Gingery Carrot and Sunflower Seed Crackers

So glad that everyone enjoyed my big questions. In posing them, I mentioned that my mother simply cannot seem to get used to the weirdness of my food, but made a bold prediction that one day she will. My friend Karen wrote in saying,

Good luck on that prediction that one day your weird food will look normal to your Mom…I’ve been eating a clean vegetarian/vegan diet for 25+ years and my otherwise worldly and intelligent and lovely parents still don’t get it!

Yep, I thought. That’s probably true. I’ve gotten my mom to appreciate almond milk and the odd raw entrée or two, but the foreignness of my diet will never cease to amaze her. Or other people, for that matter.

This week, as I ease into a new and much more intense class schedule, I’m also easing into a lot of bonding time with my fellow post-baccs. We eat together, perform labs together, study together, complain together, cry together, laugh together, and yes, we also eat together. When you’re stuck in class with the same group of people from 8am-3pm daily, you grow very accustomed to seeing what they eat: snacks, packed breakfasts, packed lunches, treats, beverages, and treats.

Most post-baccs eat the predictable stuff: PB&J, turkey sandwiches, muffins, yogurts, fruit, snack bars. And then there’s me, munching on my packed chia and fruit puddings:

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I’ve noticed that I usually get some quizzical looks when I eat these guys. Ditto for my homemade snack bars and energy balls. And let’s not even start on kale salad.

Of course, I’m used to a certain amount of eyebrow-raising when it comes to my diet, and that’s fine with me. But I’m also very determined to share the joys of vegan and raw food with the world. This summer, I’m bringing my plot to take over the world with veggies celebration of colorful food to the Georgetown campus, and I’m starting with my fellow post-baccs.

Today, a few of us gathered in the library for a brief respite between lab and lecture. My friends Peter and Anna eyed me suspiciously as I ate crackers that looked like this:

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What are those,” Peter inquired.

They’re carrot and sunflower seed crackers,” I replied. “They’re a little weird, but tasty.”

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I broke off a piece for Anna and Peter, and, as they began to munch, I had a moment I often have, which is wondering if my food appeals to everyone, or if it’s only tasty to me and my readers and other people who share our (slightly offbeat) tastes. If the latter is true, I think I’m doing a great job cooking for me, but maybe I’m not doing as great a job sharing veganism with others.

Much to my delight, Anna perked up. “Mmmmm,” she said. “These are really good! Do you have more?” I didn’t—I had scarfed them all down—but I was almost giddy with excitement about her excitement. I promised the gang I’d bring more in, and then I breathed a sigh of relief, because the whole exchange reminded me that it is possible to make food that’s simple and good enough to appeal to seasoned raw foods lovers and mainstream eaters both. Thank goodness I can stay true to my own tastes while also delighting the tastes of other people.

And the best part? The crackers started with carrot pulp. Yes, carrot pulp. If only my friends had known.

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Gingery Carrot and Roasted Sunflower Seed Crackers (vegan, mostly raw, gluten free, soy free)

Makes about 40 crackers

1 cup sunflower roasted sunflower seeds*
2 1/2 cups carrot pulp
4 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
Black pepper to taste
1 tbsp minced ginger, or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1) Place sunflower seeds in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Grind well.

2) Add the pulp, flax, and spices to the bowl. Process till the mixture is thick but moist enough to spread.

3) Spread mixture onto two Teflex lined dehydrator sheets and score into cracker and/or flatbread shapes.

4) Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6 hours. Flip the dough (it should be dry enough to peel off and do this) and dehydrate on other side for another 4 hours.

Non-dehydrator option!: Spread onto parchment lines baking sheets. Bake in an oven set to 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until dry and crispy.

*You don’t have to use roasted sunflower seeds if you feel strongly about it: I did because they really enhance the taste for this particular recipe.

These crackers are oh-so-savory and flavorful!

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Yet another way to use up your juicing leftovers, conserve veggies, nourish your body, snack on quality food, and maybe, just maybe, share the love with others.

And if you’re not into crackers, my raw carrot falafel just might be a crowd pleaser, too.

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What’s your favorite vegan or raw recipe to share with your friends? Do you consider yourself an offbeat eater? If so, how do you reconcile your own tastes with the world around you?

xo

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