I've become a gluten free guinea pig. Scouring the web, bookstores, and brainstorming new ideas for gluten free meals and snacks. The main meals aren't too complicated. Dinners have only needed minor tweaking to adapt to gluten free. The hardest area has been snack food. We aren't a big cake/cookie family - but the kids likes her crunchy stuff. Pretzel sticks have always been a mainstay in her feeding therapies. There's only so much popcorn one can handle.
Store-bought snacks are not cheap. Coupons are hard to come by for the kinds of foods we are looking for. So I am trying to make my own. When we first began our gluten free adventure, I asked a friend for pretzel ideas. She mentioned the Sticks & Twigs by Mary's Gone Crackers.
I've quickly become addicted to these gluten free pretzels. They aren't like ordinary pretzels. They are full of seeds and stuff. They have a great crunch. They have a nice, nutty flavor. More involved than a standard Snyder's pretzel. Unfortunately, at $4.50 a bag - they don't fit my budget too well.
Looking at the ingredient label, I pondered trying to make my own. The ingredients aren't too complicated; brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and tamari. I have these ingredients in my pantry. While googling for ideas, I came upon the crackers of Mary's Gone Crackers fame. They are basically the same pretzel taste in a cracker. I figured that I would tackle that first - and then I could move on to pretzels.
The first time I made the crackers - my results were uneven. Some pans came out ok, and some pans came out - well, not so ok. By the second time - I finally got it down pat. Similar to the pretzels, the crackers cost around $4.50 for way too few crackers. Happy to get about 3 times as many crackers at a significant savings by making my own. I do plan on playing with the recipe more to add flavors - like garlic and rosemary.
I am still determined to figure out how to make the pretzels - in the meantime, enjoy these yummy crackers!
Mary's Gone Crackers Copycat recipe (slightly adapted from here)
1 cup quinoa (dry)
1 cup brown rice (dry)
2-3 tsp. water
2-3 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup whole, toasted flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds (could also use gomasio)
2 tsp. salt
Prepare rice and quinoa as per your regular methods.
Add cooked brown rice to Cuisinart and process with a small amount of water. You should process brown rice to a mush.
Add quinoa to the mix and process a bit more to incorporate.
Add the tamari or soy sauce and mix a bit more.
Take the dough out and place in bowl. Mix in other seeds and seasonings with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be very sticky.
Spray baking pan with oil spray or rub olive oil on baking sheet. Do not use parchment paper.
Drop teaspoon size bits of dough on to cookie sheet. On a half sheet pan, I got around 16 balls.
Take a small piece of parchment paper, spray lightly with oil and place on top of each ball and flatten. I pressed down on to the paper with a stainless steel measuring cup. It seemed to work best. The cracker should be very thin and flat.
Bake at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on the crackers. Remove them when they have browned and are comepletly dry. Don't let them burn. I took them out at around 17 minutes. But keep an eye out. Different pans conduct heat differently. Cool crackers on rack.