In my recent quest to eliminate nearly any pre-made, cracker-like food from our home, I’ve managed to get the kids to nearly always come to expect and request only whole foods (carrots, apples, bananas). The exception is cheese, which none of us will be weaning ourselves from any time soon. I reserve cheese eating for special occasions, but the kids eat some amount practically every day. The only cracker-like food I still buy is organic, corn tortilla chips. We love guacamole and my husband and I are addicted to salsa.
We also recently implemented a new rule about sweets; we call it “Sweet Sunday.” Essentially, we abstain from eating any sweets every day except Sunday. But on Sunday, I don’t criticize WHAT they choose as their sweet indulgences. (They get two.) It can be a piece of cake and an ice cream cone. Or maybe it’s a piece of candy and a big cookie. I do draw the line at synthetically-colored, chemical-infused candies, but pretty much anything else goes. A friend recently visiting from Brazil made the suggestion. I seriously questioned whether our two little sweet tooths could come to accept this fairly rigid (even for me!) structure, but they have. Even the first week was a breeze, although I did get regularly asked, “How many more days is it until Sunday?”
All that aside, we still use maple syrup on our waffles and pancakes, so it’s not as though there’s no added “sugar” to our Mondays through Saturdays. And to make sure they don’t feel deprived, I blend up naturally sweet fruit smoothies and occasionally make my own “crackers.” These* are somewhere between a cookie and a cracker since they use a little sugar. They’re fun to make because everyone can participate, which makes eating the eating even sweeter.
1/2 cup whole-grain spelt flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I use all-purpose Einkhorn flour)
1/4 cup pulverized walnuts or almond flour/meal
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut, pulverized
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-2 tbsp large-grain turbinado sugar
In a medium-sized bowl, blend coconut oil, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is the consistency of frosting.
In another bowl, whisk together the flours, pulverized nuts and coconut and salt until well blended. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Divide into two balls. Wrap each ball in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When you’re ready to roll the cookies, preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two baking trays or line with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a clean surface with the flour of your choice. Carefully roll out one dough ball until it’s 1/8-inch thick. Using floured cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with the large sugar granules. Note: if the cookie dough is crumbling too much, let it sit out at room temperature for a short while and try rolling again.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until outermost edges start to golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Store completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
*Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks