My latest obsession has been these homemade quinoa crackers. They are crunchy, naturally flavorful, super healthy, and really, really easy to make. They are pretty flexible too. You can add your own flavors, seasonings, and add-ins, such as seeds or nuts.
People are usually floored when I tell them what ingredients are in the crackers. It's really just three main ingredients: quinoa, chia seeds, and water! I add salt and pepper for flavor, of course, and you can add other seasonings to change the flavor of the cracker.
The most surprising thing is that there's no oil, no flour, no sugar . . . and it's honestly delicious and really flavorful, especially if you use red or black quinoa, which tends to have more flavor. Even better yet, quinoa is high in protein and chia seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Although it is an easy recipe, it does take time and patience. You have to cook the quinoa, which takes 20+ minutes, and then bake for at least an hour. But the active time is really quite short, and the end result is oh-so-worth it.
Mixed ¾ cup cooked quinoa with hydrated chia seeds (roughly ⅓ cup chia seeds in ¾ cup room temperature water). If you've never used chia seeds before, they gelatinize when they come into contact with water (it only takes a few minutes of mixing them together).
I usually mix the chia seeds together with water in a cup and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, I just add the goopy chia seed mixture to the cooked quinoa and mix them well. I'll add salt and pepper to taste. The nice thing about this "batter" is that you can taste it and adjust the flavor. There's nothing raw in the "batter", so it's perfectly safe to eat.
Spread ⅛ inch layer on parchment/baking paper (preferred) or foil if you don't have parchment paper on hand (they both work fine). I've even used wax paper, which worked OK.
Bake for 30 minutes at 165° C (330° F). After 30 minutes, remove from oven. Move the paper with the cracker sheet on top over to a cutting board. The easiest way is to break up the cracker into pieces, flip them over one at a time with a spatula, and bake the other side for another 30 minutes.
If you want to keep the whole cracker sheet in one piece, then you have to flip the whole thing over, peel off the paper/foil, and bake it the other side. The easiest way I've found is to put another piece of parchment paper on top, put a plate on top, and then flip the entire "sandwich", including the cutting board, both pieces of paper, the cracker, and the plate.
Bake the other side for 30 minutes. And that's it!
It's surprisingly flavorful, delicious, and honestly doesn't taste like bland, "healthy" food at all. In fact, I find it quite addictive.
I made this for our Thanksgiving meal that we had with two other families, and everyone absolutely loved it. It was so popular, everyone wanted to take some home with them, leaving no leftovers for me.
The only downside of this is time. It really takes a full hour to "dry out" the wet batter. If you have a dehydrator you can make this in the dehydrator, and possibly even keep its "raw" status if you use lower heat (although it will take longer).
I can't wait to experiment by adding other seasonings, such as 老干妈 (Lao Gan Ma Old Godmother Chili Sauce), truffle salt, or Japanese furikake. I think the possibilities are endless for this delicious snack. I just wished my oven were bigger so that I could make multiple batches at once!
Ha ha, it's times like this I miss the 9-layer dehydrator that I left back in Boston.
¾ cup cooked quinoa (preferably red or black)
⅓ cup chia seeds
¾ cup water
Seasonings to taste (salt + pepper)
Cook quinoa according to the package instructions. I boiled in water for about 15-20 minutes and then drained off the water
Meanwhile, combine chia seeds and water in a cup, stir well, and let it gelatinize (3-5 min)
Combined cooked quinoa and chia seed/water mixture and mix well. Add seasonings to taste.
Spread a thin (⅛ inch or thinner) layer of the the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper (or foil).
Bake at 165° C (330° F) for 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Move the parchment paper together with the single "cracker" onto a cutting board.
If you want to make small crackers, cut the large cracker sheet into smaller crackers. Flip each over with a spatula and bake for another 30 minutes.
If you want to preserve the large cracker sheet, place another sheet of baking paper on top of the large cracker sheet. Put a plate over the other baking sheet. to "catch the cracker") once you flip it. Flip the cutting board and the plate over so that the plate is on the bottom and the cutting board on top. Remove the cutting board, peel off the paper, and bake the large cracker (which is now sitting on another piece of parchment paper).