Sunday, February 7, 2010

Recipe: Sunflower Sesame Crackers

These will be old news to you if you follow the posts on Mark's Daily Apple, and that's how Mark wanted it. But now it's my obligation to ensure future readers of this blog find these tasty treats in my Recipe Index to replace nasty wheat and rice crackers that seem ubiquitous at every party, on every cheese board, and around every bowl of dip. When you want something fancier than veggie sticks and chips to snack on, grab out some sunflower and sesame seeds, and you'll have tasty, crunchy crackers in no time!

(Above - Mark Sisson's Worker Bee's rendition of my crackers, along with my prawn paté)

Sunflower & Sesame Crackers


1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
A small amount of filtered water, just enough to make a paste

Optional - dried herbs such as parsley or thyme, sea salt, black pepper, powdered garlic, cinnamon, etc!

You might also like to try substituting nuts or other seeds for either of the primary ingredients here. I've played with nut flours many times, so I wanted to try experimenting with seeds, especially since they tend to be more affordable and reliable than nuts. You might also like to try nut or seed butters, but that makes for a messier cooking process, as well as adding to their overall price-tag.

Note: Since this recipe calls for seeds, I thought this would be a good time to point out the importance of soaking/sprouting seeds in order to minimise the potential harm caused by phytic acid. The Weston A. Price Foundation details the importance of this thoroughly on their site and in their resources, as do many other publications detailing optimal health and traditional food preparation. Below is a simple step-by-step process (originally posted here) for preparing your seeds - minimal effort for maximum results:

If you choose to soak your nuts and seeds, please follow these general guidelines:

1. Getting ready: Use raw, preferably organic, nuts and seeds. Make enough for three days only. Use a glass or stainless steel bowl or jar (plastics may contain toxins). Rinse your nuts or seeds (purified or distilled water is generally preferred).

2. Soak them: Place your nuts and seeds in in the bowl or jar and then cover it with something breathable, like a towel or pantyhose. Let them soak according to the following schedule (all times approximate).

* Almonds, germination time 8 – 12 hours at room temperature
* Cashews, whole, germination time 2 – 2 1/2 hours at room temperature
* Sesame seeds, germination time 8 hours at room temperature
* Sunflower seeds, germination time 2 hours at room temperature
* Walnuts, germination time 4 hours at room temperature
* All other nuts, germination time 6-24 hours at room temperature

Over the course of the soaking, drain and rinse the nuts or seeds two (2) or three (3). Each time you do this, make sure you rinse them until the water drains clear. This is especially important with nuts and seeds that soak for longer amounts of time.

3. Afterwards: After you've soaked them, you may want to do a final rinse with grapefruit seed extract or organic apple cider vinegar, as these can will clean them of bacteria without being absorbed. You now have germinated nuts and seeds! You're ready to eat them. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three (3) days.


First, you need to make a flour from the sunflower seeds. I use a food processor which does the job in a few seconds, but if you're feeling paleolithic you can crush the seeds by hand!

Sprinkle the sesame seeds into the mix and stir to combine evenly.

Add the water in small amounts and stir the mixture well, stopping when the flour and water have bonded into a mass of dough.

Line a baking tray with baking paper, place the dough on top, and then top with another sheet of baking paper. Roll out the dough as thinly as you can, ensuring thickness is consistent. (Sprinkle on any addition salt, pepper or herbs now)

Remove the upper sheet of paper, and score the dough into desired shapes with a sharp knife. Don't cut all the way through to the bottom of the dough, just deep enough to help you break the crackers apart once cooked.

Bake in a moderately hot oven until properly golden and check that the centre is crisp (about 20 minutes). Turn oven off, open door slightly and leave until cool. This will help dry out the crackers for maximum crunch!

Once completely cooled, break along score lines and serve as the perfect accompaniment to primal dip & cheese platters. They also do a great job as a stand-in for bread when enjoying soup or sandwich fillings, and are delicious topped with fruit chutney (such as rhubarb and strawberry) so long as the batch is plain and unsalted.

(A wonky edge piece topped with a piece of organic Edam cheese - the perfect antidote whilst my colleagues carb-binged on school-provided morning tea...)

The crackers will stay fresh for a good week or so if kept in a air-tight container once cooled completely, making them an excellent road-trip or camping food.



Anonymous said...

RE: soaking seeds

there is a post from Sally Fallon herself that mentions that you don't need to soak seeds. The tribes studied had a rule that any nut, seed etc smaller than smallest fingernail, didn't need to be soaked.

Jezwyn said...

I remember reading that the logic there is that you wouldn't be consuming large amounts of tiny seeds, since they were harder to gather and contain... But sesame seeds have quite high levels of phytic acid, so it's better to be safe when consuming them in large amounts. Not sure of the levels in sunflower seeds since there's conflicting info out there.

nic @ nipitinthebud said...

this is great. I've made flax crackers but was wondering about seed alternatives for a less savoury option. And I've just become the proud owner of a Magimix so perfect timing ;o)

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! And even better because you soak your seeds...thanks for this post1

Deanna said...

I'm intrigued. I love my almonds and all, but the fact that EVERYTHING seems to call for almond flour was getting a little old. I will definitely try these for some crackers. And some of your pates. Yum!

Jezwyn said...

Have fun, Nic! You could try adding cinnamon and honey if you want to really depart from savory :)

Same, Sandy. I started playing with coconut flour, but it's still so expensive and processed, so seeds seemed like a cheap and easy next step of experimentation. :) I look forward to hearing how you go!

x said...

I make these too and they are amazing!

Allyson said...

I am so excited to try these! Just started doing some research on going primal. Thanks for sharing your recipes :)

Cheryl said...

Olympic Opening ceremonies, and Jess's crackers and prawn dip. Perfect!

maggie said...

These look really good. I've been looking for cracker recipes that don't depend upon refined flours. Thanks for this!

Kaysie said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! I am in my 6th week of a 90 day Paleo challenge with my CrossFit box, and these are just what I needed! I added fresh sage and rosemary; and they are delicious! I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences! =)

DivaKitty said...

I made these for our New Year's Eve party (all gluten-free & mostly primal treats!) and they were *perfect*! Everyone was amazed that 1. I had made crackers and that 2. they didn't contain any wheat. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

Gexton said...

It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing hulled sesame seeds