On most days this expediency we have towards Christmas would annoy me. Just seeing Christmas decorations in October brings out my inner Grinch. I mean, I'd like to enjoy Thanksgiving if you don't mind!
But not today. Today I have become one of them. One of those insidious people who try to will the twelve days of Christmas closer through incessant glee and holiday cheer. I hum hall decking tunes. I dance a little jingle bell jig. And inevitably, I bake. And bake. And bake. The kitchen beacons me, luring me in with the oven's warmth and it's oh so magical scent of cinnamon and cloves. I wait an entire year to experience this kind of snow. It's the kind of snow that enchants the air and breathes mystery into the normalcy of life.
So, you can hate winter if you want. You can sulk at Frosty and "bah humbug" all you'd like. But not at this snow. May this snow remind you of the blessing of new beginnings. May it surround you with joy and peace and contentment to be just who you are, where you are.
And may it bring you alive with the mystery of life.
[FUN BUCKWHEAT FACTS]
Buckwheat is a blood-building food making it a good gluten-free grain for people with diabetes [it helps to stabilize blood sugar]. It boasts the longest transit time [in comparison to other grains] and therefore keeps you feeling full and satisfied for a longer period of time. Its real claim to fame, however, is that it contains a high proportion of all eight amino acids. In addition, it's a good source of protein and high in calcium. A minor caution: if you have signs of extreme heat [fever, thirst, and / or high blood pressure] you may want to minimize your consumption of buckwheat.
To the creators of "Got Milk?", you may not like this. Amaranth is significantly higher in protein and calcium than milk when compared cup for cup. It is an important food for pregnant or nursing women, infants, children, laborers, people who are very thin, and anyone that expends a significant amount of energy, such as athletes. It's a wonderful source of magnesium and silicon [two nutrients needed for calcium absorption], phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Considered a chi tonic, amaranth improves the quantity and quality of energy available to the body. It also aides in the healing of congestion, excessive menstruation, and yeast overgrowth.
1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c. amaranth
1 1/4 c. coconut milk [or other non-dairy milk]
2 tbsp. black strap molasses
4 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. star of anise or anise seed, finely ground
1 tsp. fennel seed, finely ground
1/4 tsp. dried ginger, finely ground
1/2 tsp. Real Salt sea salt
1 1/4 c. buckwheat flour
1 1/2 c. gluten-free flour [1/2 c. millet flour + 1/2 c. tapioca flour]
1/4 - 1/2 c. water
extra buckwheat flour for dusting
In a small saucepan bring coconut milk to boil. Reduce heat to gentle simmer and add amaranth. Simmer until amaranth is cooked [see manufacturer's instructions for cooking time]. Remove from heat and stir in oats. Set aside until cool [or let stand 10 minutes and then place in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the cooling process].
When the oat mixture has cooled completely, place in a mixing bowl and add the molasses, coconut oil, baking powder, sea salt, ground anise, fennel, and ginger. Blend well [I like using the paddle attachment here if you have a KitchenAid mixer]. Add in buckwheat flour and blend. Add tapioca flour and blend. Finally add millet flour and blend well [you may have to remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand]. Knead until a smooth, firm dough has formed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your counter top. Cut or break the dough in half and place one half aside. Roll the other half into a ball and place on floured surface. Flatten the ball with your hands, sprinkle with flour, and roll, using a rolling pin, until 1/4 - 1/8" thick [you may have to dust with flour from time to time to prevent tearing and sticking]. Once the thickness is achieved [the thinner the better], cut dough with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, remove the cut dough pieces from the counter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this process until all of the dough [including the half set aside] has been used. You can sprinkle them with a little salt if you don't plan on giving them to your child.
Place pans in oven and bake for 9 minutes. Flip crackers and bake another 6 - 8 minutes [depending on the thickness of the crackers]. Watch carefully to make sure they don't burn.
Remove from oven and let stand 5 - 10 minutes to cool. Repeat with remaining dough [you should have at least two "rounds" depending on the size of your crackers]. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 60 - 70 crackers, less than $3.00 per recipe or less than $0.04 per cracker.
[This recipe is inspired by 101cookbooks.com]