Eating Healthy: Edamame Dip with Almond Sesame Crackers

Last week as I was grocery shopping a bag of frozen edamame beans caught my eye. I quickly snatched them up without a plan in mind. Then as I was driving home I remembered coming across a hummus-like dip online. I'm always looking for a healthy snack to have on hand and a quick glance of recipes showed it wouldn't be too difficult.

The edamame dip came together in a matter of minutes, but then I was stumped on what to eat it with. Instead of pairing them with chips or pita bread I thought I'd try my hand at making gluten free crackers. I don't have a sensitivity to gluten but I know a few people who are, and I always like a bit of a challenge in the kitchen.

After reading a handful of recipes, my first attempt was a simple combination of almond flour, water, olive oil, and a bit of seasoning. Let me just say they left much to be desired.  I did a little more research and ended up making up my own recipe. They were a success! Even Gary, a self proclaimed meat eater/lover, really enjoyed them. He couldn't believe that it was gluten free and vegan. I'd say that's a pretty good compliment.

It turns out when you combine ground flax seed with hot water it turns into a thick paste. A lot of cracker recipes I came across used egg as a binding agent but I knew I could make them vegan somehow, and the solution wasn't difficult at all. I also used almond flour I made from making almond milk. Just spread the leftover meal on a baking sheet and bake at a very low heat to dry it out. The only ingredient I had to specifically buy was the edamame itself! You could even make tahini at home if you have a strong enough blender. Next time I run out I'm going to try that out in my Vitamix. I'm sort of obsessed. Do you see how smooth the dip came out?!

Edamame Dip adapted from Food Network

1 1/2 c shelled edamame 1/4 c tahini 1/4 c water 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1/4 c lemon juice 1 garlic clove 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cumin 4 tbsp olive oil pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add edamame and cook until done, about 5 minutes. Strain and let cool. 2. Combine edamame and the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. If it's too thick add 1 tsp water. 3. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of pepper.

Almond Sesame Crackers

1/2 c almond flour 1/4 c sesame seeds 3 tbsp ground flax seed 1 tsp soy flour 4 tbsp hot water 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. In a medium bowl combine almond flour, sesame seeds and salt. 3. In a separate bowl combine ground flax seed, soy flour, then stir in hot water. Let stand for a few minutes to absorb and thicken, it will turn into a very thick paste. 4. Add flax seed mixture to almond flour and stir well to form a ball. 5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place dough on top. With another piece of parchment on top, flatten and roll out dough to as thin as possible. Slowly peel off top parchment. (I put mine in the freezer for a few minutes to help peel it off.) 6. Cut lines into the dough to make individual crackers, then bake for 15-20 minutes or just until it starts to brown. 7. Let cool then separate crackers.