Friday, February 22, 2013

Coconut Flour Onion Dill Cheese Crackers, Low Carbohydrate, High Fiber and Crazy Delicious!

Something froze over. Seriously.  It isn't every day that I can look out and see snow on the sand-stone. In fact, I can count on 2 fingers the times it has ever snowed here in my Sonoran Desert since I moved her 17 years ago...and yesterday was one of those days. I had, a few weeks ago picked up some more amazing organic coconut flour and it seemed like a perfect day to play with this stuff...seeing all the other white flakes just flicked all over the valley. Yes, this is officially how my giant brain works.  The last time I shared a coconut flour recipe it was for Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes with white chocolate peppermint mousse.  Here are some things you should know about coconut flour:

Coconut flour can be difficult to work with if you are unfamiliar with it.  

  •  You cannot use 100% coconut flour in recipes that are designed for wheat flour.
  •  Coconut flour lacks gluten, and thus won't hold air or make a texture like that found in gluten breads. 
  • Adding egg or Xanthan gum has been a great way to replace the wheat protein in my gluten-free baking and still give the texture I want in my crackers, muffins and cookies. 
  •  As a general rule, if you are adding say, 1/4 cup of coconut flour to a recipe, you'll need to increase the liquid by the same amount. 
  •  It absorbs it's volume in water.
  •  I use a minimal amount of liquid in my coconut flour baking  because adding too much liquid will also cause the final product to be very moist, sometimes overly moist and mushy.  
  • The extra fiber will keep you full longer and help promote a healthy colon and weight loss.
  • Because it is low in carbohydrate, it is an excellent replacement for regular flour in recipes. I personally suggest reading Cooking With Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife. It is a great read and has helped me immensely with my baking skills using this remarkable flour. That being said, I've also found some of my own favorite tricks for using the flour.
  •  Coconut flour, unlike most other flours, is very high in fiber. It does in fact have 4 grams of fiber in 2 Tablespoons of the flour. It has a light coconut flavor, and that can be either played with and used for a coconut undertone to your dishes or just covered with herbs and spices.

Chef Tess Onion Dill Low-Carb Cheese Crackers
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup freeze-dried Colby Cheese
1/2 cup organic coconut flour
1T Chef Tess Big Dill Seasoning (or 1 1/2 tsp dill, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp onion, 1/2 tsp pepper)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients. Allow dough to sit 10 minutes. The flour will absorb the liquid and the cheese will hydrate slightly. In all honesty, the freeze dried cheese is my secret ingredient. It stays slightly crunchy and gives the crackers the perfect crunch. The xantham gum will help the crackers hold together and lend a very nice texture to the finished crackers. 

 Roll out thin on a lightly oiled baking stone ( I use a 18 inch pizza stone), lightly oiling the top of the dough if needed to keep it from sticking to your rolling pin, until 1/8th inch thick. I roll a little sprinkle of salt on top of the crackers. Cut into 1 inch squares. 

 Bake 400 degrees 20-25 minutes until crisp. Open oven. Turn off heat and let crackers sit in the oven 10 minutes (200 degrees or so until very dry and crunchy).

Yield 4 servings, 137 calories a serving. 8 g fat, 8 g protein, 4 g fiber, 8 carb (4 net).

There you go my darlings, make some great coconut flour crackers!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

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