Onion Flax Seed Crackers with Basil Guacamole and Za’atar

Posted by in Gluten-Free, Side Dishes, Vegan

It is hard to believe that there was once a time in my life when acquiring and consuming avocados wasn’t a high priority in my life. I spend a good amount of my days thinking about what else I can put an avocado on, the different varieties that exist that I may have not yet tried, and how else I can make this fruit a central part of each meal. I’m not sure where my mind was before, but somewhere along the way a flip was switched and I now belong to the great state of Avocadoton. And I’m feeling patriotic.

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I’d like to attribute my newfound naturalization to an idea that I’ve been working on embodying. Luckily, not all of my mental space is consumed with thoughts of food. In addition to the avocados, I’m focusing more and more as of late on keeping my mind open and accepting. I’m finding that something wonderful tends to happen when I get a little bit uncomfortable and push through that discomfort. While we always have our past experiences to learn from and to guide us, the more I incorporate new experiences and ideas with what I have learned in the past, the more awake and happy I feel. Through this, I’m realizing that even in the most trying of circumstances, I’m always okay. We are beautifully complex creatures that can handle so much. We have a multitude of strengths and much self-awareness to gain from simply being open to change. The more we focus on potential and possibility, the less friction we feel in our day-to-day.

Now back to the food. Za’atar is an ingredient that I’ve continuously heard about, but found difficult to locate. Naturally, it’s elusiveness only increased my interest and desire, so I decided to make my own. Za’atar is a blend of dried herbs and spices that is commonly consumed in the Middle East and North Africa. It is typically eaten atop pita bread drenched in olive oil or as a seasoning for meat. It is believed that it’s consumption can increase mental clarity and physical strength – but it’s also damn delicious. Typically made from sesame seeds, sumac, salt, thyme, and oregano, variations of this blend occur in different regions. And whether or not it makes me more mentally alert, I’m going to continue sprinkling it on my avocados.
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This recipe makes me happy. I’m pretty sure that is what feeding yourself is supposed to do, and I hope it has the same effect on you. It’s a bit of a spin on avocado toast, but with flavors gathered from different parts of the world. Because the crackers are baked on a sheet, the edges get crispy while the pieces at the center of the tray stay a little soft. The guacamole is not traditionally Mexican, but a bit Italian with the addition of fresh basil leaves. Gluten-free and vegan, I’ve eaten this dish for breakfast as well as lunch and continuously keep making more. Between the onions, basil, and za’atar, it’s got a lot going on.
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Onion Flax Seed Crackers with Basil Guacamole and Za’atar

For the crackers:

  • 4 sweet yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 c ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 c hemp seeds
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 200F and line 2 baking sheets with foil, then coat generously in coconut oil. Place chopped onions in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not liquified. Add the rest of the ingredients to the processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Spread half of mixture onto each prepared baking sheet in an even layer and place in preheated oven. Bake for 4 hours or until the edges are crisped and crackers are hard to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then break up crackers into 4-inch-sized crackers. Can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.
While crackers are baking, make the za’atar.

For the za’atar:

  • 1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted or raw
  • 1/4 c dried thyme
  • 1/8 c dried lemon peel
  • 1/8 c sumac
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Combine well with a fork and store in an airtight jar.

For the guacamole:

  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, washed and cut chiffonade
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, place cored and peeled avocados. Mash with a fork until chunky. Add ribboned basil leaves, minced garlic, and salt and pepper and thoroughly combine.

When the crackers have cooled, spread a heaping spoonful or two of the guacamole onto the cracker. Sprinkle with a few pinches of za’atar and serve!
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