A classic afterschool snack gets a fresh, allergy-friendly makeover.
Back when I was a kid, milk and cookies were the go-to after-school snack. These days, especially with so many families going gluten and dairy-free, it’s not quite so cut and dry. Here’s a food allergy-friendly twist on that old favorite, using the pulp left over from whipping up homemade sunflower-coconut milk. Customize the recipe by substituting any other nut or seed when making this milk and cookie-cracker combo.
Sunny Coco Crackers
5 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon ground chia seed
Pulp from 1 batch sunflower seed and coconut milk — approximately 1 cup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
¼ cup coconut sugar
pinch of cinnamon
Optional toppings: shredded coconut, sea salt, coconut sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Stir ground chia seeds into water and allow to thicken. Mix remaining ingredients together until well combined.
2. Place ball of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, top with another piece of parchment and use a rolling pin to flatten dough until it is to ¼ inch thick.
3. Gently remove top layer of parchment. Score into 1-by-1-inch squares using a pizza cutter (It’s okay to cut all the way through.) Top with optional toppings and bake for 20 minutes. Depending on how wet the pulp was, you may need to bake longer than 20 minutes. Check at 5 minute intervals until crackers are firm enough to flip. Separate from score marks (they may need to be recut) and flip crackers. Return to oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Note: crackers will become crispier as they cool.
Sunflower Coconut Milk
Soak seeds anywhere from four hours to overnight. The longer the soak, the silkier the milk. Sunflowers can be a little bitter, so we recommend using one of the sweeteners mentioned.
½ cup soaked sunflower seeds — or other nuts or seeds of your choosing
2 – 4 cups purified water (for blending)
½ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut.
Optional sweeteners and/or flavors: a date or two, ½ to 1 tablespoon maple syrup, coconut nectar, and/or a dash of cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, pumpkin pie spice or sea salt.
1. Rinse the soaked seeds and place in blender along with 2 cups purified water and shredded coconut. Blend well, adding more water if needed to reach desired consistency.
2. Pour the mixture through a nut-milk bag or fine sieve. Add optional sweetener or flavors and re blend. Enjoy. This will keep in the refrigerator for four or five days.
Check out Christi’s recipe for no-bake coco-nut crisp bars, online at metro-parent.com