Cookies are great but so are crackers


Poma Bread – not quite a cracker, a little like Pita Bread. This is the last few of try number two at making crackers.

 The Gumbo File works so well as an emulsifier in the Molasses or Chocolate Cookies that it likely would help hold a crumbly cracker together too. If and when I set up my kitchen again here is a draft version of the cookie recipe as a potential cracker recipe – the exact amount of water/soup stock that would be needed would need to be determined by the texture of the dough.

Crackers are rolled out and cut into shape or pressed very thin before being baked. Some leavening with baking soda is traditional in the popular white flour square “Soda” crackers that are served with soups or topped with sliced cheese or other toppings. The gluten protein found in wheat flour and a few other flours forms a fibrous fabric like structure in a kneaded bread dough or cracker dough. Gluten free baking requires some other type of fiber to help form the fabric like structure that traps bubbles of air from the baking soda leavening long enough to be baked into an airy crisp texture. Whether or not Gumbo File could help serve the purpose would be an experiment. Gluten free crackers tend to be crisp and flat with only some airiness depending on the type of ingredients used.

Try number two is the same basic recipe as follows except I didn’t use any coconut oil or extra water. For liquid and added oil content I used a 13.5 ounce can of Organic Coconut Milk – full fat version, creamy instead of watery, 14 grams fat/2 grams carbohydrate per 1/3 cup. Try number two was baked in an oven set at 375’F for 20-30 minutes, Switch pans from top to bottom rack at 20 minutes bake time. Let cool on a wire rack and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator – they have a taste and texture similar to Pita Bread except are more the size and shape of crackers. Gluten free baked goods tend to fall apart more easily than gluten products and don’t hold air from leavening as well. When I try the recipe again I will go with the shorter bake time rather than attempting to get a crisp dry cracker – the recipe is not producing that quality but does make a moist square flat bread that is good with hummus bean dip or peanut butter type spreads.

Basic Cracker recipe draft

*Try number one worked basically. I had less coconut flour on hand and made up the difference with more of the other flours to equal a similar amount and I added about 3/4-1 cup of coconut oil and 1 1/2 cups water to make a cookie like dough. Making a single batch with half the ingredients would be easier to shape. I pressed rounds of dough flat in extra almond meal and they puffed slightly but remained moist inside with a skillet cooking. A longer slower baking might make them more cracker like instead of like a moist flat bread. Extra water in the dough to make a thinner batter would likely work for pancakes.

– the use of cardamom is somewhat of a pepper replacement and whether I used it or some other savory seasonings could be modified for a variety of cracker flavors if the basic recipe worked.

Dry ingredients, stir together in a large bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Almond Meal
  • 1 cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

Emulsifier step- gently heat Pomegranate Extract or Juice to a simmer in a saucepan then remove from heat and stir in the Gumbo File Powder.

  • 1 1/2 cups Pomegranate Extract or Vegetarian Soup Stock or Water (If Pomegranate Extract is not used then add 4 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice later – when the rest of the liquid is added. Baking Soda requires an acidic ingredient in the recipe which Pomegranate Extract provides.)
  • 6 Tablespoons Gumbo File Powder

Wet ingredients – in a another large bowl combine the thickened warm emulsifier liquid with the Brown Sugar and then stir in half of the remaining juice. Reserve part of the juice to add to the dry ingredients after first mixing in the emulsifier/sugar mixture. (This method is more like making a cake than a cookie, you combine small amounts of the liquid at a time for a smooth cake batter that is not over-stirred. In a kneaded bread dough or traditional Soda Cracker recipe the goal is to fold the dough repeatedly in somewhat regular motions and directions in order to ‘weave the fabric’ of the gluten structure. In gluten free baking without gluten the fiber network is not as regular and gentle handling and folding might support some leavening air bubbles but the traditional kneaded structure is not really possible. The goal with cake batter is to gently support a more delicate sponge like texture for air bubbles without a tough fabric dough formation.)

  • 2 1/2 cups Vegetarian Soup Stock or Water
  • (4 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice if Pomegranate Extract is not used)

The dough should be moist and able to be rolled or spooned into a sticky round shape that doesn’t crumble – a soft playdough-like consistency.

Sprinkle a counter top with some brown rice flour and roll the dough into a thin 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick sheet and cut into squares – or roll spoonfuls of dough into rounds and then flatten on a surface that is sprinkled with brown rice flour or sprayed with oil using a flat glass or plate. Place the crackers on a baking sheet that is covered with oil or sprinkled with brown rice flour. Brush the surface of the crackers with a lightly salted water mixture. Bake at 400’F for about 20 minutes, rotating the pans at a half way point, or until crispy.

Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. While I am a Registered Dietitian it is not intended to provide individualized health care guidance. Please seek an individual health care professional for the purpose of individualized health care guidance.


Asking for help and receiving it, silently

Recently I read an article that suggested people may think it a weakness to offer help without asking for help or advice also. Silently or occasionally with audio, the search engine provides millions of articles, books and other links that can be very helpful and provide advice or guidance. My newer website includes a more organized format for reference lists and it includes hundreds of people offering expert research or other information. The first section of twelve chapters is kind of a how to section for basic research and policy development information.

The second section includes more of what I would consider self help guidance for specific conditions and includes research by others but also some original work if my insights regarding the research topics and some recipes with an overview about modifying recipes for special need diets. Stress and Relaxation is a lengthy section that includes information on magnesium and oxidative stress. Formaldehyde is discussed in that section. Preeclampsia and other TRP channel conditions such as migraines and chronic itch are discussed here:

The TRP channels can be activated by warm or cold temperatures and over activation can result from stress and trauma history. They are like valves or faucet taps in cell membranes. They help prevent bursting if there is increased pressure by leaking in response to pressure. Picture a water balloon being overfilled – instead of popping it would just start leaking all over the surface as if it had turned into a sponge surface instead of a plastic water balloon.

The website – the rowboat of preventative health and other information to try out if interested – is called

Political leadership that recognizes underlying needs of physiology-how the body works- is important though and I was always serious about it because acceptance of phospholipids as essential nutrients is critical to having better health . Many issues involve a problem or deficiency in cannabinoids or phospholipids. Infant health and fertility for men and women involve them – research needs to be allowed.

Chronic illness is a serious problem which results in the loss of the sick person’s skills and tax revenue and that of the caregivers whose time might be needed in increasing amounts to the point that they also are no longer able to work and produce tax revenue.

This problem is only going to get worse as the Baby Boomer generation ages due to the increased numbers of that generation compared to later generations and when combined with the increasing f percent of children with autism and other serious chronic physical or mental health conditions.

I persevere because we all need to persevere, we are at a crossroads for human health and the planet’s ecosystems.

Jokes are funnier when survival isn’t the punchline.

I have saved lives and the people involved as parents or the person were very grateful, and recognizing a need and intervening in some way was needed. I also saw some situations that seemed problems and I didn’t intervene and it did turn out to be life threatening – so that may have made me more tenacious about sticking with a problem when I think it may be life threatening.

 Not talking about our increasing levels of chronic illness and mental health problems and increased risk of child trauma in our increasingly da versus and stressful world doesn’t help us improve as a society or as individual adults or parents – so I will persevere – in locations that don’t get above 80′ degrees very often due to my health problems.


Disclosure: This information is being provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. While I am a Registered Dietitian it is not intended to provide individualized health care guidance. Please seek an individual health care professional for individualized health care guidance. Thanks.

Conscientious, helpful people tend to live longer; and other longevity tips

The worldest most recent, oldest living person lived to the age of 117 and passed away last year, in April 2017. Emma Morano was from Italy and was born in the late 1800’s. She lived a simple life and was unconventional in many ways however remained interested in life and busy with taking care of her own daily needs until very late in her life. Religious faith was important to her and kept few possessions beyond family photos and a few other momentos.

An article about her includes more details about her life and health habits and reviews research on trends in the habits of long lived people from around the world. Being conscientious and helpful are among the trends in common among people with long lifespans. See this article for more details on nutrients such as magnesium that may help promote longevity:

DDisclosure: This information is being provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individualized health care guidance. Please seek an individual health care professional for the purpose of individualized health care guidance. Thanks.