I adore the Fanny Farmer Baking Book. My mother had a copy and I would pore through it back in my high school days, and I baked many cakes, cookies and breads from its pages.
Despite the myriad options of tempting goods (“which one should I bake this weekend???), I remember being completely baffled by one section of the book.
What kind of nut, I wondered, would EVER want to make crackers from scratch?!
Fast forward a few decades, and I am that nut.
Understand how these multiseed crisps began, and you (and I) may be more forgiving of this lapse in my reasoning. If you browse my blog, you will soon notice my penchant for power bars. But as much as I love countless permutations of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, oats, and chocolate squished into bar-form, I have long yearned for a savory bar. The problem: I could not envision any of the specifics of such a bar. Crunchy? Chewy? Crunchewy-ish? What might the prominent flavors be? Kale? I played around with multiple ideas on paper, but could not summon the enthusiasm to actually make any of them. I’ve watched the power bar companies launch and crash with a few savory-leaning bars over the years, so I know I am not alone in my quest.
It was only when I began developing all of the recipes for my quinoa book that I stumbled upon a viable possibility: high protein quinoa crisps. My quinoa book is 100% gluten-free, and as I outlined my initial plan, including a chapter on breads, I remembered good old Fannny and thought crackers, I need crackers in this book. Given the high-protein nature of the quinoa and other ingredients (um, just quinoa and seeds), these crackers definitely qualify as power bar material.
What makes these savory crisps different from traditional crackers is that they are gluten-free, high-protein, and RIDICULOUSLY EASY. Yes, that needs capitalization. Easy as in mix some seeds and cooked quinoa, spread on a baking sheet, and bake. The results are light, crispy, perfectly portable and just the right power snack when I don’t want sweet.
I may not have known what I wanted in a savory power bar all these years, but I have found it nonetheless.
- ¾ cup water
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- ¾ cup cooked, cooled quinoa
- ⅓ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ⅓ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- Optional: spices, cracked black pepper or herbs of choice
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix the water and chia seeds together. Let stand 5 minutes until thickened. Mix in the quinoa, pepitas, sesame seeds and salt. Let stand 2 minutes longer. Stir in any additional spices or herbs.
- Evenly spread quinoa mixture onto prepared baking sheet with spatula until it is between ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Lift parchment onto cutting board and cut into cracker-size shapes (I did about 2x2-inch squares; you can do any size you like). Turn over crackers with a spatula. Place parchment and crackers back on sheet.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes longer until golden at edges and set at center. Transfer sheet to wire rack and cool completely on the sheet. Store in an airtight container.