Archives for July 2016

Seed and Veggie Crackers

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all enjoyed my 5-day share of The Greens Go Green. 🙂 I’m happy to report we are still eating with ‘plants first’ in mind and feeling great. 🙂 This week I’m sharing a fun and unique, gluten-free cracker recipe. I learned the technique and original recipe last year, when I took Elaina Love’s Raw Food Chef Certification. I know some of my followers were VERY interested in taking that class and I’m happy to report IT’S BACK in Arizona for a 3-week course this October! There are 3 levels, so you can do just one week or all three, it’s up to you. I did levels 1 and 2 and learned so many things, which I still use on a regular basis. It was a great way to educate myself on raw cuisine, and really think outside the box of normal, every day baking and cooking. The below recipe is my modified version of Elaina’s seed crackers. The best thing about this recipe, is its versatility. You can make it your OWN using YOUR favorite herbs and veggies to make the perfect flavor combo for your taste buds.

Beautiful seed and veggie crackers!

Beautiful seed and veggie crackers!

Now, before we get started a couple things to note:
It is ideal if you have a food dehydrator, but not necessary; unless you want these crackers to be truly RAW. If you do, there are some inexpensive dehydrators out there, like this one. It’s the one I use, and it works perfectly for what I need. I’ve also used the oven set to 200°F for this recipe, and will share that below. It does make them taste a little different however, and they won’t be raw — meaning you won’t get the same nutritional benefits, but you will still get some for sure!

Secondly, this recipe uses sprouted buckwheat groats. You maybe asking yourself, ‘What the heck are sprouted buckwheat groats and can I use a substitute for them?’ Buckwheat groats are a whole grain, that is loaded with protein. They have a nutty, mild flavor. As with anything you sprout, it unlocks more nutrients from the seed, bean or grain than if you just cooked it and ate it. Sprouting awakens the life within, making the nutrition more readily available for us to digest and absorb. So, if you want to use them, great! The hyperlinks in this paragraph will guide you on where to buy them and how to sprout them. If not, you can simply use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or a mixture of both instead of the buckwheat groats. Also, buckwheat is NOT wheat, it’s a seed and contains no gluten.

Below is a quick photo slideshow so you have a visual before getting started. If you are new to raw foods and dehydrating, this will be good to review.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


1 c. flax  seeds
1 c. chia seeds
3 c. water
1 c. almonds, ground
1 c. sprouted buckwheat, ground
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut, shreds
1 tsp. real salt
1 c. carrots, chopped after measuring
1 c. fresh spinach, chopped after measuring
1/2 c. red onion, chopped after measuring
1/4 c. parsley, chopped after measuring

  1. Add the flax, chia and water to a large bowl and mix vigorously to combine. Let sit for about an hour to allow the seeds to absorb the water. After an hour it will be very thick and gelatinous.
  2. Use a food processor to chop all your veggies. I do them separately, so I can monitor the texture and size of each one. I want to be able to SEE the spinach. If I put the carrots in at the same time as the spinach, there would be “nothing” left of the spinach since it’s so soft and the carrots are so hard.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (chopped veggies and salt) to the chia/flax mixture bowl and stir well.
  4. Spread the mixture onto baking sheets or dehydrator sheets if you have them. (See my videos below, for a quick visual on each variation.) For the dehydrator, be sure you spread the mixture onto freezer paper or silicone sheets – depending on what you have. This will not work over a surface with holes or breaks, it must be flat, solid and smooth. Same applies for baking, only, I used parchment paper not freezer paper. (See slideshow above too.)
  5. Once you have the mixture on the trays, they are ready for baking or dehydrating. Be sure to score the cracker mixture, so you have an easy break-line for each cracker. I just used a pizza cutter, but feel free to get creative with the shape and size.
  6. To dehydrate, place all the finished racks together and set the temp to 110-115°F. Dehydrate for 3-4 hours. If crackers are firm enough to flip, flip them and place back onto the freezer paper. Dehydrate at same temp for additional 4 hours, or set to 95°F and dehydrate overnight. The dehydrating time really depends on your climate, the time of year and the amount of moisture in the air. So use your best judgment. The goal is to have a crisp, dry cracker with a crunch!
  7. To bake them slowly, if you don’t have a dehydrator: Preheat your oven to 200°F and bake for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the parchment paper with the crackers from the pan, and place directly on the oven rack for an additional 30-60 minutes or until dry and crisp. The cooking time really depends on your climate, the time of year and the amount of moisture in the air.

Here is a quick video to show you the way I spread the cracker mixture onto my dehydrating trays. I’ve found this is the easiest way to get an even layer.


And here is a video showing how you can use a basic baking sheet, covered with parchment paper. For both the dehydrator trays and the baking sheet, I’ve found it easiest to use my bare hands, which are freshly washed, but not dried.

These crackers are the perfect partner to a delicious salad. They are also great to eat plain, or drizzle a little coconut oil or olive oil on top. Dip into hummus, you name it!

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Do you try to incorporate a certain amount of raw foods (salads, smoothies, fruit and veggies) into your daily nutrition? What is your daily goal?

The Greens Go Green | Day 5

Today is the LAST DAY I will be tracking my food on the blog for The Greens Go Green! Not only is it time consuming to measure all the food, weigh it and enter it into My Fitness Pal, but it’s also time consuming to type up a blog post about it each day and photograph everything that enters my mouth! haha I WILL say, I’m going to try and keep these EATING habits going the best I can, for as long as I can. I feel amazing eating this way! It really has been fairly easy to do too. It’s like I always say… you just need to shift your thinking.

So, before I get into the details of my daily intake below, I want to share some tips on how you can do a “Week of Green” yourself!

  1. Go grocery shopping over the weekend, when you have plenty of time to shop. Stock up on ALL your favorite fruits and veggies ONLY. No meat. No dairy. No eggs. No fish. Don’t even leave the produce section. (Well, unless you need to buy some boxed beans. 🙂 We definitely ate beans for added protein and calories.) Buy organic whenever possible. You can use the Environmental Working Groups guide to help pick the best fruits and veggies to buy organic. (Strawberries, apples, nectarines to name a few.)
  2. Don’t focus on fancy recipes or put any pressure on yourself to make elaborate meals. Get back to basics. Wash, cut, and simply eat all your fruit fresh. Wash, cut, steam or bake any veggies you like cooked. See all my previous days, and today, for ideas on what to eat raw and what to cook.
  3. If it comes in a prepackaged container, AND contains more than ONE ingredient; try to avoid it. (For example, we still used olive oil, extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, flax oil and rice. But if you grab for a carton of almond milk that has 6 ingredients, skip it. We did use salad dressing a couple of times in a pinch, vs. making our own. Not the end of the world by any means.)
  4. Focus on WHOLE FOODS. This means foods that have not been modified from their original form. If you want tomatoes, use fresh, not boxed or canned. There is a difference in quality, energy, and nutrients from fresh vs. packaged. Always. No matter what. So make your goal to eat AS MUCH FRESH FOOD as you can. I’d shoot for 95% during your week.
  5. If you have a juicer, and want to juice each day, be sure you focus on greens. Minimize the high sugar fruits and veggies. Think of them as the salt of cooking. A little bit, goes a long way to make the taste of the green juice palatable (sweeter). So you can add one carrot, or 1 green apple to a large green juice; but it’s better to EAT those in a salad. Eating those vs. juicing allows your body to absorb the sugars and other nutrients slower, since the fiber slows absorption. Slower absorption, means less of a sugar rush to the blood stream, less (or no) crashing later.
  6. If it ever becomes a struggle during the week, think of all the good you are doing for yourself — mind, body and spirit. And think of all the good it is doing for the planet! Going meat and dairy free, especially long term, has a positive impact on the environment. I’ve never been a “don’t eat meat”, angrily pointing my finger at people type of person. However I do believe, wholeheartedly that as a society we have lost sight of the value of fruits and veggies. They should be the #1 focus on the plate, meat and/or dairy intake should be the afterthought, not fruits and veggies. Eating nothing but plants for a week is the BEST thing you can do for yourself.
  7. Use a calorie and macro tracking application like My Fitness Pal. This will ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients. The first couple days it might be hard to judge just how BIG your salads or bowls of fresh fruit should be! You want these foods to keep you full, and nourished for 2-4 hours. The goal is HIGH nutrition here, NOT starvation!
  8. LISTEN to your body. LISTEN to your stomach. Is it actually hungry? Or are your taste buds just craving something more sweet/salty/heavy? Keep this in mind during the week.
  9. Enjoy the feeling of light and easy digestion! I lost 3.4 lbs in the 4 days I’ve been doing this. (I weigh myself each morning, so I can’t count today!) I know most of that is just cleaning out my gut, versus fat off my bum. I will say however, that with no processed sugar or wheat my stomach is definitely flatter due to less bloating!

I don’t want this to get to long, so I’ll stop there. If you have ANY questions, please ask them below in the comments. I’m happy to answer anything I can. GOOD LUCK! If you try it, let me know how it goes!


BREAKFAST: 399 calories, 46 g carbs, 16 g fat, 19 g protein, 22 g sugar, 12 g fiber. This was the exact same shake as yesterday. Chocolate vegan Shakeology, turmeric powder, maca powder, 1 tsp. Vita Mineral Greens, 1 c. frozen organic blueberries, few dashes of cinnamon and 1 tbsp. of flax oil. Very filling, lasted me 3.5 hours.


SNACK 1: Watermelon, nectarine and blueberries. 238 calories, 54 g carbs, 0 fat, 4 g protein, 45 g sugar, 14 g fiber


LUNCH: There is a baked potato hidden under all that food… we did broccoli (one of our favs), onion, mushroom, red kidney beans, fresh sliced tomato and green onion. 1 tbsp. vegan dressing. 419 calories, 76 g carbs, 6 g fat, 21 g protein, 9 g sugar, 20 g fiber

SNACK 2: Hot air popped popcorn with real salt and coconut oil 244 calories, 24 g carbs, 14 g fat, 4 g protein, 0 sugar, 4 g fiber

SNACK 2: MOVIE NIGHT! Hot air popped popcorn with real salt and coconut oil. 244 calories, 24 g carbs, 14 g fat, 4 g protein, 0 sugar, 4 g fiber (Still WAY better than something out of a bag with fake butter and microwaved!)


Our movie theater just did a huge remodel, and now has a bar (amongst other things), so we each got a beverage to enjoy while we waited for the movie to start. Mine was just vodka with soda water and a lime wedge. Nothing but 104 calories.

As you may have noticed, we didn’t have an official dinner today. We had enough calories from our other meals and weren’t really hungry! The popcorn and our drinks got us through. haha Not highly nutritious, but it’s Friday night and sometimes a little of the not-so-good stuff is A-OK! 🙂 Today was also a rest day. Back at it with a run and workout tomorrow though.

Have a great weekend! “See” ya next week. I will be posting a recipe for homemade, gluten-free seed and veggie crackers!

Totals for the day:

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I hope you enjoyed the journey! Do you think you will try a week of focusing on just plant foods?