Our very own, Shelia Joseph created this delicious cracker recipe. She wanted to create a recipe that was grain free, sugar free, dairy free and fiber enriched. Shelia used a variety of healthy ingredients in her recipe, including: Flaxseed and Chia seeds.
Health benefits of Flaxseed
Flaxseeds have been consumed for at least 6,000 years, making them one of the world’s first cultivated superfoods. What does flaxseed do for you that makes it one of the most popular “superfoods”? Flaxseeds contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (although not the same type that fish, such as salmon, do) along with antioxidant substances called lignans that help promote hormonal balance in addition to several other benefits of flaxseed.
What Is Flaxseed?
Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds. In fact, linseed or “flax seed” are different names for the same seed. Flaxseeds are a great source of dietary fiber; minerals like manganese, thiamine and magnesium; and plant-based protein.
Flax is one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA), in the world. Another unique fact about flaxseeds is that they are the No. 1 source of lignans in the human diets; flaxseed contain about seven times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds.
Flaxseeds can be eaten as whole/unground seeds but are even more beneficial when sprouted and ground into flaxseed meal. Grinding flax helps you absorb both types of fiber it contains, along you to take advantage of even more of the benefits of flaxseed. Whole flaxseeds will pass right through your body without being digested, which means you will not receive many of the inherent benefits!
Additionally, flaxseeds are used to make flaxseed oil , which is easily digested and a concentrated source of healthy fats. Below you’ll find more about how to sprout and grind your own flaxseed, plus ideas for using all types of flax in recipes.
Another product of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) is linseed oil, which is boiled oil that’s used in oil-based paints, glazing putties (for windows) and as a wood grain protector/enhancer. Boiled linseed oil should never be taken internally.
Top 10 Benefits of Flaxseed
1. High in Fiber but Low in Carbs
2. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
3. Helps make skin and hair healthy
4. Helps Lower Cholesterol and Treat Hyperlipidemia
5. Gluten Free
6. High in Antioxidants (lignans)
7. Supports Digestive Health
8. May help prevent cancer
9. May help with weight loss
10. Helps Decrease Menopausal and Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Health benefits of Chia seeds
Chia seeds (salvia hispanica) have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They’re easy to digest when prepared properly and a very versatile ingredient that adds easily to recipes. Plus, chia seeds benefits are plentiful.
Eating Chia seeds is perhaps the easiest way to get omega 3 fatty acids, which are super important to brain health.
A single 1 ounce serving contains 5 grains of omega 3’s and you don’t have to grind the chai seeds (like you would flaxseeds) or cook them (like you would salmon).
Get your chia seeds a little wet, and you’ll see them turn into a kind of gel. This is the soluble fiber going to work. Soluble fiber bulks up stool, feeds friendly bacteria in the gut and helps slow digestion to make you feel satisfied. It also helps manage blood sugar. A serving of chia seeds provides a third of your daily fiber.
(Courtesy of Web MD and Keri Glassman)
Fiberlicious Cracker Recipe:
5 Cups Almond Flour or (or omit 2 cups of almond flour and add 2 cups almond pulp)
1/3 C. Flax meal
1/3 C. Sundried Tomatoes
4 tsp. Chia seeds
4 tsp. Sesame seeds
4 tsp. Poppy seeds
3 T. Onion flakes
2 tsp. Onion salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 ½ C. Water (preferably warm)
3. Remove top layer of parchment paper and sprinkles with the onion flakes, sesame seeds and poppy seed mix and gently press into the crackers.
4. Using a pizza cutter score rolled out dough into 1-2 inch squares.
5. Do steps 2 & 3 using 1/3 of dough until you have 3 sheets of scored and sprinkled dough.
6. Bake at 225 degrees in a convection oven for 2 hours until crunchy OR 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours.
For more information & health recommendations check out The Weston A. Price Foundation website: https://www.westonaprice.org/
Sourdough: General Info
What is Sourdough?
Sourdough is an American term for a natural leaven of "wild" or natural yeast and lactobacilli. Don’t mistake this with today’s modernized yeast, it is not. Sourdough is created from a sourdough starter.
A sourdough starter, is a starter or culture of wild/natural yeast and lactobacilli in a medium of flour and liquid which is propagated through ongoing refreshments (or " feedings" ) for the purpose of leavening bread dough, is ongoing and is continued on from one bake or activation to the next.
A Sourdough culture can last hundreds of years, even indefinitely.
When making the bread, the starter is mixed into flour/water/salt and the lactobacilli bacteria feed on the flour, producing gases that are trapped causing the bread to rise.
Resources to get you started:
*www.Breadtopia.com-a great website to help you learn the ins and outs of baking your own bread.
He is an excellent teacher, and has many great recipes. He does very helpful videos which I recommend you
watching so that you can learn techniques that will help make sourdough a love, and not a chore.
*Cultures for health-a website featuring helpful books and videos. You can also order a culture here if you don’t have one!
*www.Takebackthebread.com : great videos and information.
*www.traditionalcookingschool.com : Traditional cooking school by GNOWFGLINS-This lady has tons and tons of videos and helpful information on all things traditional foods!
“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” – Robert Browning
“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable
in its evocation of innocence and delight.” – M.F.K. Fischer
Artisan No-knead Sourdough Bread Recipe
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups of water (lukewarm and filtered)
¼ cup sourdough starter
Instructions: Mix together the flour and salt. Dissolve the starter in to the water. Add water/starter into the flour and salt mixture. Stir until mixed well (no metal spoons). Cover with plastic wrap and sit overnight or 10-14 hours at room temperature.
Dump onto floured surface and press and fold. Cover with plastic and rest for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, get a shallow bowl or proofing basket and oil it. When the rest time is over, spritz some oil on your hands and shape the dough and drop in bowl. Cover with plastic again and let rise 45-90 minutes depending upon temperature of the room, or if you have a proof setting on your oven, you can use that.
Bake in covered Dutch oven preheated to 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove lid and reduce heat to 375 degrees for another 15 minutes. Remove the bread from pan and cool on rack.
Watch this video: https://breadtopia.com/sourdough-no-knead-bread/
If you purchase a starter and place it in your refrigerator, you'll have to feed it once a week to keep it healthy, until you decide to bake your bread. To feed your starter, remove from the fridge, and leave out at room temperature for approximately 1 hour, then measure your starter and add equal parts of flour and water. You’ll want to leave the starter out until it bubbles then place it back in the fridge. Here's a great example of what it should look like after sitting out.
Tip: If you have a tiny bit of starter left at the bottom of your jar preserve a sample of your starter in case you ever need to start again! Take a spatula and smear the leftovers onto a piece of parchment paper. Wait for the smear to dry completely (until it breaks apart). Then, place the pieces into a Ziploc freezer bag and store in your freezer.
Here is a peek at the delicious bread we sampled at Beth Deitzel's home at the end of our class. Happy Baking!!!
Have an abundance of starter?
Once you've fed your starter several times, you will find that you will have an abundance of starter.
Here are a few recipes for your extra starter:
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins
Sourdough Pizza Crust
Sourdough Pizza Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups starter
1-3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Instructions: Mix flour and salt. Add starter and mix together. Add water only enough to bring it together. Add oil. Then, knead with oiled hands by folding in on itself until elastic and smooth. Cut in half and place each half in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sit at room temperature until nice and raised.
Roll out and place toppings as desired!
I preheat my baking stones at 425 degrees and roll out my crust onto parchment paper. Then once toppings are on my pizza, I place a thin baking sheet underneath and scoop up the pizza. Then, transfer the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven. Once the crust sets, you can slip the paper from underneath the pizza and finish cooking it.
Reviving Live and Dried Sourdough Culture from Freezer
Additional Sourdough Resources:
Cultures for Health
Weston A. Price Foundation
Bone Broth: General info
What is Bone Broth? The Wellness Mama explains it as: "Broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. You’ll find a large stock pot of broth/stock simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5-star restaurant for its great culinary uses and unparalleled flavor, but it is also a powerful health tonic that you can easily add to your family’s diet.
Broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely made often (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did). Many societies around the world still consume broth regularly as it is a cheap and highly nutrient dense food.
Besides it’s amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?) and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue."
"Good broth will resurrect the dead." South American Proverb
Bone Broth Benefits:
Helpful in treating disorders
Rich source of Gelatin
Good for your gut
Supports Immune system function
Improves the quality of skin
Can help restore tooth enamel
Additional Bone Broth Resources:
No bones about it...
When doing bone broth make sure you have pasture raised quality bones. Don't throw your good quality scrap bones away...store them in the freezer to have them readily available to make good quality bone broth. The highest quality bone that generates collagen is pigs feet. However, you can use:
Chicken: back, wings, neck, feet, head
Beef: ribs, beef shanks, joint & knuckle bones
Lamb: Veal knuckles, joint bones
Fish: head, bones and tail
Wellness Mama: wellnessmama.com/5888/bone-broth/
Dr. Axe: https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/
Blog entry by: Heather Brooks
Kombucha: General Info
Kombucha is a drink that has been around for centuries and is continuing to gain popularity. The Wellness Momma explains what it is:
“Kombucha is a traditional fermented drink made of black tea and sugar. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes and has been prized by traditional cultures for its health-promoting properties.”
My family enjoys the flexibility that you have when making your own. You can try any number of flavor combinations to suit your family’s needs. The refreshing taste can replace some other, less desirable alternatives. The process of making Kombucha is very similar to Water Kefir. Read more about Water Kefir in this post.
When making your own Kombucha at home, you need two main ingredients: sugary tea and a SCOBY; you will also need time and patience. SCOBY is actually an acronym for: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This scoby is how the fermentation happens. The yeast in the SCOBY converts the sugar in the tea to alcohol and the bacteria converts the alcohol into acetic acid. This acid is a main component in vinegar, long known for its health benefits.
Safety Tip: Be careful with your SCOBY! It can grow mold and become contaminated. If you see or smell anything slightly off, pitch the SCOBY and start over. It is not worth it to risk the health of your family! A “normal” SCOBY should smell like apple cider vinegar and look like a flesh-colored, flexible disk.
Benefits of Kombucha
How to Make Your Own Kombucha
1. You need to make or obtain your own SCOBY.
2. Sanitize all glass containers that you will be using. This can be done in the dishwasher or by soaking in the sink using a sanitizer such as Star San or B-Brite. Let this air dry.
3. Brew tea.
5. Transfer tea to a large glass container you have previously sanitized. Add SCOBY. Cover with a breathable cloth and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Wait 7-10 days, checking often. This is the first fermentation.
6. For the second fermentation, put your choice of fruit into empty, sanitized easy top glass jars. Depending on the fruit, use 1 - 1 ½ Tablespoons. Here’s some ideas: blueberries, strawberries, mango.
7. Pour the SCOBY juice into the bottles, using a stainless steel strainer and pouring vessel, if desired.
8. If you wish to reuse your SCOBY, add 2 cups from the first fermentation that you saved and put in the fridge. Or, you can brew more tea and start this process all over.
9. Cap bottles and store in the same fashion as you did with the first fermentation.
10. Continue to check on the bottles for 3-5 days, opening slightly to “burp” your kombucha. Once finished, you may wish to open outside, just in case.
11. When ready to drink, use stainless steel strainer to filter out fruit so you have the juice straight. If desired, save fruit for smoothies.
About our Presenter:
Mark is an avid fermentor that has been home brewing kombucha for the past two years. At first he started making gallon batches of unflavored kombucha. In the past year, he has expanded his production and has started experimenting with different teas and flavorings for his kombuchas, strawberry/ginger is his favorite. Mark lives in Annapolis with his wife and 6 year old lab mix. In his spare time, he enjoys seeing new places with his wife and friends, getting outdoors, and cooking new dishes.
The Wellness Momma blog: https://wellnessmama.com/23994/kombucha-benefits/
Dr. Axe https://draxe.com/7-reasons-drink-kombucha-everyday/
Weston A. Price https://www.westonaprice.org/podcast/12-kombucha-mamma-kombucha-craze/
Sources our presenter used to get started:
Heather Brooks, Marketing Manager & Blog and Administrative Assistant
None of these posts have been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease. As with any medical concerns, always consult your medical professional before trying any of the ideas presented on this blog. All information has been obtained from various sources and personal experiences.