Avocado Hummus and Garbanzo Bean Crackers

Crackers and hummus are one of the simplest snacks and good for you too.  It makes a great party munchy that you can prepare ahead. This recipe is becoming one of my favorites and its packed with nutrition, fiber and protein.

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This cracker has evolved over the last 5 or 6 attempts.  I created it as an experiment to accommodate a very specific diet (no flour, no sugar, no corn, yada, yada, yada).  Having diet restrictions that don’t allow for flour, grains, wheat, etc. pretty much eliminates crunchy snacks as we know them.  I wanted to come up with something that would fill in for the crunchy goodness.  The first attempt was with black bean flour, it was good, it would remind you of black bean corn chips.  However, the flavor was a bit pungent because it wasn’t broken up with corn flour.  Fortunately I found garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour and the flavor was perfect. After some trial and error with spices its progressed into a pretty yummy snack.  Each time I make it I change it up a bit.  This time I actually noted the proportions; thank goodness I did because this was the best yet.  For me, the smoked paprika did it.

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Garbanzo Bean Crackers

  •  3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg beater
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond meal flour (not pictured)
  • Sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl of a stand mixer add all dry ingredients (except almond flour) and whisk to combine.

Beat the egg and add it along with the olive oil and honey to the flour.  Mix on low to combine.  It will become a very dense paste. Slowly add the almond flour, a tablespoon at a time. The almond flour will help to pull the dough together a bit.

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Sprinkle a small amount of almond flour on a piece of parchment paper and transfer the dough to the paper.  Flatten the dough down slightly and sprinkle a bit more almond flour over it. I split the dough into two portions before rolling it out.

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Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thin sheet.  I found it hard to keep the paper from sliding all over the counter so I actually tucked the edge of the paper around the corner and just pressed my hip against it to keep it in place.

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Once rolled out to about an 1/8 inch carefully remove the top layer of parchment paper peeling it away from the dough.  The dough will look like a fruit roll-up. Use a knife to score the dough to cut cracker portions.

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Carefully slide the parchment to a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and bake for 7-9 minutes.  Watch carefully at minute five as the edges will burn quickly.  Check the center to ensure it is crispy.  Once cooked remove from oven and transfer the parchment paper to a wire rack and cool.

Once cooled carefully break the crackers apart at the seams.  Serve alone or with dip.

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Hummus is a must in our family.  Like everything else I am always looking to add a special touch to the flavor.  I found an avocado hummus recipe on line that looked delicious.  I didn’t have any lime on hand so I used lemon and made a couple of minor tweaks. It was a great pairing with the crackers.

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Avocado Hummus

  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas drained
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, cored and peeled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves*

Directions

Add chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add cumin and avocados and pulse mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 – 2 minutes longer.  Add additional olive oil until you reach desired consistency.

Note: visit the Tips and Tricks category for a great idea for keeping fresh cut herbs on hand.

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Hummus Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

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Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos with Homemade Tortilla’s

Round One of our Superbowl Feast!

These are very tasty and can be altered to suit your tolerance for heat.  Adding fresh herbs will really enhance the flavor.  Mixing in some blue cheese is a nice touch as well.  This recipe is a party favorite for us and great because they can be made in advance and baked just before serving.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquito’s

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 Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3  to 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 4 drops Louisiana Hot Sauce (we like heat so I added about 8 drops)
  • 2 cups roasted chicken (shredded or diced)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 8 small tortillas (homemade recipe below)
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, buffalo sauce, hot sauce and shredded cheese.
  • Once combined, add the chicken.  Using a fork mash the chicken into the cheese and mix thoroughly.

(This can be done in advance.  Refrigerate the mixture at this point until ready to continue.)

  • Working with a few tortillas at a time, slightly dampen a paper towel and cover the tortilla and wrap them slightly with the paper towel.
  • Microwave, uncovered for 15-25 seconds (start with 15) or until warm, then cover to hold heat while serving.
  • Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.
  • Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone. This mixture is enough for 8 taquitos.
  • Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other on the pan. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or blue cheese dressing.

Tortilla’s

FJC9NAs I have mentioned I feel strongly that if there is a healthier option there is no going back.  While there are certainly items in the grocery store that I buy which are processed I do my best to go all natural whenever possible.  When I am buying something pre-packaged I look at the list of ingredients.  Generally speaking, the longer the list, the more chemicals.  Since we are what we eat I would prefer to reduce chemical intake as much as possible.  That said, below is the list of ingredients in store bought flour tortillas.

La Banderita Soft Flour Tortillas

  • Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Folic Acid),
  • Water
  • Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oils or Palm Oil or Corn Oil),
  • contains 2% or less of the following:
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Distilled Mono and Diglycerides
  • Calcium Propionate
  • Sorbic Acid
  • Gum Blend
  • Fumaric Acid
  • Sugar
  • Dough Relaxer (Sodium Metabisulfite, Corn Starch, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Dicalcium Phosphate).

And below is the list of ingredients you will need for wholesome, homemade tortillas… you will taste a difference and will hopefully appreciate the lack of chemicals.  I won’t buy them in the supermarket anymore.

Homemade Tortilla’s

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Directions:

This is best made in a stand mixer with a dough hook.  Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl.  With the mixer running on low add the oil and water.  Scrape the bowl and increase the speed to medium.  Mix until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball. Continue to mix for 1 minute or until dough is smooth.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for just a minute until it is smooth. Form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough in half, then in half again. Continue until you have 8 equal portions. Form each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Cover flattened dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.

After rest period, heat a griddle to medium high. While the griddle is heating roll each flattened ball into a rough circle, as thin as possible, about 6-7 inches in diameter.  It’s ok if they are not perfectly round.  If you prefer that they are round you could use a large round cookie cutter after the ball has been rolled out.  Keep the work surface and rolling pin lightly floured. Don’t stack uncooked tortillas on top of each other or they will stick to each other.

When pan is hot, lightly spray with cooking spray and place the dough onto pan.  Allow it to cook about 1 minute or until bottom surface has a few pale brown spots. (My griddle is large enough to fit 2-3 tortilla’s at a time.  You could also use a large stove-top skillet.)

The uncooked surface will begin to show a few little bubbles. Flip to other side and cook for about 30 seconds. The tortilla should be soft but have a few small pale golden brown spots on surface.  Remove each from the pan and stack them on a plate and cover with foil, adding to the stack as you cook the remaining dough.

Since there are no chemicals in the dough to keep them pliable it’s likely they will harden quite fast.  If they are too crisp when you are ready to use them place a slightly damp paper towel over the tortilla and wrap them lightly around the edges.  Microwave, uncovered for 15-25 seconds (start with 15) or until warm, then cover to hold heat while serving.

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These will keep for 24 hours.  Store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag.