Why Homemade Chips & Crackers?

Learn a quick and simple way to bake them in the new book, Crunch!  Whole Grain Artisan Chips & CrackersAuthored by Oakland’s Alice Friedemann, Crunch!  is based on five years of nutritional research and kitchen experimentation, and includes scores of recipes.  Crunch!  can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, in print or digital.

Want junk?   Nope.  Didn’t think so! Rather than the junk-food chips and crackers sold in groceries, homemade chips and crackers are a health food, especially when served with guacamole, fruit salsa, hummus, or broken up to be used as croutons in salads.  You can make them with more than 30 kinds of whole flours, from many kinds of grains, lentils, nuts, seeds, and beans.

Bet you can’t eat just one!  Delicious, made with hundreds of spices, flavorings, toppings, dips, cheeses.  Pick your own favorites and you can’t go wrong.

Easy, no-dough rolling.  Prep time of 5 minutes, and into the oven.  Cost: about 25 cents a batch.

Healthy.  Whole grains can reduce your risk of stroke 30-36%, heart disease 25-28%, and Type 2 diabetes 21-30%.

A long life anybody?   What are the leading causes of early death and disability in America according to the World Health Organization?  Not eating enough fruit, #7; not enough nuts & seeds #8; not enough vegetables (includes legumes , beans) #13; not enough whole grains #17;  not enough fiber #18.   Chips and crackers have everything but fruit.  Source: 2010 World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease report

You can only eat so many calories a day – so make them count!

(Mis)Truth in labeling. Labels on commercial crackers and chips trick you into thinking you are buying whole grain.  Not one of these is whole grain: multi-grain, mixed grain, hearty grain, 9 grain, cracked wheat, stone ground, refined whole wheat, bran, wheat germ, organic wheat flour, enriched organic wheat flour.

Nutrition.  Grains are alive.  They’re seeds — full of the complete nutrition a baby plant needs, and one of the densest sources of nutrition on the planet.  Bread wasn’t called the staff of life for nothing.  White flour is unhealthy, stripped of fiber, vitamins, and more — plus up to 30 chemicals are added – it ought to be a crime to sell it.  Baked goods have to add lots of sugar, salt, and fats to hide the chemical flavors and trick you into coming back for more.

Get enough calories: If you’re hurting from the recession, grains & legumes are cheap and will stretch your food and your health budget. Globally grains & legumes are two-thirds of the calories people eat.  They’re why civilization exists.  We’ve even evolved new abilities to digest a high-starch diet the past 10,000 years (even dogs have).                 

Gluten-free.  If you’re in the 5% gluten intolerant or the 1% with celiac disease, chips and crackers can be made from non-gluten flours:  corn, split pea, lentil, dal, garbanzo, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, oats, quinoa, almond, walnut, soy, etc.

They last for two months.  Bread goes stale the next day.  Your chips and crackers are your best friends – they’re always there for you.

Emergencies.  Whole wheat flour lasts a year. Whole grains, beans, corn, and lentils can last many years.  With a Family Grain Mill you can mill nutritious fresh flour and be prepared for emergencies (has a manual attachment). Be prepared. Learn how to use whole grains now, and have chips & crackers on hand when the grid goes down.

Are you a caterer or chef?  Your customers expect better than industrial boxed crackers for appetizers—they’re seeking fresh local food.  Distinguish yourself with artisan crackers.

About Alice

I've milled and baked with whole grains for many years, because whole grains are delicious, and white flour is missing the nutrition that protects you from cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. Plus it's a good emergency food.
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