janet @ the taste space

Raw Chili Lime Corn Crackers

In Sides on July 27, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Raw Chili Lime Corn Chips

The dust has settled… the boxes have been unpacked and we’re settling into a new routine.

As life becomes less chaotic, I am feeling a bit more lonely.

Friends and family seem so far away. Β It doesn’t help that Rob is sometimes working out-of-town.

At least I interact with my co-workers. I don’t know how Rob copes with mostly working from home. Not too much real people interaction except from the coffee shop down the road. Limited integration with other Texans.

So, be it resolved… our next goal has to become more social.

Baby steps. This weekend, we have cycling plans and curry+games plans [BANANAGRAMS!]. It feels good to get back into my social groove.

And these chili lime crackers? They bring me back to good times in Toronto.

Just before we left, I visited Superfoods Eateries, a quaint resto with take-away raw foods. Between Rob and I (and a few free samples), we tried a variety of dishes. Luc, one of the owners, was incredibly enthusiastic about explaining the menu. Β My two favourite dishes were the cheesecake and corn nachos. They also had a lovely sandwich at one point but I don’t see it listed on their website menu. Their selection varies from day-to-day, especially after each item sells out. (I really, really wanted to try their chocolate cake but it was not available until after I left). The coconut-based cheesecake was not as heavy as other raw cheesecakes and unique because it had a slightly fermented/cheezy zing to it! It was definitely special.

But those corn nachos, oh my. Delicious. They are corn and flax based but thin and crispy with an exotic twist from the orange juice and cilantro. Rightfully addictive and perfect with a dollop of guacamole. Now that I am miles away, I figured I would try my own hand at the nachos. I will admit that mine are not as good as the original, but they are still good in their own regard. I tried to add as much veg-powered nacho-like flavours to the chips. The chili and lime flavours were the highlight. The nuts and seeds make for a filling cracker, although a bit thick. As such these are more akin to crackers and weren’t as crispy as chips.. but still complex and delicious.

Anyways, here’s to a fun-filled weekend! πŸ™‚

How do you combat loneliness?

Raw Chili Lime Corn Chips

Raw Chili Lime Corn Crackers
Adapted from Raw Food For Everyone

2.5 cups corn kernels (I used frozen and didn’t even thaw them)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
zest from 1 lime
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1 tbsp nutritional yeastΒ (optional, makes a more chewy chip)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp ground sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground flax (I used half yellow and half brown flax seeds)

1. If you have not ground your nuts and seeds yet, do that first in a spice grinder and set aside.

2. In a food processor, combine corn, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice + zest, cumin and chili flakes until well combined. Add in nutritional yeast, salt, almonds, sunflowers and flax and process until combined. It should feel like wet corn meal.

3. Spread mixture onto 1-2 teflex sheets, such that it is 1/4-inch thick. Dehydrate at 105F for 6-12 hours. Carefully remove the racks, flip them onto a plastic mesh and peel off the teflex sheet. Continue to dehydrate for another 6-12 hours until you reach your desired crispiness. Break them into smaller chips to facilitate the drying. In total, I ended up dehydrating mine for 24 hours.

4. Break into small pieces and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

  1. I simply love and NEED my crunch factor foods …Fabulous healthy riff here…and the cilantro and orange juice must make these phenomenal!!..Question…sans dehydrator…could I possibly do these in a very low oven???

    • Me too..I will be making these with the yummy fresh corn that’s coming my way – Taber, Alberta corn! Yumm
      I’ll have to use my oven too… haven’t made the ‘leap’ into investing in a dehydrator (yet…)

      • Sweet. I love fresh corn. Not sure if Houston makes any locally but I will keep my eyes open for the good stuff. Please let me know how they turn out for you, especially if you use your oven. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Donna. I agree, I feel like sometimes it is the texture that I crave – crunchy is definitely important. πŸ™‚ I haven’t tried it myself but yes, I think you could try it in your oven. Use the lowest setting and keep the door ajar. It will likely take many hours, though, but watch and see what happens.

  2. These look so delicious- I love dehydrated crackers,so I’ll try making them. It’s all too easy to cope with lack of personal contact by getting dependent on fb and the like- but I think you have made a great start to building a social life in your new surroundings. What about joining any clubs or groups in your locality with the same interests as you? (Like sport, cooking etc.) They are a great way to meet people. Give it a little time- and meanwhile, you always have us, your blogging community! πŸ™‚

  3. We miss you guys too Janet!!

  4. I’m going to make these as soon as I get my dehydrator–I just ordered a refurbished Excalibur a few days ago! I might try to combine your seasonings with Chef Amber Shea’s recipe for Zesty Corn Tortilla Chips from Practically Raw (http://www.amazon.com/Practically-Raw-Flexible-Recipes-Anyone/dp/0980013151/ref=tmm_pap_title_0). She doesn’t use any nuts or seeds (outside of flax seed), and adds more corn, pepper, and some zucchini. Maybe that’d work to make the texture more crispy?

    As far as loneliness goes, I think keeping in touch with friends/family and reaching out to new people with similar interests can be helpful. However, I also find “living through” loneliness to be a therapeutic idea. A poem by Tanya Davis that I like describing this process can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7X7sZzSXYs

    • Woohoo! Way to go on the dehydrator, Anna!! I wish I knew what each component contributed to the crackers, but for now it is a guessing game. I agree, though, I think the nuts/seeds gave it more bulk and the flax makes it, well, more flaxy. My next attempt will be pureed corn only with seasonings. If you like beets, definitely try the beet chips!! Definitely let me know how your attempts go. πŸ™‚

      Btw, thank you so much for the link. It is funny to feel lonely with Rob right here, but I think it is a combination of burn out, away from friends/familiar faces, and actually feeling a bit out of my element here. There are a lot of differences here.. Anyhoo…

      • A guessing game indeed! My crackers turned out tasty, but definitely more on the chewy side and not crispy (Although to be honest, I didn’t completely follow Chef Amber Shea’s recipe, as I had to substitute cabbage for the zucchini). Although, I think the simply pureed corn would be the next guess to try, especially if it produces a thin batter. I made some crackers out of sprouted rye that had a thin/watery batter and they turned out really crispy. Beet chips are next on the list!!!

  5. Skype, blog, laughter, friends (here and afar), chocolate, long walks, poetry, crappy snack foods, reading, remembering that this too will pass. Chin up dearie!

    • Thanks Hannah. You are the travelling nomad and I honestly wonder how you do it… although hoping from friend to friend is definitely fun. We just don’t have any pre-formed friends here. πŸ˜‰

      • Actually, the first time I did a big solo travel trip (four months in the US and Europe from 2009-10), I spent maybe a total of two weeks with friends. I loved the freedom, but it is important to get out there. Sometimes, you just have to force yourself out of your comfort zone and join things/go out/take part in group events, even if you’ve got a partner waiting at home who makes it easy to snuggle at night instead πŸ˜‰ (Though, of course, never having had the partner, I’m only guessing!)

        Also, you don’t get pre-formed friends without forming them. It’s not like I haven’t put effort into friendships! πŸ™‚

      • Hey Hannah, Thanks for the note. Rob mentioned he found backpacking quite lonely so he isn’t lonely at all. BUT, I am very hopeful for the future. Totally putting myself out there, meeting new people and connecting. Baby steps. Kindred friendships do not happen overnight, tis true.

  6. I didn’t think I experienced loneliness for much of my adult life. I now realise, with hindsight, that I was probably very lonely at some stages of my life but had convinced myself I was an introvert who was happy with their work and didn’t need much social time. These days, I make an effort to reach out, and when I am unexpectedly alone, curl up with books. I hope your new social reaching out brings you the connections you have left behind πŸ™‚

    I also love the look of these crackers!

    • Thanks, Kari. I am certainly not alone since Rob is here but there certainly is an empty feeling. A feeling of not belonging… no matter how nice things are… simply not being home, perhaps.

  7. The crackers look great – I don’t have a dehydrator but as my oven is so slow maybe it is just a dehydrator in disguise! Good luck with getting out and about on the weekend. I hope in the midst of the loneliness you might be also finding some solitude that you can enjoy.

  8. I wish I lived closer because i would totally go and keep you guys company! i’m sure you’ll both make new friends soon!

  9. So sorry you are feeling lonely. I have found that doing some volunteer work where I get to help someone, really takes away any feeling of being alone.

    I make some homemade crackers and they are lovely but I look forward to trying your version real soon.

  10. Will definitely try these. We’ve been making something similar, with corn and red pepper, but w/o sunflower seeds, almonds, and flax—it has sesame seeds, black and white. Everyone who tries them loves them. Occasionally we don’t get them crisp enough (too anxious to eat them!), but then we pop them back in the dehydrator for another few hours.

    Perfectly understandable that you’d be feeling like a fish out of water (is that an okay analogy to use with a vegan?) moving to the US and to as strange/unique a state as Texas. Possibly by the time it feels like home, you’ll be moving away. Until then….you’d look cute in a cowgirl outfit! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Ellen. I didn’t think it would feel so different but it does… although I think it is also the alarmist nature of Americans and feeling like an outsider. I am sure it will pass… At least Rob is here! Thank goodness for that.

      My next version is totally going to be to try plain vegetables without nuts/seeds. Do you have a recipe you follow that you recommend?

      • Nope, mine definitely has lots of seeds.

        Alarmist nature? You mean all the irrational thinking, paranoia, and self-centeredness? And now all the divisiveness….

      • I must be too naive. πŸ˜‰ Too trusting? Although to be fair, everyone has been really, really friendly here. I just haven’t found a new kindred spirit.

        When I get some corn, I’ll let you know how my experiment goes, hehe.

  11. So sorry you have been feeling down Janet 😦 glad to hear you are having a board game evening though!! Ticket to ride possibly?

    I’ve yet to try Superfood Eateries’ corn chips but have tried a number if things now and I am always blown away. Next time they have them, I’m getting them!!

    • Thanks, Gabby… We brought Ticket to Ride but played Bananagrams and Bang instead, two of my favourite games. Glad you are able to enjoy the vegan grub in Toronto. It tugs at my heart when I think about what I miss from Toronto. πŸ™‚

  12. […] you so much for the kind words fromΒ my last post. New friendships take a while to develop, at least for me. Β I am definitely keeping my chin […]

  13. Aaaw, sorry you’re feeling a little lonely hun. I remember when I lived abroad for a year and at the beginning it was tough. I saw someone mentioned meetups above and I know they can be a bit scary but I met some great people through them. If you could go along to something with Rob too it might help.
    These crackers look so good πŸ™‚ I love mexi flavours.

  14. Nice!! I’ve never tried a corn chip in the dehydrator but have always wanted to. I will definitely be making these soon! (Even if I have to dehydrate on the living room floor!) And I’ve heard that moving to Texas is like moving to another country. So does that mean you moved to 2 different countries? πŸ™‚

    • Heather, you are too funny… but maybe the 2 country thing explains it. I didn’t think there would be that much culture shock but really, it is different. I wonder whether you will find culture shock in New York??

  15. Oh I LOVE bananagrams!!!! Such a fun game =) Have you guys heard of meetup? You should check out meetup.com and you could find some fun social groups in your area and find some new friends with common interests. It’s how I found new friends when I moved to Northern California last year (funny how we both moved from Southwestern Ontario to the US).
    Oh man… Superfood Eateries sounds so good! But they are a little out of the way now… so I guess I’ll settle for trying your delicious-sounding crackers πŸ˜‰

    • Hey Kimmy, Thank you for the tip on meetup. I am totally scoping it out now. The difference with Houston meetups is that they don’t fill up. In Toronto, I wanted to go to meetups but they always filled up within an hour. I have hope here! πŸ™‚

  16. […] so many people recommended Meetup a few weeks ago, I have really been making an effort to get out and meet new people and […]

  17. […] Only one really counts: corn. The rest are spices. That’s it. I have made raw corn chips (with chili and lime!) before, but I think the almonds but most likely the flax made them not as crispy as I wanted. I […]

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