Friday, January 21, 2011
Red Crackers (GAPS friendly, gluten- and grain-free)
I usually triple this recipe to fill up the dehydrator and make the most of my time.
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!