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Recipe time: buckwheat crisps

 Do you ever feel you need a bit of a pick me up but all the snacks you reach for tend to leave you feeling sluggish afterwards? You want something sweet but are trying to cut refined sugars out of your diet (good choice, by the way)?

I’ve got the perfect snack for you! It’s healthy, energizing, alkalizing, and totally fulfilling. Okay, I realize this already sounds like a cheesy sales pitch, but I’m serious (and not actually trying to sell you anything). I eat these crispy guys with my cereal in the morning, before I workout, and whenever I’m feeling snacky for something sweet. This recipe uses buckwheat, dates, and yerba mate, a delicious combination for energy, nutrients, and complete yumminess. All the ingredients in the recipe are also very easy to come by. Check your local health/natural food stores and Co-ops. Heck, if you ask really nice I might even lend you some of my own (depending on our geographical distance of course). And if you’ve been posted out in the middle of the Antarctic for scientific research, like you have to stay there until you find two identical snowflakes, let me know and I’d be more than happy to help you track some down online (now you have no excuses, because I already know you have internet!). Just send me a message, or post a comment below.

Despite the name, buckwheat is not actually wheat, it’s a seed. It’s gluten free and loaded with good stuff. It’s high in protein and has a long laundry list of micronutrients (high levels of magnesium, iron, and B vitamins, just to name a few). I use plain, raw, buckwheat although you can buy a roasted version of it, called Kasha. They generally aren’t interchangeable, and Kasha isn’t as versatile as its raw version. I prefer not to buy roasted products anyway, as the oils in many things tend to turn carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures. In this recipe we are going to be soaking the buckwheat, to ensure as much of the nutrition as possible is attainable by our bodies. In a nutshell, soaking raw seeds and nuts unlocks enzyme inhibitors, making more of the nutrients available for absorption. Soaking Kasha would be pointless, as the enzymes have all been destroyed in the roasting process, unless you just wanted to soften it, I suppose.


Buckwheat Crisps

(* means see note below)

2 cups Buckwheat, soaked* (measured before soaking)

½ cup Date paste**

1 teaspoon finely ground Yerba Mate (I used a coffee grinder. I also used chai spiced mate, for a nice flavour)

Pinch of salt

Mix everything together by hand in a large bowl.

Spread evenly to desired thickness on a Teflex or parchment lined dehydrator tray, about ¼ - ½ “ thick. ***

I find it spreads easiest if you glop it all down in the middle of the tray, and using the back of a spoon dipped in water, spread it out towards the edges.

Dehydrate for 4-6 hours at approximately 110 degrees, then take out, flip over onto a mesh lined tray (so the air can circulate), score if you would like them to be in square

s or rectangles or whatever, put back into dehydrator until crisp (overnight). I usually just flip the whole batch, dry it, and then break it into pieces in the end. Nothing fancy!

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy!


*Soaking buckwheat: Measure two cups of dry buckwheat and rinse well in a strainer under the tap.

Put the rinsed buckwheat in a large bowl and cover with water (filtered water if you can but if you don’t have it, then whatever works best for you). The water should cover at least 2 inches above the buckwheat. Let soak overnight.

After soaking, rinse again very thoroughly in the strainer. You’ll notice the buckwheat feels a bit slimy, this is totally normal. Just rinse and rinse until the “slime” is gone. Tada! You now have your soaked buckwheat! I like to leave it in the strainer for about an hour to try and drain as much as possible.

** Date Paste: I make date paste simply by processing date in my food processor with a bit of water. I use medjool dates, which are quite soft to begin with, but if you using a harder date, I would recommend soaking them first, for a few hours, then blending them up (don’t forget to pit them if you need to!). There isn’t really any measurements, just remember to start with a little water (a tablespoon) and work up until you reach a smooth but thick consistency. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator – use it as a sugar replacement in baking, make some more buckwheat crisps, eat it by the spoonful!

*** No Dehydrator? If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could probably line a cookie sheet with parchment and bake it in the oven on the lowest temperature (granted that you have an oven. If you don’t have an oven... well, you could just eat the whole thing from the bowl and it would be just as nutritious!). Just keep an eye on it, I haven’t tried it this way so I’m not sure how long it would need to be in there, but just check it every once in a while. Then flip (and score if you wish) the same way as described above, and continue in the oven until crispy (if you were feeling generous you could even record the time it took you and post your oven recipe in the comment section below for others). The lower the temperature, the less enzyme destruction will occur, and the more nutritious the crisps will be.

I would have posted photos of the dehydrated product, but they all got eaten before I remembered to take a picture!

Obviously there are no rules when making food. This recipe is so versatile and easily changed; you can throw pretty much anything you want in here! Adjust the amounts to suit your taste, throw in a dash of cinnamon, some maple syrup, etc. I just made a batch that also contained maca, goji berries, cacao nibs, and chia. But just to keep things simple, try the basic recipe first. It’s great just as is!

 Teralee Trommeshauser lives in Castlegar, BC, and is a health and fitness enthusiast, currently working on her Holistic Nutrition and Fitness Education certifications.