Thursday, July 8, 2010

raw flax crackers, baked oatmeal, mint chocolate cream bars & pickled okra (the reviews!)


okay, so i said i would post about the results of the various kitchen goings-ons, as well as their 'pricing' & i did not. however, after several emails from various folks asking how things turned out, i will procrastinate no longer. :)

*in my defense, it is not so much that i have been procrastinated, but rather i have realized that both our 2 week vacation & the start of school are looming & these sorts of things do tend to take priority over blogging...however much i may want to post...:)*

ok, so...

recipe #1... raw flax crackers (the link will take you to laura's post w/the original recipe)

cost break down (these are, of course, based on what we have available in our area)

*2 cups carrot juice pulp *FREE*
(our neighbor makes carrot juice daily & saved some pulp for me :)
*2 cups flax seeds $1.74
(i got a bag of bob's red mill organic flax seed from our market. after doing the math it came out to about $2.32/# or $.87/cup)
* 1 cup of raw almonds $1.25
(based on $5.76/#)
*large handful of fresh (organic) cilantro $.75
(got some from the market, $1.50/bunch)

(i didn't calculate the cost for the following as they are staples in pretty much every kitchen)
*3 garlic cloves
*1 TBS Braggs/soy sauce
*1 tsp onion powder
*1 tsp ground cumin

grand total, ~$3.74 for the batch , our rating...***** (out of 5 starts! :)
(i didn't count how many crackers it made, bit i think it was at least 50 or so tortilla chip size...laura??)

definitely a keeper...all natural, organic crackers are expensive!! i love that we now have an alternative. :)

aydin was my "little chef" today...:)

don't you just LOVE the colors??

Drain and rinse almonds. Process them in the food processor with the cilantro, garlic, Braggs, onion powder and cumin.

Get the almond nice and homogenized.

Put mixture into a large bowl and add the pulp and the flax seeds (the flax seeds do not get drained and rinsed because the flax seeds have soaked up all the water!). Mix well.

Spread out onto 4 dehydrator trays lined with teflex (we only have one teflex liner, so we substituted parchment paper cut to size).

Dehydrate at 145 for 2 hours, then turn down to 115 and dehydrate for another 6-8 hours.
(we have a dehydrator that we got at a tag sale, no dials just a dan...plug it in and it does it's thing. i checked the temp, it runs at about 160 degrees so ours didn't take nearly this long. i just kept checking the crackers after the first couple of hours. once they began to curl up at the sides, i flipped them. i will also say that the crackers on the parchment paper 'baked' much faster, and were much easier to flip as well.)

Flip crackers over and peel off teflex. Dehydrate another 2 hours or so until crackers are totally dry and crispy. (so, this recipe estimates about 8-10 hours total 'cooking' time, but ours only took about 4 hours or so. i should have written it down, but i did not expect there to be much variance. it was a good thing though...since i got done "cracker sitting" early, we had time to go to the pool! :)

Break into cracker sizes and store in airtight containers. (i split this batch with a neighbor, it filled three (2 cup) tupperwares with crackers...i would say each tub contained 15-20 crackers of so. since ours came our off a circular model with a vent hole in the center (think bundt cake) i just broke them into random tortilla chip-sized pieces.)

the verdict: these were yummy, both us & our neighbor thought so. i love the way the house smelled & they were easy & fun to make!! i think next time i'll add a bit more garlic, onion powder & cumin, the boys said they could use a bit less cilantro.

they keep well also, i think a week or so. possibly longer...ours are all gone, so i can't really say for sure. i would like to try it with the apple pulp, too. a keeper.

recipe #2...slow cooker baked oatmeal

super easy & very yummy! NOT loaded with sugar & i LOVE that we had everything on hand. :)

we had some for breakfast & then the next day as as snack.

recipe #3...raw mint chocolate cream bars cost break down...

* 3/4 cup almonds $1.00
(based on bulk $5.75/#)
* 5 dates, pitted
* 10 prunes (or more dates, if preferred–replace 2 prunes with 1 date)
**i used 10 dates $3.25
(based on $6.98/#... the math...there are roughly 8 dates in a cup, a cup costs $2.50, so each date is about $.30)

(did not calculate the costs for the below as these are, again, pantry staples)
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (raw cacao powder if you have it)
* pinch sea salt

* 1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
(based on bulk price $8.41/#)
* 1 cup non-dairy milk (i used reg milk b/c that is what i had)
* 1/2 cup agave nectar $1.75
(i got a bottle of 'wholesome sweeteners organic raw blue agave', 11.75 oz ,~ $5 something.)
* 1 tsp mint extract (actually had this on hand :)
* 1 tbsp vanilla extract (staple)
* 1 tsp xanthan gum $3.25
(i bought the smallest little container from our local amish food store, it cost me $3.25. i am setting the price at that for this recipe b/c i have never in my life used xanthum gum & i doubt that i ever will again. )
* pinch sea salt (staple)
* 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach $.75
(they had a 9oz bag of organic spinach marked down to $1.49...woo-hah!)
* 1/2 cup coconut oil $1.00
(bought a jar of spectrum organic coconut oil for $7 something at the market)
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (raw cacao powder if you have it)

grand total invested...$11.00, our rating...* (out of 5 stars :(

i was so very excited to make these, but they were not nearly as good as i was expecting...:(

they were ok the first night. we tried them straight from the freezer first, for more of an ice cream bar effect. but they were much better from the fridge. the boys each ate 2 small pieces.

day #2...things went downhill. the mint green started turning brown (think avocado sitting out) & it tasted grittier. (of course, that could have been my fault. perhaps i didn't grind the mixture enough??)

day #3, had to toss it. the colors were all weird & it just looked totally unappetizing.

okra tug-o-war...
be'be won...:)

the pickled okra was amazingly easy & the end result is quite tasty. we LOVE pickled okra, so this is a very, very good thing. :)

i put ours in the fridge after 3 days, then tasted an okra a day starting after 3 days in the fridge. at first, they were bit tough, but after the 5/6th day they were just right.

they do have a bit of a fermented tang to them, so i thought the boys might reject them, but they did not. in fact, quite the opposite...they ate more than me. :)

i have more in the works right now, as well as some pickled cucumber slices.

please do share your own fermentation recipes, trials, successes & failures.

oh, & on that note, i was planning on making the fermented preserves from nourishing traditions next, but a friend said that they are very ferment-y & not much of a treat at all.

so, thank you for the heads up mamma rae & i'll start looking for a recipes for jam using honey (vs sugar).

will let you know if i find one & how it turns out...:)

happy kitchen explorations!


  1. must find a way to dehydrate.
    All looks so yummy.
    If you want to make reserves with honey simply get a pack of Pomonas's Universal Pectin, it contains no sugar or preservatives, and works wonderfully with low amounts of honey or rapadura, and has recipes inside the box.
    have a wonderful trip, where ever it may take you!!

  2. i would love to hear if someone else makes the preserves and loves them. could have just been us. i will say that we had some tonight on some mochi, but i added some honey to mine. ;) it was AS fermenty as it was initially, but still there. we used pectin, but not pomona's. i'm wondering if it might be better with pomona's????

  3. Ha Ha! Love the okra picture.
    Glad you liked the crackers! The last a while in the fridge, although we too usually eat them al in 1-2 weeks. Yeah, I'd say about 50 or so chip sized crackers is what the recipe yields. LOVE the cost break down info mama.

  4. I like that you get your child to eat vegetables. Kids these days just don't eat enough greens. They need protein to of course but you need to eat vegetables too.

  5. good girl practice good, get the whole thing in your mouth and suck, next we try banana and pretty soon you will be able to take what all good little toddlers take nice and deep mmmmmmmmmmm I'm hard thinking about it