I have always loved food. I have always loved food that is ‘bad’, you know, chips, crisps, chocolate. Since having to change my diet quite radically, just to be well enough to get out of bed, I have been hunting for food that may taste like it’s bad for me but is actually good for me.
I offer you a healthy take on nachos. It’s free of all the baddies like trans or hydrogenated fat, sugar, refined carbohydrate, additives, preservatives, or gluten. It’s loaded with good fats, healthy activated nuts and seeds, a variety of vegetables, and a cheese sauce that hasn’t a drop of dairy in it.
The thing I’ve noticed about eating the way I do now is that it doesn’t take much to fill me up. The food is nutrient dense, loaded with such a variety of nutrients that it satisfies our body’s needs. These nachos are a complete meal.
I make my own. They are not made of corn, they are made of sunflower seeds, linseeds and a variety of veggies and herbs all blitzed up together and then spread out on a lined baking sheet (if using an oven) or on a teflex sheet for use in a dehydrator. When they are ready and have reached the desired crispness, you can break the cracker sheets up into tortilla-sized pieces. I keep a big box of these in my cupboard in a sealed container so they stay crisp and use them for all manner of dips and spreads. They satisfy my crisp cravings…mostly!
In all my recipes I use organic wherever possible, so take it for granted that for the optimum healthy recipe, it has to be organic.
Spirulina Crackers (green ‘tortillas’)
Two cups of sunflower seeds
Two cups of linseeds
Two tablespoons of dried thyme
Three teaspoons of celtic sea salt
Two teaspoons of smoked paprika
Lots of black pepper
Four tablespoons of spirulina powder
Soak the sunflower seeds and the linseeds for four hours in purified, filtered water, in separate bowls.
Use 3 cups of water for the linseeds, they will soak it all up. For the sunflower seeds, just cover them with water, topping them up so that there is a depth of at least 2 inches of water above the seeds. They will need draining and rinsing after 4 hours of soaking.
Why soak? We are asking the seeds to open up for us, so we can access their nutrients. By soaking them we are activating them and turning them from a dormant seed to a germinating seed. This converts the enzymes within them that preserve the seed from rotting so that when the conditions are right for growth, ie, there is water available, the enzymes deactivate. If you want all the nutritional benefits of nuts and seeds, you have to soak them, otherwise the enzymes will prevent you from absorbing their goodness.
Put the soaked sunflower seeds into a blender and whizz-up to a fine meal consistency. Empty out and put aside.
Roughly chop the onions and put them in the blender and whizz them up too, not to a pulp but chopped fairly fine and the juices released.
Put them in the bowl with the sunflower seeds.
Now add the linseeds and all the other ingredients and mix. I find it best to do this by hand.
Spread the mixture out onto a lined baking tray, either a dehydrator tray or oven tray.
Oven – put on low as you can for a ‘raw’ cracker– 100/110 – and bake for a few hours or so, keep checking the consistency. You may need to flip it half way through to dry out the other side. You can put the oven up higher to bake them quicker, they won’t be ‘raw’ crackers, but will be nice and crisp.
Dehydrator – dehydrate them until desired crunchiness has been reached at a temperature of 100/110 f. You will need to flip them half way through.
Once they are done, you can just break them up into shards and store in an airtight container, they will stay fresh for weeks. You can also score them half way through the cooking process to create even sized crackers.
Guacamole – who doesn’t know how to make guacamole? There are so many options... the base is always avocado, lemon or lime juice, garlic, salt. You can add chopped tomato, finely-diced chilli, fresh coriander, halepenos, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika… the variations can be endless.
So, so simple to make, crunchy, tangy, sweet and sour, all in one mouthful. Chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander stalks and all, finely diced red onions, lemon or lime juice and a bit of sea salt.
Leave it to stand for a bit so the lemon juice and salt draw out the juices from the tomato and onion, which not only softens them but then creates a luscious, tangy marinade for all the ingredients.
The flavours and textures combine to create a really satisfying treat. Crunchy tortilla, soft, salty, fiery guacamole, tangy and fragrant salsa, and then the creamy ‘cheese’ sauce – the cherry on the cake so to speak.
Cashew Cheese Sauce
This needs a little forethought, as you will need to soak the cashews for an hour or so before- hand. This softens them and makes them more suitable for ‘creaming’.
All you need to do then is blend them into a butter-like consistency, along with salt, a bit of garlic, a few squeezes of lemon juice. You can use this as you would a mayonnaise too, so it’s handy to have some in a sealed jar in the fridge. It can be spread on nori sheets when making ‘raw suchi’ too.
Assemble as you would like… but do remember the crunchiness of the tortillas will soften once they get a little wet… I like to keep them separate, unless you are going to scoff the lot quickly, so there’s no risk of floppy tortillas on your watch!