Studded Rosemary Flats
I made these as Christmas gifts with really good feedback, so here comes a recipe. Meet the biscotti of crackers: Studded Rosemary Flats.
Crispy because of a double-baking (like biscotti), these fruit and nut flats are high on flavor and offer protein, fiber and just the right amount of healthy fats, making them a good choice for snacking or as an accompaniment to salads or soups.
What’s in it for me?
Finely ground with the nutritious bran, germ and endosperm intact, whole wheat Atta flour contains healthy oils, vitamins and minerals, like antioxidant selenium and manganese to promote nutrient absorption and healthy bones. It offers roughly 4 grams each of protein and fiber per 1/4 cup (30 g), and is virtually free of cholesterol and sodium.
Nuts and seeds provide plant sterols and healthy polyunsaturated + monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as essential minerals and fiber, all of which contribute to improved cholesterol levels and digestive function, promote heart, immune and bone health, and are linked to better blood sugar control.
In addition to fiber, unsweetened dried cherries are a source of natural sweetness rich in antioxidant vitamin A and offer anti-inflammatory properties from anthocyanin flavonoids. Dried cherries also provide smaller amounts of copper, potassium, iron and vitamin C — the latter helping to improve your body’s ability to absorb iron from the nuts, seeds, and from the cherries themselves. Cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the brain to help regulate our sleep and wake cycles.
Rosemary is a fair source of vitamin A, and also brings vitamin C, manganese, iron, potassium, and beneficial phytonutrients, including anti-inflammatory rosmarinic and carnosic acids. Honey provides small amounts of minerals and antioxidants with some antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
My recipe is a win, but there’s no rule to stop you from altering the combination of add-ins. Play to your tastes with different herbs, nuts, dried fruits or seeds, ground spices or nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes or pitted olives, alternative flours or sweeteners, etc.
A batch of my rosemary flats will bring new life to your pantry, or that of your family and friends — if you feel like sharing!
Tell me… What add-ins would you choose?
- 1/3 cup mild honey
- 2 cups buttermilk (see HGN Notes)
- 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Atta flour (see HGN Notes)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries (or other dried fruit of choice)
- 1 cup of any combination of raw nuts and/or seeds (I included pecan, almond, cashew, hazelnut and peanut)
- 1/4 cup whole flaxseed
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F, and grease two standard-sized (8 1/2 x 4 1/2") loaf tins. Set aside.
- Pour the honey and buttermilk into a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, and warm in the microwave for 1 minute to help the two mix evenly.
- In large bowl add the flours, baking soda, salt and the nuts/seeds. Mix to combine. Pour in the honey-buttermilk mixture, stir only a few times, then gently fold in the dried cherries until just incorporated. It’s important not to over mix here -- if there are a few small lumps left, that's fine.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the two prepared tins, and bake on the middle rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden and firm to the touch with a slight give. The edges will begin to pull away from the edges of the tin as well.
- Remove from the oven (turn off), and let cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding and continuing to let the loaves cool completely on a wire rack.
- When cool, reheat the oven to 275˚ F. Use a sharp, thin serrated knife to slice the loaves as thin as you can (1/4" or thinner if possible), and place the slices on ungreased sheet trays.
- Bake until the crackers are crisp. Total time will depend on thickness of your crackers. Begin with 15 minutes, then flip the crackers over and rotate trays from top to bottom, and bake another 10 minutes. If still soft at this point, continue to bake, checking every minute or so for crispness.
- Remove from the oven and let the crackers cool completely on the tray before transferring to an airtight container. Will keep up to 2 weeks; longer in the refrigerator or freezer.
To make your own buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice to a scant 1 cup milk. Stir and set aside 5 minutes to "butter." Whole or 2% milk work best, but 1%, skim, soy and almond milks will do the trick as well. Alternatively, replace the buttermilk with 1 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream thinned with a bit of water or milk.
+ Dried cherries add a lovely natural sweetness and flavor, but could easily be swapped for other dried fruits such as figs, dates, apricots, currants or sultanas (golden raisins).
+ The combination of nuts is completely up to you. Change things up with walnuts, pistachios or pine nuts; trade in some nuts for seeds, such as pepitas, sunflowers or sesame; or eliminate these crunchy add-ins altogether if needed or desired.
+ Vary the herbs by adding to the rosemary, or replacing it with another woodier option like oregano or thyme. Spices like curry powders, chilli powders or flakes, or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast would add another layer of flavor!
+ Think outside the box and replace dried fruit with sun-dried tomatoes or pitted olives.
+ Swap the honey with maple syrup or agave if preferred, or if honey is off-limits for dietary reasons.
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p.s. I love hearing from you! Check back if you ask a question, because I’ll answer it here.
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