Tuesday, 5 January 2016

New Year, New Blogger

There's something about January 5th.  Maybe it's a throwback from school or work, but it seems to be when things return to usual.  I won't say 'normal'.  There's not a lot normal about this household (or, if there is, some celestial being help you all).
So I've decided to start blogging about what's going on here.  From my point of view, that is.  If you can tell me what's going through the mind of my 3- and/or 1-year-old, I'll give you lots and lots of cold, hard cash.
Don't get me wrong; this isn't a resolution.  The time of year is coincidental.  Writing about eating has been on the cards for months - maybe even years if I really think about it - but until now it's only been in the pages of my own Big Notebook.  And this is probably the first time that there's been some sort of identifiable focus, a genre, or I guess you could even call it a 'lifestyle'.  Do that, if you like.  I don't think I will. 
So...here goes...

Lentil & Buckwheat Crackers

We've been eating a lot of cheese here recently.  But wait, perhaps I'm misleading you.  We always eat a lot of cheese here.  By a lot, I mean daily, and probably more than once daily.  I don't really know how often other folk eat cheese.  We like a strong cheddar, blues (gorgonzola is my 3-year-old's favourite, unless I can get him some Clackstone Blue), bloomies (those giant bries that appear at Christmas are a killer), hard ones (an aged Comte is pretty awesome) and, well, pretty much anything with a good, full flavour.
Now, I know there's a lot to say against mass-produced cheese from a health stance.  I've been clinging to the high protein content argument.  I figured, since there's no way I'm breaking my ties with cheese, I might as well try to add some nourishment to the Cheese Holder, if you will.
The recipe for these Lentil & Buckwheat Crackers is over at Whole New Mom's site.  Pop over for some nutritional info and other such technicalities.  Maybe I'll get on top of that someday soon!  They're vegan (you might want to avoid the honey), naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and there are nut-free and low-carb, grain-free options.  Whilst I have none of these dietary requirements, I find playing around with loads of the ingredients commonly used by people who do pretty interesting.  But more of that another day.

These crackers worked really well first time, despite a couple of substitutions.  I used what I had in the house, including puy lentils (which I didn't puree smoothly as suggested but instead mashed roughly and left some whole) and a little agave to sweeten.  I reduced the coconut oil slightly.  I'm not into cutters, what with all that flouring and the pressure for regularity, so I just sliced them haphazardly into squectangles. 
I had to bake them for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway, to get the crack.  Otherwise we'd have had to call them benders.  Or floppers.  Or...well, you get the picture.  They were delicious!  Nutty, buttery, dark and flavourful, with great texture from the whole pulses.  They were good for the three days before they were polished off.
I'd reduce the coconut oil even more next time and see what happens.  They leave a little sheen on the fingers.  And maybe I'll try adding some chilli flakes or crushed coriander seeds.  Ooh, or fennel seeds.  I loooove fennel seeds.
The crackers stood up well to the strong, hard cheeses we have at the moment, and The Smalls gobbled them up smothered with Strathdon Blue.  Not many crumbs - mama bonus point.
Let me know what you think.  Of anything really.  Meanwhile I'm trying to work out how to make this place prettier so expect changes soon. Thanks for stopping by!
UPDATE: you can completely forget about these, leave them in the oven for an extra half hour and they'll still come out great!  Teeny bit bitter, perhaps.  Next time, I'll split the difference and bake for 45 mins!

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