Introduction: Chia & Chickpea Crackers

About: Lifelong interest in making and learning new things.

Chia & Chickpea crackers are a delicious snack, made from wholesome ingredients that are naturally gluten-free and good for you!

This recipe is simple and allows you to customize according to your tastes. It takes about 30 minutes to make.

It is especially good as a trail snack as it keeps well, replenishes energy and electrolytes, and keeps hunger at bay as you move down the trail.

Step 1: Ingredients

The ingredients that go into making these crackers are 100 percent natural. There are no added chemicals or preservatives.

The ingredients listed below will make roughly 40 bite-sized crackers.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
.5 teaspoon sea salt
.25 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh arugula
1 tablespoon chia seed
1 tablespoon oil
6-8 tablespoons water

1 cup = 237 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml

To start, clean dried chickpeas and grind them into flour, or purchase chickpea flour from the store or online.

As seen in Photo 1, take the Sun-dried tomatoes, place into a mortar and with the pestle, grind into a coarse meal. Place ground tomato meal in a coarse sifter and sift the finer particles into a bowl. Return the larger pieces to the mortar and grind further. Once all of the tomato meal passes through the sifter, you are done (Photo 2). Grinding the Sun-dried tomatoes ensures that there are no large hard pieces of dried tomatoes in the crackers.

Grind the cumin seed with the mortar and pestle into a coarse powder.

Mince the herbs into fine pieces.

Photo 3 shows all of the dry ingredients along with the herbs. It is quite a colorful array!

Step 2: Mixing the Cracker Dough

Add all of the dry and fresh ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly with a large sturdy spoon.

Add the oil then gradually add the water. Mix lightly until the ingredients clump together.

Use your hands to form a doughball in preparation for rolling out the dough.

Step 3: Rolling Out the Cracker Dough

Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and place the cracker doughball in the center of the sheet. Use your hands to flatten it then use a rolling pin to gradually roll out the dough into a flat sheet.

Strive to get the sheet of dough as thin and as uniform in thickness as possible, remembering that the dough will rise in the oven and increase in thickness.

Once the cracker dough is rolled out, score the sheet into bite-sized squares with a pizza wheel cutter. No need to cut all the way through as the crackers will break along the scored lines once they are baked.

Finally use a fork to make holes in the crackers prior to baking.

The cracker dough is actually quite lovely with the myriad flecks of red, green and black embedded into the tan colored chickpea flour.

Step 4: Baking the Chia & Chickpea Crackers

Heat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and place the baking sheet with the scored cracker dough in the center of the oven. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on the crackers as they bake. Once the outer edges start to brown as seen in the Photo, remove the crackers from the oven and allow to cool. The aroma of the baking crackers is wonderful!!

Once the chia & chickpea crackers have cooled, break them along the scored lines and enjoy!

If you have great will power and are able to refrain from devouring the entire lot, store the crackers in an air-tight container.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

The chia & chickpea cracker recipe can be adapted to suit personal tastes. I used parsley and arugula which happen to be in my sleeping garden, poking green shoots through the snow. Other herbs such as fresh basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme or marjoram could also be used.

I used peanut oil but olive oil would be another great option.

One could also vary the amount of salt. If a saltier cracker is desired for replenishing salt while hiking in hot weather, salt could be sprinkled on top of the crackers prior to baking.

Sometimes, in the minds of some, gluten-free can be synonymous with deprivation, but it really isn't!

The chia & chickpea crackers are a great tasting snack made from fresh natural ingredients, each with their own healthful properties, that just happen to be gluten-free!

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