Saturday, February 21, 2009

Healthy Snacks

Organic Popcorn, popped in coconut oil (on the stove, in a pot with a lid), sprinkled sea salt and Nutritional Yeast (we bought this in the bulk section at Whole Foods). Nutritional yeast is SOOO good for you. Here is some info on it: The biggest thing that I like about it is that it is very high in protein.
It basically makes the popcorn a little creamy like cheese. It doesn't really taste like cheese though. I don't know how to explain the taste!! But, it's good!

Homemade "Goldfish" Crackers
1 cup all purpose (I used 1/2 spelt and 1/2 unbleached all purpose)
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces grated cheese (it said to use sharp, but all I had was mild and it turned out fine)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper(For the salt and pepper, I just used my salt and pepper grinders and put a little in there)
(I only did 3/4 of the recipe because I didn't want to make too much)

1. Pulse the flour, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper together using a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Pulse in 3-4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade.
3. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes to 24 hours.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees
5. Line 2 baking pans with parchment or wax paper, set aside (I used a silicone baking sheet)
6. Roll the dough out to 1/8th inch thickness. Cut out as many crackers as possible using a small cookie cutter.
7. Place them on the prepared baking pans (you can put them close together because they get smaller)
8. Bake until golden and crisp- 15 to 20 minutes
Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Make sure that you roll it as thin as possible. I had some that were too thick and so they never got quite crispy enough (although, they were really yummy anyway!).

Olive Oil Crackers
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil-Whisk together the flours and salt.

Add the water and olive oil.
Mix 5-7 minutes. Knead by hand on a floured counter-top.
The dough should be just a bit tacky - not too dry, not too sticky to work with.
If you need to add a bit more water (or flour) do so.

-When you are done mixing, shape the dough into a large ball. Now cut into twelve equal-sized pieces. Gently rub each piece with a bit of olive oil, shape into a small ball and place on a plate. Cover with a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes.
-While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 450F degrees.
-When the dough is done resting, flatten one dough ball. Using a rolling pin, shape into a flat strip of dough. Pull the dough out a bit thinner by hand. You can also cut the dough into whatever shape you like at this point. Set dough on a floured (or cornmeal dusted) baking sheet, poke each cracker with the tines of a fork to prevent puffing, add any extra toppings, and slide into the oven (on a baking sheet). Repeat the process for the remaining dough balls, baking in small batches. Bake until deeply golden, and let cool before eating - you will get more crackery snap.
-Makes a dozen extra large crackers.

Thin Wheat Crackers
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra as needed
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey (you can also use sugar)
1/3 cup olive oil
Coarse sea salt for garnish

1) In a mixing bowl, mix the salt and flour. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, honey, and oil. Pour this into the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon until the dough forms a ball and all the flour is absorbed. The dough will be very soft.
2) Knead the dough for a few minutes on a well floured surface, adding more flour as needed until the dough forms a smooth ball and feels soft and supple, not sticky.
3) Divide the dough into three pieces and form each into a ball. Set two of the dough balls aside and roll out the third. Dust the counter with flour and also the top of the dough, pressing it with your hand to flatten it. Use a rolling pin to work the dough to a think oval, less than 1/8 inch thick.
4) Lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on top. Cut with cookie cutters (small ones), with a knife, or with a pizza cutter. Place on pan (covered with wax or parchment paper) very close together (they won't rise or spread out). Repeat with the other two balls.
5) With your oven heated to just under 300, cook for 24 minutes, rotating them every 8 minutes.
6) When they are finished, they will be lightly browned and stiff. Allow them to cool and crisp before removing them from the pan.

Banana Coconut Pudding
2 eggs
1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
1/4 grated coconut
1/4 cup milk, half and half, or light cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add banana, coconut, milk, and vanilla, and stir ingredients until blended. Pour mixture into a small casserole, then stand casserole in a larger plan almost filled with water. Place in oven at 350 for 1 hour or until set.

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