beet thins

These crackers were first inspired by a millet cracker recipe in Ruth Yaron’s Super Baby Food (page 509). As I gushed in my book review back in March, I adore the book’s simple, practical language, and brief, to-the-point recipes. Her style makes it easy to experiment, using her recipes as templates from which to swap ingredients and play around a little with flavors. Some of my experiments are abject failures.  This one is, hands, down, my favorite cracker. Ever.

After making a few batches of these beet crackers with millet and pumpkin seeds (falling quickly in love), I swapped in quinoa, which I have since stopped using because the deep earthy grain flavor overshadowed the other subtle flavors.  The beets (which I’ve sourced from several farms, including Broadhead Mountain Farm, Double H Farm, Lettuce Grow Farm, and Bellair Farm) and figs combine with rosemary and sea salt to generate a sweet and savory quality without any added sweeteners. After making these with local pastured butter for many weeks, I responded to requests for a dairy-free cracker and managed to create a vegan version that should still satisfy crunch-craver. No one wants something that called itself a cracker when the crunch factor just doesn’t hold up to expectation.

These are tasty on their own and even better with some Caromont Farm goat cheese. A groggy post-nap Fionn gobbled several after sneaking them from the still-warm cookie sheet on top of the oven. Enjoy, and thanks for the inspiration, Ruth!

Ingredients: locally grown beets, organic golden flax, organic millet, organic pumpkin seeds, organic dried figs, himalayan pink salt, lemon juice, fresh rosemary

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‘Love Train’ Beet & Rosemary Crackers

Remember those flimsy baseball card-sized paper valentines kids used to bring to everyone in your elementary school class out of obligatory, parent-enforced egalitarianism? In fact, do you remember Lisa Simpson’s regrettable decision to give Ralph Wiggum an “I Choo-Choo Choose You” card? If not, here is a 5 second clip on YouTube that was obviously recorded by someone standing in front of their television screen. Ah, the 90s!

In keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme this week, I wanted to use beets in a more savory finger-friendly context than the might-as-well-be-cupcakes ‘Love Bites’ Beet Muffins I posted a few days ago. Inspired by Daily Bites’ Beet & Rosemary crackers, I gladly nabbed some sprigs from our monster rosemary bush and played around with a nut-free version that also beefed up the beet content. Consequently, the result is darker in color and rich in sunflower and flax seed goodness. It’s grain and sweetener free, and would pair well with hummus or any dip that your little one fancies. You could use coconut oil instead of olive oil if you want a purely paleo version.

I had recently acquired a few new cookie cutters from a thrift store, so made both regaular rectangular crackers with this recipe as well as some choo-choos, just to see if it made a difference in toddler-receptivity. The recipe below is the simpler, standard rectangle version. You’re welcome!

Of course, without the train, you’ll need to make a new name for them, like “Flamingo Biscuits,” or “Vampire Blood Crackers,” or “Purple Princess Crackers,” depending on the interests of your little one at the moment.

 

'Love Train' Beet and Rosemary Crackers
Yields 20
This recipe yields about 80 1 inch by 1.5 inch crackers.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
110 calories
6 g
0 g
9 g
4 g
1 g
29 g
185 g
1 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
29g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 185mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 4g
14%
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
3%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup steamed chopped beets
  2. 4 tablespoons water remaining from steaming beets
  3. 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 cup golden flax seed
  6. 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
  7. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  8. 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder (optional)
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt (fine)
  10. 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  11. 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (for decorating)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Pulse until a coarse meal forms.
  3. Add the rosemary, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Pulse until everything is a fine meal. Remove mixture and place into a medium sized bowl. Do not wash the processor bowl.
  4. Drain the beets, reserving any liquid, which should be a deep magenta. Add the drained beets
  5. the to the food processor, along with the 4 tablespoons of the reserved beet cooking liquid, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil to the food processor. Process until the beets are pretty thoroughly pureed.
  6. Use a spatula to scoop out the beet mixture, adding it to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until everything is combined, and a ball of dough begins to form.
  7. Pat the dough into a rectangular shape on a large piece of parchment paper, using generously oiled hands. Top with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out to about 1/8-inch thick rectangular shape. Transfer the dough, parchment paper and all, to a baking sheet. Remove the top piece of parchment and sprinkle a tiny bit of coarse sea salt on top (if salt's your fancy). Trim any jagged edges off with a knife or pizza cutter and save it for another round of rolling. Using the knife or pizza cutter, score the dough into cracker shapes, depending on whether you prefer a square or rectangle.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until firm to the touch and light brown around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven off. Separate the crackers along the pre-cut lines and space them out a little bit on the baking sheet so the air can circulate around them. Place the pan back in the hot oven for 5 minutes (longer if, like me, you only managed to roll them to somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch). This step helps to crisp up the crackers a little more.
  9. After 5 minutes, remove the crackers from the oven and cool completely. I wait at least a couple hours and preferably overnight just to be safe.Crackers will continue to crisp up as they cool.
  10. Store in an airtight container after they are completely cooled.
Notes
  1. Nutritional information assumes a toddler serving of about 4 crackers.
Adapted from Daily Bites Blog
beta
calories
110
fat
9g
protein
4g
carbs
6g
more
Adapted from Daily Bites Blog
http://goodphytefoods.com/

Rosemary Raisin Biscuits with Kale

Are you raising your eyebrows at the idea of a marriage between rosemary and raisins? Trust me on this one. The original inspiration for these came from Paleo Magazine cracker recipe, and I made a couple minor adaptations to incorporate raw leafy greens. For Charlottesvillians, I prefer to get as much of my kale, chard, and collards from Whisper Hill Farm, which has a knack for growing gigantic, gorgeous greens organically. Check them out at City Market. I tend to roll mine out a little thicker than the recommended 1/8-inch, so the insides remain a little soft (“biscuity,” if you will). Be sure to keep them less than 1/4-inch thick, even if you go this route.

Rosemary Raisin Biscuits
Yields 12
The raisins make this slightly sweet, combining surprisingly well with the rosemary. These can be made pretty quickly in the oven, no dehydrator is needed. Make about 48 1 x 2 inch biscuits, with the nutritional information below presuming about 4 per kiddo serving.
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Total Time
17 min
Total Time
17 min
130 calories
14 g
0 g
7 g
4 g
1 g
32 g
104 g
6 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
32g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130
Calories from Fat 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 104mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
5%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 loosely packed cup of raisins
  2. 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  3. 1/2 cup flax seeds
  4. 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped lacinato kale
  6. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  7. generous 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, kale, rosemary, and sea salt until finely ground, about 30 seconds.
  3. Drain the raisins, reserving 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add the raisins to the food processor along with the sesame seeds. Pulse until the raisins are reduced to small flecks and are incorporated into the seed mixture.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved water and process until a rough dough forms. The dough should hold together when pinched between your fingers. If it does not, add a little bit of the remaining reserved water at a time, to achieve the right texture.
  5. Transfer the dough to the center of a large piece of parchment paper, folding one side over the other and using a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.
  6. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and trim any jagged edges with a knife or pizza cutter.
  7. Transfer the dough, parchment paper and all, to a baking sheet. Use the pizza cutter to cut the dough into 1 x 2 inch square cracker shapes. Bake for 12 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and separate the crackers with a spatula along the precut lines, spacing them out a little bit on the baking sheet so the air can circulate around them. Place the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes. This step helps to crisp up the crackers.
  9. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool completely, as the crackers will continue to crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. Nutritional information: Low in Cholesterol, these muffins are a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin K and Manganese. Click here for a complete nutritional profile.
Adapted from Paleo Magazine
beta
calories
130
fat
7g
protein
4g
carbs
14g
more
Adapted from Paleo Magazine
http://goodphytefoods.com/