Bird Seed & Herb Crackers

I got this recipe courtesy of my boyfriends mom and it has since made the perfect addition to our pantry.


I struggle to find quality foods to snack on while restricting grains in my life. I'm trapped in the middle of a constant "I want food to be healthy and taste good" and "I don't want my stomach to hurt" fight. Thankfully by making food at home I don't have to be stuck in the middle of this fight and I have complete control about the ingredients that are going into my body.

Here's the ton of health benefits behind each ingredient used in this recipe:

Pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds are a valued source of zinc, which has benefits to your skin and immune system. One of my favourite sayings, that you can almost always hear me repeating whenever I eat pumpkin seeds is "zinc is good for your dink!" (It was a fun saying in nutrition college..). It has been studied and results have shown that zinc supplementation can increase sperm count and mobility in infertile men, and that's pretty damn interesting if you ask me. 
Pumpkin seeds also contain numerous forms of vitamin E (alpha-tocopheral, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol, and gamma tocomonoenol). We are likely to get more health benefits from the various forms of vitamin E, than we would opposed to just getting one form (such as in supplementation).

Sesame seeds:
These little babies contain a lot of minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, and two unique substances sesamin and sesamolin which belong to the lignin family. Lignans contribute to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, but sesamin specifically  can also help to prevent oxidative damage to the liver.

Sunflower seeds:
High in polysterols, which has anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and cancer protection benefits. 
Polysterols are compounds found in plants that have a similar chemical structure to cholesterol. When these compounds are present in diets, they can potentially reduce blood levels of cholesterol (LDL), enhance immunity and decrease risks of certain cancers.

Chia seeds:
A ton of fibre, omega 3's and protein are somehow packed into these tiny super seeds! Only 2 tbsp will deliver 11g of fiber, 4g of protein and 9g of fat (5g of which are omega 3's!). Chia seeds are also a source of prebiotics, which is basically food for probiotics. Both play a significant role in digestive health. 
Chia seeds are also rich in calcium and manganese that help to maintain bone health.

Flax seed meal:
Flax seeds contains a motherload of alpha-linoenic acid (a component of omega 3's) which is great for heart health and cognitive function. Flaxseeds also contain a lot of lignans, which I briefly discussed earlier, but they actually contain about 7X as many lignans as sesame seeds. Which means that these guys are GREAT for heart health. 
The poopy thing about flax seeds however, is that the whole seed is indigestible; and is passed right through the digestive system if it is not grinded or broken down by your teeth. This is why flaxseed meal is a better way to get all the nutrients that flaxseeds have to offer. It is recommended that you store your flaxseeds in a cool dark place, and grind them yourself. Once ground they have a short shelf life, so it's best that you store them in the fridge for 3 to a maximum of 5 days.

Finally, here's the recipe. 
Thanks for reading and nerding out with me. Enjoy! 



Ingredients:

1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 C black sesame seeds (white will also work)
1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
1/2 C chia seeds
1/2 C flax meal
1 tsp himalayan salt
1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary (about 1 small sprig)
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dill (I used dried, use 2 tsp if you're using fresh)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 C water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°

Mix all ingredients together and pour in the water last. Stir and let the seeds absorb all the water. Taste to ensure this is the correct seasoning and flavour profile you want. Feel free to add a little more of this or less of that! I like salty crackers so I will sometimes adjust at the end.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper then spread the seed mixture evenly from corner to corner. Use an additional silicone mat or parchment paper and place on top of the mixture. From here, use your hands to evenly press out the mixture in-between the two sheets/mats.
Put another baking sheet on top and press down. This makes sure it's compressed and flat. 

Keep the top baking sheet on and bake for 30 minutes.
Then remove the top baking sheet and parchment/mat on top and cut the crackers into the sizes you prefer.
Put them back into the oven, uncovered, and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.

Makes about 30 2x2" crackers.




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