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How to Make Gluten-Free Crackers

I was discussing various herbs and grains with my locavore friend Carol the other day. She grows many plants in her vegetable/herb garden including amaranth. She asked me if I had any amaranth recipes. I replied, “I know of it but have not cooked with it”. She said, “I need a few new recipes. You should create a new recipe for me”.

I gladly accepted the challenge. If you have intolerance or an aversion to wheat, amaranth is a wonderful substitute. Ounce-for-ounce, it has more protein than wheat being an excellent source of lysine (an essential amino acid).

Here’s one of the recipes I created for Carol. It’s a tasty, vegan cracker free of gluten, dairy, egg, corn and yeast.

3/4 cup organic amaranth flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each: cream of tartar; garlic powder w/parsley; onion powder
1 tablespoon each: fresh dill; fresh oregano
1/3 cup almonds (ground in blender)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Combine first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place almonds in a blender and pulse-blend until powdery. Add almond paste, sea salt, pepper, olive oil and water. Form into a ball. Add additional water, if necessary, one teaspoon at a time.

Sprinkle a smooth work surface with a small amount of flour. Divide dough into thirds (easier to roll out). Roll out until it is very thin – about 1/16th of an inch. Dough will be “crumbly” and may be difficult to work with.

Cut thin dough into 3×5 inch rectangles. Transfer crackers to an ungreased backing sheet. Gently poke the top of each cracker with a fork (about 7 times down the middle) and sprinkle the tops lightly with additional salt.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place crackers on wire racks. Put the wire racks on the baking sheets and return crackers to the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Cool crackers and store in an airtight container. Better yet, share with friends immediately while still warm.

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