Healthy Crackers and Dip

I don’t know about you guys, but I do love me a good dip, cheese and cracker spread. Whenever I come face to face with these guys, temptation is certainly peaking. I do manage to stay strong, however, because my belly does not enjoy them at all! (except for the cheese) And it is no wonder why, as (most) generic dips and crackers are full of crap!

I must admit, supermarkets are becoming much more accommodating to those of us who choose to eat in a more natural way and now offer some gluten free, and crap free, cracker and dip options. Though this is fantastic news, and suggests the big guys are starting to get their s**t together, the choices are still very limited.

And so…..I started experimenting!

When recreating recipes, I focus just as much on nutritional value as I do on taste. I love knowing that while you’re eating something so delicious, you’re simultaneously nourishing your body with so much goodness! And this dip and cracker recipe is the perrrrrfect example.

Firstly, the dip.

Beetroot = great, garlic = greater and all the other little additions = even more greatness. Although beetroot is naturally high in sugar, it offers numerous benefits to the body. The deep purple/red colour of beetroot highlights its high antioxidant status, meaning beets are helpful in reducing oxidative stress and fighting free radicals within the body. This, along with the nutrient betaine, exerts anti-inflammatory action within the body and also helps to support Phase 2 liver detoxification.

Then there’s the garlic. Second only to turmeric in terms of benefits to the body, garlic is also an incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Research has shown it is highly protective against many diseases including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and like beetroot, has wonderful influences upon Phase 2 liver detoxification, specifically the sulphation pathway; the main liver detoxification pathway.

The inclusion of lemon juice, olive oil, and apple cider add some further benefits and also act as great natural preservatives, meaning this dip can last for at least 1 week in the fridge. I’ll let you be the judge of how much longer you leave it for.

Now, the crackers!

These bad boys are packed with so much goodness! And they’re so damn tasty too! Containing mainly pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and linseeds, these crackers are nutrition powerhouses and boast an enormous list of vitamins, minerals and nutrients; one of the most predominant being omega-3 fatty acids. They are a fantastic alternative to their store-bought relatives and make for a great snack along with dip, smashed avo, nut butter, or just on their lonesome!

So, if you’re a cracker and dip fiend like myself, I highly recommend giving these recipes ago.

Enjoy!

Roasted beet and garlic dip

Ingredients:

– 800g fresh beetroot (roughly chopped into same-sized chunks)

– 8 garlic cloves

– ¼ cup tahini

– juice from ½ lemon

– 2 TSBP apple cider vinegar

– 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

– 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

– ¼ tsp onion powder (optional)

– pink Himalayan salt (to taste)

– black pepper (to taste)

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper

2. Place beetroot chunks onto baking tray and roast for approx. 40 minutes **At the 20 minute mark place the garlic onto the same tray as the beetroot.

3. Once the beetroot and garlic have roasted, place them into a blender or food processor and process until a chunky crumb consistency has formed.

4. Add the tahini, olive oil, apple cider, balsamic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and onion powder and process on a low-medium speed until the beetroot has broken down even further and everything is well combined.

5. Taste as you go, if you need to add anything else then go for it! 

*Store in an air-tight container, in the fridge. Lasts for at least one week.

Seedy crackers

Ingredients:

– ¾ cup pepitas

– ½ cup sunflower seeds

– ¼ cup linseeds

– ½ cup almond meal

– 2 TBSP chia seeds

– 5 TBSP warm water

– 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

– 1 egg (whisked) *egg can be replaced with an extra TBSP of chia and 2 TBSP of water, if you’re after an egg free option

– ¼ tsp garlic powder

– ¼ tsp onion powder

– salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.

2. In a small bowl, place chia seeds and warm water. Stir until combined and set aside for 5 minutes, until a thick gel has formed.

3. In a food processor or blender, place pepitas and sunflower seeds and process until a fine meal has formed.

4. In a large mixing bowl, place pepita and sunflower seed meal, linseeds, almond meal, chia gel, whisked egg, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and mix until a sticky dough has formed. *If the mixture seems to dry, just add a touch of water or olive oil. If too wet, add some more chia or almond meal.

5. Divide the mixture in half, and place one half in between two sheets of baking paper. Roll with a rolling pin until about 3-5mm thick. Peel off the top layer of baking sheet and transfer the other layer, with the mixture, onto a baking tray. Repeat the same process with the other half of dough mixture.

*Note: these are still delicious when thick, however will not go crispy in the oven. If you are having trouble rolling to desired thickness, then separate dough into thirds before rolling.

6. Bake in the oven for approx. 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Be careful to check for burning as the thinner parts will cook faster!

7. Store in an airtight container, in the fridge, or in batches in the freezer.

8. Enjoy!