Juice Pulp Cracker Experimentation: A Chia/Flax Comparison, and a New Recipe for Raw Lemon Thyme Crackers

by Gena on June 23, 2011

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Back in the days when I juiced almost daily—a bygone era whose recession I attribute to being just a whole lot busier—I watched bowl after bowl of organic veggie pulp migrate into my trash. It was awful to watch, if only because it was like watching so many dollar signs be flushed away. Sure, I had a great cup of juice, but what of all the stuff I was throwing out? Surely, I thought, I could figure out a use for it.

Life changed forever when I discovered how to make juice pulp crackers at home (and carrot falafel, and spinach burgers, and green guac, and more). I was ecstatic to find that there was a simple and easy way to avoid having any waste at all (even though I maintain that, if I couldn’t use the pulp, it would still be worth it to juice).

Nowadays, the problem isn’t that I have too much juice pulp on my hands, but rather that I have too little. I try to juice on Saturdays and Sundays, but the honest truth of the matter is that I don’t often find time during my busy weeks, and I’m at peace with it. The downside is that I miss having juice pulp crackers, flatbreads, burgers, and so on to snack on, as they make for a great alternative to grain based sources of crunch. They’re also economical, tasty, and—as far as dehydrator recipes go—very easy.

That’s where friends like Valerie come in. Valerie happens to run her blog out of a very modest kitchen—it’s amazing what she does to economize space—and she recently mentioned that she always has a glut of juice pulp in her freezer. The excited look on my face must have said it all: she immediately offered to send me home with a few bags of frozen juice pulp.

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Is it a little weird to catch a bus home with a big purse full of frozen green juice pulp? Yes, yes it is. But I never said I was normal.

If any of you are wondering, juice pulp freezes beautifully, though I wouldn’t exceed 3-4 weeks.

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Valerie mentioned that she’s been experimenting with different sorts of pulp crackers, and namely with both chia and flax as her base. After sampling some of her delicious creations (some with cayenne—yum!) I was inspired to get to work on my own, side-by-side comparison of the two methods. I made a chia seed recipe first, using my original template for pulp crackers and substituting chia for flax. I also threw chia seeds in at the end, which was a great touch!

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Chia Juice Pulp Crackers (raw, vegan, GF)

Yields 1 dehydrator sheet worth of crackers, 24-30

2 cups juice pulp, tightly packed
1/2 cup ground chia seed
2-3 tbsp tamari (I like my salty)
2 tsps coriander
black pepper to taste
1/3-1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chia seeds, whole

1) Place pulp, ground chia, tamari, coriander, and black pepper in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine well.

2) Add the water and let the motor run, till mixture is right consistency (start by adding 1/4 of a cup and move up: how much you need will depend on how much liquid was in the pulp already). You want your mixture to be thick and sticky, but spreadable.

3) Add whole chia seeds and pulse to combine.

4) Spread on a Teflex lined dehydrator sheet, score into cracker shapes and dehydrate at 115 for about 5-6 hours. Flip the sheet over (you may want to put another sheet on top and then flip them both), and then dehydrate till very dry, about 4-5 more hours.

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Love! My immediate thought is that the chia seed crackers end up less crunchy than flax crackers, but they’re also thicker and a little heartier. I think they’d actually make wonderful raw flatbread that’s actually more bread than cracker—it’s next on my agenda! These were a refreshing alternative to the usual flax stuff.

But of course, the flax crackers are great, too. And since I had a lot of juice pulp thanks to Val, I made some of those, too, using a new lemon thyme variation that’s stunning!

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Lemon Thyme Juice Pulp Crackers (raw, vegan, GF)

Makes about 24-30 crackers

2 tightly packed cups juice pulp (any veggies you like)
1/2 cup flax meal, ground
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsps crushed thyme
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
Black pepper to taste (I’m generous with it)
1/4-1/2 cup water

1) Blend all ingredients save the water in a food processor. Add water in a thin stream till the mix is easy to spread, but still a bit sticky (the amount of water you’ll need will vary based on how watery the pulp is).

2) Turn the "dough" out onto a teflex dehydrator sheet and spread it evenly. Score into cracker or flatbread shapes–I tend to do half and half of each!

3) Dehydrate the crackers at 115 degrees for about 5-6 hours. Flip the sheet by putting another teflex sheet over it, flipping it over, and then peeling off your original sheet.

4) Dehydrate for another 4-5 hours, or until crackers are nice and crunchy (again, this time may vary based on how watery your pulp was).

Oven option (also applies to chia crackers): bake crackers at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking on them often to be sure they’re not burning. Use your kitchen intuition!

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These, too, are delicious. See how they’re sort of thinner and crunchier than the chia ones?

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They also make wonderful flatbread for lunch or snackage:

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Chia, flax…let’s call the whole thing off. No matter how you slice it (pun intended) these mixtures are wonderful way to get essential fatty acids, beneficial fiber, and veggie goodness into a high raw day. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite raw or cooked cracker recipe? And what other sorts of things do you like to do with juice pulp?

xo

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine (The Raw Project) June 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I have such a love/hate relationship with my juicer because of the wasted pulp. Today it’s not bad because I can compost it, but still feels like a waste of money or too time consuming to plan something with the pulp each time I juice.

Love that you have juice pulp in your purse, I’ve carried some odd ingredients too. :-) These recipes look wonderful and are tempting me to brake out my juicer again. My favorite cracker recipe would probably be your original pulp crackers and the lucky hemp bread spread thinner to dehydrate into crackers.

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bitt June 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm

thank you for a flax-free cracker recipe!!! my husband can’t eat flax (it’s a rare but real allergy) so we always have to do this. plus some people dislike flax and it turns them off eating raw crackers for good. i think chia is milder and less crunchy. although flax is more economical. i’ve also heard horror stories about flax seeds infecting people’s teeth and they cracked mine once, if anyone needs more motivation to lay off them.

i am stuck home here today so maybe i should drag out that juicer…just for the crackers with the pulp of course.

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Ali (urbanfruitbat) June 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Those look great Gena, I love the addition of herbs! I like to use yams as a base, and add dill and basil. Chia is also such a great idea! I have a surplus of it here, because my old job (at a supplements department) liked to give samples of EVERYTHING. I have had a jar sitting in my fridge for a while now. I will be putting it to bready use to be sure! Also, I think you have to change your about me! So much has changed for you, new readers probably would like to know!

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Ali (urbanfruitbat) June 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

And I do have to say, the juice pulp in the purse on the bus thing, totally weird. But I think that comes with the raw territory right? Every couple of weeks my M and I come home on the bus with three or four frozen whole durian! Also pretty weird.

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I love juice pulp raw crackers. The raw vegan cafe in my town makes them out of carrot pulp as one of the bases. So great!

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Melissa June 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I used to feel so wasteful throwing away perfectly good pulp. I sometimes throw in an apple or other fruit to sweeten up my green juices. Do you think the fruit pulp will throw off the flavor? Usually they’re mostly veggies, but I’ve always wondered if the fruit would ruin any potential pulp recipes.

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Janet June 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I’ve used all sorts of combinations. Fruit plus carrots or beets make a sweeter cracker, I’ve put in minced dried fruit and nuts as well. I think the main thing is to keep in mind the flavor combinations you’ve used in the juice. If it’s very green, tamari, lemon or lime juice can be good, with herbal flavors. I also like to add ground nuts to my mixes.

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Pure2raw twins June 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm

crackers look great!! favorite raw cracker, hmmm Twin Cakes collard onion ;)

and we got some of Zukay’s stuff to try too, although we had a big explosion with one of the bottles. Have a few still to try at least, but we are with you on FAT is a must for salad dressings.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I had the SAME thing happen and commented to Gena in her last post about it.

I posted about it on my site, too, and another reader, Ela/ulterior harmony said she had the same thing, too.

Lots of explosions going on. Stinky, sticky fun. lol

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Cat @ TheSplitPinDiary June 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Ahhhh it’s all of these posts about pulp crackers that make me wish that I had three things in my life:

1. more time
2. a juicer
3. a dehydrator!!

They look so good. I think the raw food revolution is starting to take a hold down here in Oz, so hopefully I’ll see them on menues somewhere sometime soon.

—–
Weight loss, recipes and advice – http://thesplitpindiary.wordpress.com/

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Katie (quick cook rice) June 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I love how Valerie sent you on a bus home with frozen juice pulp after a yoga class, and here at the end of this post is an ad for yoga clothes.

Very zen.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

“Back in the days when I juiced almost daily—a bygone era whose recession I attribute to being just a whole lot busier”– Oh how I love that line.

I have felt the same way for oh, about 2 years now. I havent dusted off my juicer in like, oh one year. I blame a FT job, a FT blog job, and oh yes, my child and hubs and house. No time to be juicing. But one day I will again.

I love that Val sent you home with a stash of frozen juice pulp. THAT is such a foodie thing and I just love that story. Classic. It’s the modern day of sending someone home with a tupperware container of casserole :)

Mu use for juice pulp: add agave, cinnamon, form into balls and bake. Juice ball cookies!

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Emma June 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Yum! Those looks so good. I’ve been meaning to make crackers such as these so I might have to try out this recipe soon!

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Get Skinny, Go Vegan. June 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Oh gosh. I do nothing with the pulp, compost it, that’s it.
Freezing is a good idea but then I might acquire one year’s worth quickly!

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Kristin June 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

This will sound overly dramatic but your juice pulp crackers have changed my life. I love them and juice now sometimes just to get the ingredients to make them. Thank you thank you thank you.

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whitney June 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Holy crackers! Make me some. :)

Whitney

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Eat Hike Sleep Repeat June 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I started making crackers with a mix of pulp – greens, beets, carrots, celery etc. I find that I like a “pure” cracker more now. Instead of the giant pulp mix, I separate out my pulps and then mix in the ones that I want. Favorite right now: carrot, apple, flax and cinnamon.

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Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) June 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I just got my dehydrator and have been dying to try some juice pulp crackers out. These are so simple I love it! DO you have a cheesy kale chip recipe Gena? Those are top on my dehydrator list as well!!! Thank you so much for the idea to freeze juice pulp. I too hate throwing away so much but don;t want it to take up room and spoil in my fridge. At last, a solution!

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Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) June 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

I’m still pining after a juicer! Someday soon . . . and I can’t wait to make the crackers too!

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Green Shushi June 24, 2011 at 8:18 am

ooh, I love the idea of using some of the pulp in burgers! And freezing the pulp! How did I not think of that? I feel so bad throwing it out…

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Desi@ThePalatePeacemaker June 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I am OCD about WASTE. I hate throwing away pulp from my juicer… And now that I have a dehydrator, I am thrilled I don’t have to do that any more! Thanks for this yummy recipe, Gena! Can’t wait to try it out. :)

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O town June 26, 2011 at 11:38 am

Maybe this is a silly question but will fruit pulp mixed with veggies work well too?

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats June 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Gena – I think it is perfectly normal to carry juice pulp on public transit :P So glad I could help. I definitely got a glut of juice pulp when I had no time to use it all up – I can make the time to juice even on a busy week (then it usually drops down to 1 to 2 times), but not always to use the pulp.

THank you for the shoutout. I love both versions of the crackers.

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Ashley @ TheUnintentionalVegan July 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

Love these recipes! I just got a huge bag of Chia seeds the other day and was looking for some different ways to use them – I will definitely be trying these cracker recipes!

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Bronxgirl1 August 27, 2011 at 10:56 pm

OMG…These are so amazingly good. They are so good that it makes me want to drop a few expletives. I only wish I knew about this recipe earlier. Thinking about all of the juice pulp I threw in the trash over the past year makes me want to weep. I think I will also try your other recipe where you turned juice pulp into burgers. Thanks ever so much for posting this!

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Cyndi McGregor April 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Yay, I can’t wait to try these!! I HATE flax crackers, and was looking for an alternative. Been juicing a few weeks now and am excited to be able to do something with the pulp! Made some yummy, garlic-herb almond cheese and need something to spread it on! THANK YOU! Look forward to checking out your other recipes!

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Gena April 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

You’re WELCOME! Welcome to CR!

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Tasha May 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

Ok…I tried all variations of raw breads and crackers but I ALWAYS return to these two :) Simple and delicious !!! I make sure to never stay out of them* Thank you ~

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Tammy February 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

Is there ANY way to make these crackers in the oven…I currently do t own a dehydrator? Sounds so good & I also hate to waste the nutrients left behind after my juices! Thank you! Tammy

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Jill February 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Made crackers today for the first time. Loved not throwing away the pulp. Baked them in the oven and they turned out wonderful. Next time I will roll them a little thinner. Thanks for the recipe.

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nikki February 27, 2013 at 11:18 am

Love these! However, I don’t have a dehydrator. Have you played around for recipes without one? I’ve tried making crackers a few times and they just are not coming out…. I would LOVE to try your recipes…. x

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