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Flax crackers are the best crackers ever. My two professional raw chef friends, Tanya and Orchid, taught me how to make these. Raw foodists can be very particular about the maximum temperatures their foods are exposed to, so many of them use thermostat-controlled dehydrators to make these crackers. Dehydrators are great tools, but you don’t need to run out and buy one. Improvise by adapting existing technology. Since I lack both a dehydrator and sufﬁcient electrical power to run one, this recipe dehydrates the crackers in a home gas oven with a pilot light. Other options would be dehydrating under a fan, using air circulation rather than heat to dry the crackers; under the sun on a clear day; or, in a pilotless oven, by using a light bulb as a source of heat.
Soak whole ﬂaxseeds in an equal volume of liquid. Three cups of each will yield one large (18 x 24-inch) tray of crackers. For soaking liquid you can use water and/or a ﬂavorful liquid such as kimchi juice, pickle brine, tamari, vegetable or fruit juice, wine, or vinegar. You can also add other solid ﬂavorings, such as shallots or onions, garlic, dill or other herbs, Thai curry paste, or anything you can imagine. Spice and salt to taste.
The ﬂax seeds will absorb all the liquid within a few hours and form a slimy, mucilaginous mass. Oil a large cookie sheet as lightly as you can. Spread the soaked ﬂax mixture in as thin a layer as possible without creating holes, using a rubber spatula or your hands. Wet the spatula or your hands as you spread the ﬂax mixture to prevent it from sticking. Place the tray in the oven or other dehydrating chamber. You can use a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oven and leave the door ajar if necessary to keep it under 110 degrees F (43 degrees C), the temperature at which enzymes begin to be destroyed. In a shared kitchen it is imperative to leave a sign over the oven controls so no one heats the oven and accidentally bakes the raw crackers!
Once the top surface of the ﬂax dries into a skin, which takes about eight to twelve hours, invert the sheet of crackers directly onto a wire-mesh cooling rack, which allows air circulation from beneath, so it can continue dehydrating with greater surface area exposed. After eighteen to thirty-six hours, depending upon temperature and air circulation, the crackers will be dry and crispy. Break them into dipping- and spreading-size pieces and enjoy them with pâtés or plain. These crackers are so ﬂavorful they can stand on their own.
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Cover courtesy of Chelsea Green
From The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements by Sandor Ellix Katz, © 2006 by Sandor Ellix Katz. Reprinted by arrangement with Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT.