dairy free diet. It is a great source of fibre and is full of many vitamins and minerals. The milk in the recipe can be omitted for water or even stock which gives a bit of extra flavour if you wish to leave out the parmesan. The ratio for polenta to liquid is usually 1:4, however when making chips a slightly dryer polenta is a good option. You can get creative and add many different things to your chips including fresh herbs, olives or  jalapeño for a spicy kick.

Crispy Polenta Chips

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup trim milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • drizzle olive oil
  • salt and peper (to taste)

Directions

1. In a large saucepan bring water and milk to the boil.
2. Add polenta in a steady stream whilst whisking the mixture.
3. Continue to whisk and cook until polenta becomes thick (approximately 10 minutes, although this may be longer if you have a coarser grain polenta).
4. Stir in parmesan and season to taste.
5. Spread polenta on a large tray about 1 cm thick and allow to cool in the fridge. This will take about half an hour, but can be left for longer.
6. Preheat oven to 200*C. Cut polenta into chips and arrange on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25min. To get a really crispy chip, grill polenta chips for the remaining 5 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and enjoy!