Once again, I have to thank KC Thorson of KC’s Kafe for sharing another delicious recipe when we got together for lunch the other day. KC has written several cookbooks, I’d highly recommend them for anyone venturing into gluten-free cooking.
A diet full of gluten can make you feel “Foggy” When I first discovered my food allergies almost 2 years ago, I quit wheat products cold turkey. I didn’t even explore replacements, and I’m glad. I really got to experience the benefits of lowering my carbohydrate intake which can often make us think and feel “foggy”.
Don’t trade one “evil” for another Most gluten-free breads, crackers and pasta from grocery stores are just loaded with grains and carbs like wheat. While I did go through a withdrawal from some traditional wheat products like my homemade pizza and a crust of artisan bread, the quick severance from the whole shebang made me realize how much I looked to food as a “filler”, especially breads and crackers. Bread and wheat products in particular fill our stomachs quickly, they’re portable and have a long shelf life. They are an easy fix to help us forget about our hunger pangs until we can eat a real meal.
Wheat, Corn, Rice, Potato, Tapioca….They are all Carbs After almost a year off of gluten, I did discover gluten-free pasta. I also found other gluten-free options to replace many traditional wheat products. The problem was I would just be trading one carb for another – so don’t become enamored with a “gluten-free” diet just to follow the crowd, be educated so you can make the best choices. Often, the gluten-free versions have controversial grains in them like rice (which we now know has arsenic in it, even organic varieties), corn (stressful on the kidneys: see below), potato and tapioca (more carbs to fill our stomachs and fuel our appetites). There are bean flours available, but that never agreed with my tastebuds….. garbanzo beans just have too strong a flavor for my palate unless they are partnered with lots of garlic in hummus with fresh veggies.
[GMO corn is now linked to kidney disease.....Some will argue that you can create a study to meet any conclusion you'd like, but I believe our culture's health speaks volumes on it's own. We are not a healthy America. In the city I grew up in - Menomonee Falls, we are building our 3rd thriving, major medical center, in addition to having a hospital, and we now have at least 3 dialysis centers nearby in the milwaukee area that I drive by each week]
There are so many great recipes you can cook on your own and you won’t have to rely on store-bought, gluten-free options that are really expensive. You’ll be able to choose wholesome ingredients and save the store-bought for those emergency situations when you need a quick solution. These almond flour crackers are pretty quick to make, though. Don’t be fooled into thinking that homemade has to take a lot of time. This recipe is a great example of healthy “fast food”, something KC’s Kafe is known for creating.
Basic Paleo Almond Flour Crackers
1 3/4 C Almond Meal Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill, you can find it in the organic aisle at many grocery stores)
2 unpasteurized egg whites (or egg replacement, the recipe with the egg replacement will make really fragile cookies. They are delicious and just melt in your mouth, they just don’t travel well:) )
2 T organic olive oil
Celtic Sea Salt
Fresh or dried herbs of choice ( I used fresh rosemary and ground it with my mortar and pestle which releases all of the wonderful essential oils that chopping just doesn’t do for Rosemary)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix together almond meal, olive oil and beaten egg whites or egg replacement, this will make a crumbly mix that shapes quickly into a ball. Roll between two sheets of parchment paper, sprinkling with herbs after just starting to flatten dough. Continue to roll to desired thickness.
Thin crackers will get crisp sooner than thicker crackers and will be more delicate. Remove top layer of parchment paper before baking. Sprinkle with sea salt and additional herbs if you’d like. I pressed my grater spikes into the dough for a little texture.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until light, golden and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and cut while hot. Cool completely, then move to an airtight container or domed cake plate to keep crisp and fresh.