Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Juice Pulp Crackers

Pulp crackers may not look so pretty, but they add some awesome crunch to any dish and are great dippers.
Hi all! I hope everyone is having an awesome day. I know I have been enjoying the pulp crackers that I made this week and that will be the recipe that will be featured today. It's not a dip but it is a great tool for dipping up some yummer dips! :P And plus it's a great way to use up all that juice pulp that seems to accumulate at an alarming rate in the fridge. If you're an avid juicer, you know what I mean. I sometimes just don't have the heart to throw out such useful fiber. It can be used in so many ways, such as in crackers like these, you could make pulp cookies, breads, bars, veggie burgers, and the list goes on and on. It's also great in compost if you happen to have a garden or a friend who has one. I always love giving back to the earth. :)

While I was taking classes at the Living Light Culinary Institute, I would accumulate so much pulp from making juice every morning at the inn that I was staying at that I had to do something with it. Along came my best friend (the dehydrator) and I made flax crackers almost every other day. All the inn-mates knew that when I was in the kitchen, I was making flax crackers or my other favorite food: pesto. LOL! And my roommate and I would eat them up like no tomorrow! However, I wouldn't recommend eating so many flax crackers (as I did :P ) as they are dehydrated and require your body to pull on it's water reserves to break down and absorb the cracker's nutrients, but they are such a great transitional tool for someone going on a raw foods diet and are just plain good on their own! They add that needed dry crunch, which is sometimes lacking in a raw food diet (there is definitely plenty of juicy carrot and cucumber crunch in raw food, but sometimes you just want some of that crispy toasty kind of crunch. You know what I mean? ;) ). 

This recipe is really versatile and please feel free to add or exchange different spices for your own favorite flavors. I happen to really enjoy anything with chili powder, so I usually add it in. I hope you enjoy it and get to use up your pulp!

You gotta have some dip with the crackers! This new dip recipe in the background  is coming soon! :P

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Juice Pulp Crackers:
Yield: Approximately 2, 14" x 14" trays worth of crackers


Ingredients:
3 ½ cups packed juice pulp (I had apple, kale, carrot, ginger, and garlic
         pulp, but feel free to use other pulp, see tips below)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder spice mix
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice)
¼ cup water (more or less depending on how wet your pulp is)
1 cup ground flax seed

Directions:
Place the pulp, salt, chili powder, onion powder, vinegar, and water in a large bowl and mix with clean hands to combine and evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the ground flax seed and mix until the flax seed is even distributed over the whole mixture and it is all completely combined. The mixture should not be too dry but it should not be soupy. It will feel like moist sticky pulpy dough.

Spread half the mixture onto a nonstick dehydrator liner sheet and spread evenly across so that the mixture is about ¼ inch thick all over. Repeat with the rest of the mixture on another nonstick dehydrator liner sheet. Score the mixture into desired cracker shapes (I did rectangular shapes) and place the liners on respective mesh screens and place in dehydrator.

Turn the dehydrator on to 135 degrees and dehydrate for 1 to 2 hours. Then turn down the dehydrator and dehydrate for about 10 to 12 hours more or until completely crisp, flipping the crackers onto the mesh screen when the edges start to dry and the nonstick liner can easily peel off (I did this at the 4 hour mark). Snap at their score marks to break them into your cracker shapes and let cool. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • Do not use juice pulp that was juiced with the rind of any citrus juice! It will give your crackers a bitter  aftertaste. No bueno! Trust me, I have learned from experience!
  • Make sure to grind the flax seeds fresh and try not to buy pre-packaged ground flax. I find that the pre-packaged ground flax starts to turn bitter after a while because the oils from the flax are starting to get rancid.

Notes:
  • My flax crackers come out different every time because of the different pulp that I use but that's what makes it fun! Feel free to change the flavors and mix it up! Add some chopped fresh rosemary or make a black pepper spiced cracker. Be creative and have fun! :)
  • If you don't have a dehydrator, you could bake these crackers in the oven at around 200 degrees and bake on parchment for about 25 minutes (more or less depending on humidity, elevation, etc) flipping once during the time. The flavor won't be as strong and it won't be raw but it is way better than store bought crackers that are heated to really high temperatures where the risk of carcinogenic components in the food is exponentially higher (i.e. acrylamide).
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Crackers fresh out of the dehydrator!
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a reliable source of the nutritional value of juice pulp, and since every juicer is different with some leaving drier pulp than others, it's very hard to calculate. So,I do not have the nutrition facts for this recipe. Sorry about that! :( But I do know that they are fiber-licious and yummers! 

I hope you enjoy the yumminess and I appreciate you stopping by. Take care!! :)

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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