When John and I look back upon our time in Eilat, I think about how different our experiences will have been in comparison:
1. He typically works 10 hours a day, six days a week vs. I have no defined job
2. He is surrounded by people all day: tousits and coworkers, and me when he comes home vs. Besides volunteering at the botanical gardens or visits to the grocer or beach, I am home . . . quite alone.
3. He explores miles of Eilat ocean underwater vs. I discover the ends-and-out of this city on foot
4. He takes his sixth student on an introductory dive as the sun is setting vs. I’m off somewhere jogging in the desert
How strange it will be when we think back on this period of having lived in a foreign country and seen each other so infrequently.
|Green crackers!? Green crackers! No vegetables necessary!|
I have been busy, nonetheless.
I’m lucky I can say that I have not once felt bored, and the loneliness is not too frequent. I value this period as a means to catch up on writing, learning yoga (finally), reading, and recipe development.
It is, in fact, a bit absurd to think about the hours I have logged prepping, cooking, and reading about food.
Oh yes, you can bet your buns that during this period in which I have my very own kitchen, I plan to catch up on my recipe repertoire with a vengeance.
|Yeah you heard it right, you's about to go to Chowtown|
My latest recipe is a new staple. Hands down.
Or, hands raised to my mouth over and over again, filling it with probably way too much food.
You see, I have this on-again-off-again relationship with bread.
We try so hard to make it work, we really do. I mean, in France, we tried way too hard. But it just doesn’t. There is genuine mutual love and respect, but in the end, the relationship is dysfunctional.
I’m sorry bread. It’s just not working out. The hips don’t lie.
But I’m not giving up on flour completely. There are too many cheeses, dips, and spreads out there just waiting for a crunchy, toasty serving vessel. We’re just toning the dough down a bit. (This can also be easily turned into a delicious gluten-free recipe!)
I keep looking at this huge bag of matcha (green tea) powder that I’ve lugged with me all the way from Wyoming to Georgia, then through England, France, and Germany, and now to Israel.
What is wrong with me?
It would seem that I bought way too much. And it’s expensive. It’s like that fifty dollar bottle of gourmet infused balsamic vinegar that has been sitting in your pantry for the past year. Amazing, but what do you do with it?
|Green is the new gorgeous, didn't you know?|
But wait, matcha powder is chock-full of antioxidants and goodness! It’s no vinegar, you fiend! I couldn’t leave the stuff behind.
I mean, I was looking up the benefits of matcha powder on Body Health Love's website, and did you know that a gram of matcha powder has over five times the antioxidants of goji berries? Or twenty-eight more times than wheatgrass!?
That’s a big deal.
But alas, I’ve gotten a bit “tead” out lately. I’ve tried matcha brownies, cookies, and smoothies, and still the bag doesn’t seem to shrink.
So one day, as I fretted over the fact that the crackers from my natural foods store have way too much fiber in them (that’s almost too much information), a lightbulb went off.
How about a matcha green tea vessel that could go with lots of other foods and not have to be the main player? Not have to overwhelm the other flavors? What if I could skip pita with my feisty baba ganoush? Crostini with roasted pepper, olive, and chevre bruschetta? Ritz with my velveeta!?
(So, um, even if you have some sort of evidence that I’ve carried outnumerous scandalous-if-fleeting love affairs with that last example I, um...I deny it. Really.)
So, I did it.
And I’m just gonna get it out in the open now: This is a first. Go ahead, google “green tea crackers” or “matcha crackers.” Yup. Nothing (at least in 2012)!
Why nobody else has thought to incorporate the health benefits of green tea into the beautiful carrier that is a cracker, I do not know.
But somebody had to do it. And now it's your turn.
Matcha Green Tea Crackers
· 1 cup flour of your choosing*
· ½ cup seeds (I used raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds), ground to coarse powder
· 2 tbs matcha green tea powder
· 2 tbs black sesame seeds
· 2 tbs tahini (looking for something else to do with all that tahini?)
· 1 ½ tbs honey
· 1 tsp sea salt
· 2 ½ tbs sesame, sunflower, or extra virgin olive oil (or some blend therein)
· Approx 2 tbs water
*I usually use 1/2 cup gluten free flour and 1/2 cup finely ground oats
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix seeds (except for the black sesame seeds) in a food processor until ground coarsely. Add tahini, honey, and oil until just incorporated.
Combine wet mixture with flour, green tea powder, salt, sesame seeds, and water until you get a workable dough. Use your hands because it's fun. Add more water if it’s super dry, but note that it shouldn't be too moist or else the dough will be too sticky to work with.
Starting with a smooth, floured surface, flatten dough with hands, cover parchment or wax paper, and then roll it out as thinly as possible (just like you would a pie crust). Run it through your pasta maker if you have one.
Be gentle as the floating lotus flower; this dough can be a bit brittle depending on the flour you use. It will probably be slightly jagged on the edges, so pinch together where possible.
|oh you so jagged and dangerous (pre-bakeage shot)|
Since I have the tiniest oven in the world, I broke the dough into two batches. I suggest doing this until you get the recipe down, as baking times may differ depending on altitude and oven size.
Plus, if you’re like me and you zone out during the final, most important minutes before something begins to burn, you’ll be able to salvage at least half of your dough the second time around.
After about 6-10 minutes, or when the dough begins to brown around the edges, remove from the oven. Don’t let the green color throw you off—these babies are done even though they aren’t getting golden in the middle (something you might be conditioned to looking for). You’re looking for a “golden-green” color, if that exists?
Let rest for about 30 minutes, then break up into random pieces. Who needs a square cracker?
I have eaten these crackers solo, with cheese, tapenade, hummus, more cheese, peanut butter….you name it.
I’ve yet to be displeased.
Tomorrow, I’m off to a “zoo” in the middle of the desert to play with reptiles, hang out with some Israelis, and escape Eilat for a while.
The crackers are coming with me.
Until then, let’s eat...
Leave a comment below and let me know what you tried and how they turned out!
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And if you're feeling literary, check out my other blog: RoadWritten.com
NOM NOM! I had never heard of Mactha.. but I am going to have to explore!ReplyDelete
oh you will love it. it gets all slimy when you put it in a drink and that's nice in a strange way, tooDelete
You lugged matcha green tea around with you for THAT long? That's admirable.ReplyDelete
And I agree it's hard to have a good relationship with bread... I tried to bake bread in my mini slow-cooker (in my dorm room, so messy!) And ended up inhaling 1/2 the entire recipe in 30 minutes. In my defense it was garlic-rosemary bread, and whole wheat...
Anyways those crackers look delicious, I love the green. People should eat more green foods anyways (green nettle soup, green zucchini bread, green...s...)
it's admirable and strange. I've gotten into nettle stuff since throwing them in soup and whatnot at kerjean. who knew...!Delete
This looks like a great recipe! I will have to make it for the kids during their Christmas break from school. I checked out the link for the matcha and that one doesn't look very good. Is there a difference between ceremonial grade and food grade matcha? I did a search online and found one at http://www.kaimatcha.com that looks good. What do you think?ReplyDelete
There's a lot of varying opinions on where to draw the line between ceremonial vs. food grade. It's frustrating, but unfortunately bound to happen sometimes when a food becomes this popular. The general consensus is that if you have a true ceremonial grade matcha, it has the most delicate flavor and the overall highest quality. However, I buy food grade with no complaints, and judging by verbose user reviews on many food grade matchas, it seems like you can get generally get away with paying less for a highly-rated food grade matcha. It would definitely be the go-to in this recipe, and the best part is that it is still a nutritional powerhouse. After another review of what Amazon has available, I think SerendipiTea Matcha Culinary Grade would be the best bet in that field. Judging by online reviews of Kaimatcha, that also looks like a great choice.ReplyDelete
If the budget is tight though, go for a highly-rated culinary grade and treat yourself to an occasional glass of ceremonial, just to remind yourself that you're not making a terrible mistake or anything.
Bottom line is that you should always make sure that your matcha is from Japan, look for a beautiful bright green color, and let your taste buds guide you through all the subtle flavors to find what you really prefer. In the end, you're doing yourself a favor no matter what you decide :)
Green leaf tea has many benefits as it helps to keep our mood cool,reduce the level of blood sugar etc. My favorite tea is loose green leaf tea.ReplyDelete
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When you taste this tea for the first time, it can be compared to the taste of a dark chocolate or red wine. However, when it is added as an intermediate ingredient in other recipes, the taste becomes more subtle.ReplyDelete
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