Red Pepper and Ancho Chile Chia Crackers

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Many of you are probably familiar with chia seeds, which have become very popular in the raw food movement. They are primarily found in the form of chia pudding, which can be prepared as a hearty, nourishing breakfast or a delicious dessert.

However today I am offering you a different way to enjoy chia seeds in a raw cracker. Flaxseed crackers are very common in raw foods and while they are a favorite standby for many raw fooders, I was looking for something more interesting. I came up with the idea of using chia seeds instead of flax seeds and these tasty crackers were the result.

I blended some red peppers and tomatoes to create a base, adding a combination of spices including ancho chile powder. This is a very mild chili that doesn’t really add a lot of heat but does add depth and complexity to the flavor of these crackers.

The final outcome was a crispy cracker that is fantastic for serving with your favorite dip or on the side of a large raw salad. I wasn’t sure how the chia seeds would taste in this form but I was surprised to find their flavor very reminiscent of toasted sesame seeds.

Red Pepper and Ancho Chile Chia Crackers

1 cup chia seeds

2 1/2 cups water

2 1/2 cups red peppers, chopped

1 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

First soak the chia seeds in water for about 20 minutes, until they absorb all the water. Then blend all the remaining ingredients well and add to the chia seeds.

Spread very thinly on teflex sheets of your dehydrator tray. Before you place them in the dehydrator you want to score them into your desired shapes. This will make them easier to break apart when they are fully dried and creates a nicer presentation.

To do this simply use a knife and make a gentle indentation in the chia seed mixture. You may choose to form them into triangles, squares or diamond shapes.

Place in the dehydrator at 105 degrees for about 24 hours or until completely dry. You can then store them in an airtight container for about a month.

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The Latin-inspired flavor of these chia crackers pairs perfectly with guacamole. You can use your favorite recipe or try my Low Fat Guacamole or Real Mexican (Spirulina) Guacamole.

While these crackers are good enough to snack on by themselves I recommend that you don’t overdo it. Chia seeds absorb a lot of water so if you have too many they absorb the fluids from your digestive system with the end result being discomfort and bloating.

These really are best in small amounts served as an appetizer or in combination with a large salad. There is a lot of water in raw vegetables – especially foods like lettuce, tomato, and cucumber –  to keep your digestive system happy.

For those of you who may be interested in my mango and coconut water fast, I made it to day 20. It was a good experience and I may do it again in the future. I had intended to go a little longer but I got to the stage where it felt like it was enough.

It wasn’t that I had my fill of eating mangoes. I could have quite happily continued with the diet. However, in combination with the herbal detox program, I am undertaking the detox symptoms were becoming somewhat overwhelming. So I decided to listen to my body and reintroduce salads into my diet again.

I’ve still been doing a couple of days a week on mangoes so the detox continues, just a little slower. For those of you who are just getting into raw foods, I always encourage that you pay attention to the messages your body is giving you. Most often a gradual approach is much more effective when you are making changes in your diet with the aim to enhance your health.

You’ll still get to your goal, however instead of trying to force quick results, the journey will probably be much more enjoyable when you work in harmony with the natural flow of your body.

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