Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Arthritis-Friendly Recipe: Wholemeal Flax and Sesame Crackers

I'm an avid reader of the back of food packets: I like to know what we're eating and there are certain ingredients (like palm oil) that I prefer to avoid. Snack foods in particular often seem to be full or  unhealthy and unpronounceable ingredients. I found myself staring at the back of a packet of crackers the other day wondering how on earth there were 15 ingredients in some simple cripbread. Luckily, it's actually very quick and easy to make your own arthritis friendly crackers. 

I prefer to make these in the food processor but you could easily stir the ingredients together. I've added flaxseed for the anti-inflammatory omega 3 it contains (and you can read more about why omega 3 is good for arthritis here) and calcium rich sesame seeds. You can easily swap in different seeds, spices or herbs to taste. Unfortunately this recipe won't work with gluten free flour though!

Ingredients: 
250g wholemeal or spelt flour
30g ground flaxseed (linseed)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
120ml cold water
1/2tsp smoked sea salt (or ordinary if you prefer)

Makes 24 large crackers

Put all the ingredients except the sesame seeds in a food processor or bowl and mix until combined in a stiff dough. You may need a little more or less water depending on the absorbency of your flour.

Once the dough has come together, roll it out between two sheets of baking parchment to about 5mm (1/6inch) thick. Scatter the sesame seeds over the top and press them into the dough with the rolling pin.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into long, rectangular cracker shapes. Transfer them to a greased or lined baking sheet and prick them all over with a fork.

Bake the crackers for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just golden. Don't worry if they seem a little soft when they come out the oven, they will crisp up as they cool.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

New Year Resolutions

A belated Happy New Year to you all! We've had a bit of a rough start to the New Year so far - I basically broke my body in 2015 (looking after a toddler full time is an extreme sport) and it has been a difficult time for some of our family and friends as well. However, onwards and upwards...

I've made a few resolutions for the blog this year: firstly, I'm going to write more product reviews as so many people tell me they find these the most useful thing and whilst there are lots of websites with healthy recipes, there aren't that many where a real person with real arthritis gives cooking implements a real test! Secondly, I want to myth-bust a little more. There is a lot of 'nutri-babble' out there. Too many articles and so-called experts regurgitate a load of pseudo-science and claim that their particular eating regime will cure all our ills. I entirely respect individual dietary choices but let's be honest about the facts behind them. And, finally, I'd like to grow the tips sharing bit of the site, so if you have a great hint for others on how to make cooking or life easier with arthritis then please share.

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