Friday, January 21, 2011

Red Crackers (GAPS friendly, gluten- and grain-free)

This is my favorite grain-free cracker recipe. These crackers taste similar to cheese crackers, although they don't have any cheese in them. They are delicious by themselves, topped with cheese, or even as a base for a sandwich with meat, cheese, and mayo. Probably my favorite way to eat them is with a smear of strained yogurt cheese and a couple slices of cucumber on top.

I usually triple this recipe to fill up the dehydrator and make the most of my time.

Red crackers:
One red bell pepper
3/4-1 c. crispy cashews* (use a full cup for a large bell pepper and less for a smaller one)
1/2 tsp. celtic sea salt

Roast a red pepper**, allow to sweat in a covered bowl, and remove the skin once cool. When removing the skin, resist the urge to rinse the pepper under water as this will remove lots of good flavor. Instead, just use your fingers to remove all of the skin. Pull the pepper open, and be ready for a fair amount of liquid to come out. I just open the pepper over my food processor bowl so all the good liquid will pour straight into it. Remove and discard the seeds, stem, and stringy bits from the inside of the pepper. Put the roasted red pepper and 3/4 to 1 cup of crispy cashews in food processor (more nuts for a large pepper, or less nuts for a small one). Also add salt.

Process until smooth. Scoop the mixture onto lined dehydrator trays. (I use the fruit roll sheets in my Nesco dehydrator. If you don't have something similar, line the trays with parchment paper instead.) Use a spoon or small rolling pin to flatten the mixture to cracker thickness (~1/4-inch); try to achieve a uniform thickness, but they don't have to be perfect. Then dehydrate about 12-24 hours (I use the max temp of 155 degrees F on my dehydrator). To check for doneness, break off a small piece and look on the underside. If it looks like there is still some moisture, dehydrate for a bit longer. Once done, allow to cool and then break or cut into crackers. Store in the refrigerator.

*Crispy cashews: These are cashews that have been soaked 6-7 hours in water with a little salt, and then dehydrated until crispy (note that the soaking time for cashews is less than for other nuts such as almonds and pecans). Soaking the nuts neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Phytic acid blocks absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium; enzyme inhibitors make nuts hard to digest. I make large batches of crispy nuts to keep on hand. It takes about 24 hours for the nuts to dry at 155 F in my Nesco dehydrator.
**To roast a red pepper, place it (whole) directly onto a gas burner on the stovetop. Turn the flame on medium and roast the pepper, turning it every 3-4 minutes. You want to develop a nice blackness on the skin (and your house will smell good but slightly burnt). As soon as all sides have been roasted, place the hot pepper into a glass bowl and cover to let the pepper sweat.

This recipe is part of Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade!


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this recipe. They are truly delicious (even before being dehydrated). Very yummy.

Annette said...

I can't wait to try these! Flax crackers are ok, but these sound yummy!
Thanks for posting

Mrs. Ed said...

These sound wonderful. I love that you used your dehydrator.

Michelle @ The Willing Cook said...

GF crackers are so expensive. I haven't tried the homemade variety, but I've seen many great recipes! I need to jump in soon and try it!

I'm launching an allergy-free blog hop tomorrow with 4 other bloggers. We'd love for you to share this recipe or any others. You can find it at willingcook.com. Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Do you think this would work with sauteed red peppers?

Sarah Smith said...

Hmmm, I bet it would. The only thing I'm unsure of is that then the skin (from the pepper) would be in the crackers as well, but that may be no big deal if the food processor chops everything well. Let me know if you try it and how they turn out!

Jill@RealFoodForager.com said...

This great post is featured at Sunday Snippets this week! Thanks for sharing! Come and check it out!

http://realfoodforager.com/sunday-snippets-january-29-2012/

Lori said...

Looking closely at the details - ONE pepper and 3/4 nuts and 24 HOURS of dehydrating. That's a lot of time for what can't be much volume. Hats off to you for all that effort but I don't see myself doing that. Going to work on perhaps another method using same ingredients. Thanks

Sarah Smith said...

As I noted right above the recipe, I usually triple the recipe to fill up my whole dehydrator.

Anonymous said...

These are fabulous! My husband thought they tasted vaguely like cheese its (which he loves). This is now our go to snack for him. I used almonds, since that is what I had on hand and then cashews later. Only a slight difference in flavor, but we continue to use almonds since that is a staple in our house (and they are much cheaper!)... I have tried roasting onions, garlic and zucchini and using those in place of the red peppers for a "garden" style cracker - they turned out very well. I also added a chipotle pepper to the red peppers in the food processor and that was nice too. A very versatile recipe. Thanks so much!!

Sarah Smith said...

Mmm, the garden-style cracker sounds fabulous! I'm glad you like the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I had almost given up looking for a yummy grain-free cracker, but these, oh my, these are AMAZING! I used crispy almonds because that is what I usually have. They are actually still in the dehydrator, but I couldn't resist and had to try them...delicious (and yes, I also think they taste a bit like Cheez-its)! Thanks so much for this recipe and so many others. I have tried several of them, and they all have turned out. You are great!

Anonymous said...

Can these be done without a dehydrator?

Sarah Smith said...

Yes! Use your oven at the lowest possible temperature, and watch them closely to make sure they don't burn.

Patent Attorney said...

Gluten free AND it looks delicious? Crazy!