I made these once before after being inspired by a recipe by Rawtarian. I changed the recipe somewhat but didn't write it down. The second time around I made sure I documented it!
You will need:
1 cup dried lentils, soaked, drained and sprouted for 5 days (makes about 8 cups, 720g of sprouts)
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked, drained and sprouted for 1 day (sprouting part is optional)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (The first time I made them I didn't use flax and they still came out well, but this time I figured that 1 tablespoon wouldn't be a bad thing - extra omega 3s and a little help as a binder.)
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (This might seem like a lot, but you won't taste it. Lentils are quite 'earthy' and so the balsamic vinegar brightens the taste up somewhat.)
4 tablespoons maple syrup (The crackers won't be sweet, I find the maple syrup goes well with the vinegar.)
Spices: This is up to you, get adventurous! I used a mixture of Indian spices, but you could use just curry powder. I like a little spice, so I added some chili flakes and Kashmiri chili. If you use another type of chili powder, such as cayenne, use less, Kashmiri chili isn't as hot.
3 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (adjust for heat)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
a pinch of fenugreek, cumin, coriander and cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
A little planning is needed here as you need to sprout the lentils for about 5 days. The first time I made them I used 2-day-old sprouts and whilst the crackers were great, I did feel that the lentils would have been better if sprouted for longer. This time I used 5-6-day-old sprouts and the taste was better.
Take 1 cup of dried green lentils, give them a good rinse, remove and little stones (rare but can happen) and leave them to soak overnight or for about 8-12 hours in a large glass bowl or jar of water. Then drain them, rinse and drain well again. Now it's time for them to begin their sprouting journey! Rinse and drain them twice a day for about 5 days. Keep them in the dark! (I grew mine in a 1 litre almond milk carton...click here for sprouting lentils.)
Then soak and sprout the sunflower seeds
Around day 4 leave 1 cup of sunflower seeds in soak for about 8-12 hours and then rinse and drain them well. You can either use them straight after soaking, or leave them to sprout a day, it's up to you.
Soak the sunflower seeds.
Let's make crackers!
1 cup of dried lentils grows to 8 cups!
After about 5 days your 1 cup of dried lentils will have turned into a huge pile of sprouts! These in the photo were sprouting for 5.5 days. Wash and drain them really well and put them in the food processor together with the sunflower seeds and all the other ingredients. It will seem like a ridiculously large amount and will fill up your food processor, but have no fear, once you start processing them, they break down into almost nothing, so don't worry, you won't end up having crackers for the whole neighbourhood.
The lentil sprouts and sunflower seeds will fill up your food processor!
Add the spices gradually, so you can add more or less according to your preference. Process with the S-blade.
Process well using the S-blade.
You want to break down the lentils as much as you can. It doesn't have to be completely smooth, just enough to not have big lentil lumps in your crackers.
Break down the lentil sprouts as much as you can.
Spread the mixture evenly over two dehydrator sheets, making sure you don't spread it too thin or you'll end up with holes once the mixture dehydrates. Score them with a spatula. My Sedona trays are 29cm x 35cm. The mixture will be about 1/2- 3/4 cm (1/4 inch) thick. You can make them even thicker if you like, they're better thick than too thin. Once dehydrated completely, they become lovely and crunchy.
Use a spatula to score it.
Dehydrate for the first 3 hours at 128°F (53°C) and then turn the temperature down to 118°F (47.7°C). The definition of 'raw' is not cooking above 118°F, however Ann Wigmore, the Queen of the raw food movement, said in her books that it's okay to dehydrate for the first few hours at a slightly warmer temperature, as the food doesn't actually reach that temperature. Obviously, this part is up to you and you can dehydrate at any temperature you wish. The higher the temperature, the less time they will need to dry out, but they won't be raw and I think that would be a shame since we have those wonderful lentil sprouts brimming with enzymes.
After a few hours they're ready to flip over.
After a few hours (5-8) the crackers will be dry enough to flip them over. Only do this when they are dry enough, otherwise the mixture will stay stuck on the sheet and you'll end up with a right old mess. I actually left these in the pics overnight as they weren't ready to flip when I was ready to go to bed. If you leave them for longer than necessary without flipping them over, the ones on the sides tend to curve up a little. Good for scooping up food ;)
Peel off the sheet.
You can tell they're ready if you can lift them off of the silicone sheet. Flip it over and carefully peel it off. Now the crackers can dry out even more, as the air can circulate underneath them too. I usually dehydrate my crackers for around 24 hours, but these needed about 40 hours in order to become really crunchy. Just leave them until they're ready. They will eventually become crunchy, I promise.
Spicy sprouted lentil crackers
It's definitely worth the wait!
A healthy and tasty cracker for your dips and spreads!
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