I made these rather delicious wee pastry rolls for lunch last week, using some puff pastry I had in the freezer, which conveniently is vegan!
My thoughts are always on how I can nourish my wee gut bugs and enjoy delicious food at the same time.
Now we all know that puff pastry isn't very healthy and even less so when filled with a greasy assortment of dodgy ingredients so my delicious gut healthy version is harnessing all the prebiotic power of leeks, red onions, spinach, garlic, courgette and chick peas. I also added some cubed vegan feta cheese which we are all loving, its so creamy and delicious!
Adding great flavour and polyphenols with lemon zest, flat leaf parsley and thyme from the garden.
A wee extra garnish of sesame, poppy and linseeds makes these look most appealing and of course, adds more nutrition!
So its not that difficult to make better choices for our health and keep our wee gut microbes well nourished, so they will be working hard on our behalf.
We all enjoyed these, so I am sharing my recipe, so you can enjoy them too!
We just love a puff pastry but no-one wants a soggy bottom so the key thing to remember is to make sure your filling is fairly dry and cool it a bit before you make up your wee rolls.
You don't need to add the vegan feta, some frozen sweetcorn or peas would also be good to bulk the filling out and could easily replace the courgette. Just use what you have available!
I am sure these would be equally good eaten cold for a picnic lunch but we ate the lot straight from the oven!
So here is my recipe, hope you enjoy it!
These wee crackers are simple to make and so good! And a great way of using up discarded or past its peak sourdough starter!
The addition of ground flaxseeds adds extra nutrition with a wee boost of good fats from the olive oil!
Rolling the dough thinly results in lovely crisp crackers, a perfect accompaniment to a vegan cheese board or with a dip or just as they are for a lovely wee healthy snack!
You can easily customise this recipe by adding different herbs or spices. We have tried rosemary and lemon zest, wild garlic and also smoked paprika, all delicious!
This recipe is from The Spruce Eats, and is the simplest and best sourdough cracker recipe I have tried to date!
So without further rambling, here it is!
Seeded Sourdough Crackers
1/4 cup sourdough starter
3 tablespoons wholewheat flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed/linseeds
4 teaspoons olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon seeds, sesame, poppy, sunflower, chia, nigella all work well
Preheat the oven to 350 F 175 C
Lightly flour a baking tray or use a silicone baking sheet.
Add all the ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until you have a cohesive dough.
Turn the dough onto your baking tray and roll it thinly into a rectangle shape.
Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to score the dough into squares, rectangles or diamond shapes.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
Cool for 10 minutes then break into crackers.
I love houmous, our whole family does, and I honestly can't imagine life without it! Its a perfect snack spread on oatcakes or with vegetable crudities. It's packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and in my opinion, its a superfood!
So houmous is just chickpeas, tahini, good quality olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and whatever other flavourings take your fancy!
Now I like to mix things up a bit and plain old houmous can be a bit boring so I decided to jazz mine up a bit! I also love beetroot, it has so many benefits for our health and its such a fabulous vibrant colour and its incredibly cheap.
All the supermarkets sell vacuum packed beetroot, which is simply cooked in water, then vacuum packed to preserve it. Jars of beetroot are very popular in Scotland though they are pickled in vinegar which can be a bit overpowering so I always use the vacuum packed beetroot for dips.
Tahini is another one of my favourite ingredients and an essential ingredient in houmous. Its basically just sesame seeds ground into a paste. Its packed with calcium and magnesium and high in protein and its alkaline so easy for the body to absorb. Its a great food for building strong bones so great for growing kids and for all women to prevent oesteoporosis which is a horrible disease, mostly affecting women after the menopause. Exercise is another great bone builder so get yourself outside for a walk! Prevention is always better than cure so don't wait until your bones start thinning, do something about it now!
Anyway a wee digression there but back to the houmous!
Houmous is very versatile and I frequently have it as a topping on a baked sweet potato for my dinner, with caramelised red onions, tamari seeds and a big salad. Its actually one of my favourite dinners and so easy!
I have so much mint growing in the garden, it smells wonderful, is incredibly good for the digestion and I frequently have a big pot of mint tea, after dinner. If you have mint in your garden then just take a handful of leaves, put them into a warmed tea pot, then add boiling water and let the tea infuse for 5 minutes before you drink it. It's so delicious and way nicer than peppermint tea bags. A perfect end to a meal!
I guess the amounts of mint in this houmous are entirely up to you but I tend to use about 10 big leaves. Equally you could omit it altogether if its not a flavour you enjoy. That's the beauty of making your own dips, just add whatever you have to use up and switch ingredients around to make new combinations. Olive and coriander and sun dried tomato and basil are another two flavours I really enjoy. I can now add beetroot and mint to those two!
I had half an avocado to use up so added it to my houmous to make it extra creamy and delicious but its equally good without it. Just add another tablespoon of oil or water to get the consistency you prefer.
I have posted various other dips on the blog here so you can try a few other options!
BEETROOT & MINT HOUMOUS
1 tin chickpeas, drained
300g vaccum packed beetroot (about 3 to 4 small to med beets)
2 tablespoons tahini
juice of half a lemon ( approx 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled (optional)
10 big mint leaves ( add more or less to your taste)
1. Quite simply put everything in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add more oil, salt or lemon juice to taste.
2. Enjoy as a spread on oatcakes, wraps, baked potato topping or with vegetable crudities!
.......your health in your hands....
🍃 Health educator🍃