November 4, 2013 7 Comments
The following recipes are suitable for a nut-free lunchbox.
Many of the lunchbox snacks that I prepare at home contain nuts, as my school-aged tiny vegans are not restricted from bringing nuts to school. However, 4 year old Tiny Vegan began attending a ‘nut-free’ pre-school earlier this year. Consequently, this has inspired me to experiment with nut-free lunchbox snacks.
These tasty crackers consist of dried chilli flakes, fresh parsley, nutritional yeast, ground flaxseeds, tahini, oats and brown rice flour.
This recipe was inspired by a gluten-free cracker that I featured during Vegan MoFo. I decided to experiment with a nut-free cracker recipe that consists of pantry staples – like dried chilli flakes and tahini – and fresh herbs. I chose parsley as it grows so abundantly in our little herb garden.
(Quantity – approximately 40 small crackers)
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds (golden or brown)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 – 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tightly packed tsp of finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp asofoetida (hing) or garlic powder
2 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
5 Tbsp water
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced/350F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Use a food processor or coffee grinder to grind the oats to a fine flour. Add the oats to a mixing bowl.
3. Add the remaining dry ingredients, including the fresh parsley and chilli flakes.
4. Add the tahini and water. Mix well with a spatula or fork, then use your hands to form the mixture into a ball of dough.
5. Sprinkle brown rice flour onto a wooden board or kitchen counter. Knead the dough for several minutes on the floured surface, then divide the dough it into about 6 segments*. Use a rolling pin to roll each segment, one at a time, to a thickness of about 3mm. Use a pizza cutter (or knife) to cut the dough into small crackers, roughly 4cm x 4cm.
6. Transfer the crackers to the baking tray. Prick each cracker with the prongs of a fork a couple of times. Bake for approximately 15 -18 minutes, or until the crackers are a light golden brown colour.
7. The crackers will harden as they cool. Once cooled, store in an air tight container.
*I divide the dough into segments as I find it easier to ‘manage’ (ie. roll and cut) a smaller quantity of dough.
The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts
The tiny vegans are enthusiastic about spicy food, so I use the full 1/4 tsp in this recipe. If you – or your kids – are not keen on spicy crackers, use 1/8 tsp for a subtler ‘kick’.
The tiny vegans enjoy these crackers plain, or with dips like hummus.
This recipe is a nut-free version of a recipe that I developed for Vegan MoFo, Nutty Cinnamon Bites.
1 cup oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw carob powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup dates
1/2 cup sultanas or pitted prunes
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
coconut sugar and/or shredded coconut for coating
1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor in the order that they are listed.
2. Process the mixture for about 2 minutes, until it clumps together and forms a large ball on the blade. The mixture will stick together when pressed between your fingers and thumb.
3. To form into balls: Scoop out a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, and roll it between the palms of your hands until it forms a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Roll the balls in shredded coconut and/or coconut sugar. Can be eaten immediately, or refrigerated for half an hour before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.
4. To form into bars: Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Press the mixture into the tin with your fingers or a spatula. Smooth the top. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Remove from the freezer and cut into bars. The bars can be topped with raw cacao nibs or shredded coconut.
The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts
This recipe is a popular lunchbox snack with the tiny vegans – in ball or bar form.
Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.