ASD Recovery Recipe: Goldfish Crackers, Even More Complicated

When you read my exciting recipe for goldfish crackers, did you think I was crazy? Did you think, “This blogger spent two hours to make a couple trays of goldfish crackers. I’m going to do that, too. That fits right into my life.”

Guess what? I made more goldfish crackers, and I made them even more complicated still.

Nuts are GAPS-legal, provided they start raw (you can brown them yourself). The best way to eat nuts GAPS-style is to soak/sprout the nuts and then low-temperature dehydrate them, for digestibility.

Last time I made goldfish crackers, I used store-bought almond flour. This time, I thought: I’ve got raw macadamias. I’ve got a sprouting jar. I’ve got a dehydrator. Let’s party.

I used the same recipe (doubled). Instead of using commercial almond flour, I soaked several cups of raw macadamias in Fiji water overnight.

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The next day, I drained and rinsed the nuts and transferred them to my dehydrator.

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They took forever to dry at 115 degrees. I had to leave them in the dehydrator more than 24 hours.

That brings us to day three. I removed the soaked and dried macadamias and started grinding them in my Vitamix . . .

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. . . which didn’t work out so well. The stuff at the bottom turned into pasty nut butter before I could pack down enough of the sides to become flour. After a quarter-hour of arguing with the Vitamix, I decided to finish the job with my trusted coffee/nut/seed grinder. I could grind only, like, ten nuts at a time, but the easier access to the blades and bowl made the job manageable.

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When the process was finished, I had about three cups of macadamia flour. It was still kind of creamy, and not powdery at all; if I hadn’t been using it immediately, I would have refrigerated the product and not kept it more than a week. In order to make a double recipe of goldfish, I needed four cups of flour, so I supplemented with Bob’s Red Mill natural almond meal, which is a good product but neither organic nor sprouted. (Hint, hint, Bob Moore.)

At last I was able to mix my goldfish dough. Then, sprinkling more almond meal to prevent sticking, I turned my counter into a goldfish factory again.

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This round, however, I did not bother making eyes and mouths on the goldfish. Etching those details with a wooden toothpick consumed so much time, and I’m pretty sure Martin, as he chewed goldfish by the handful, never noticed whether his crackers had faces.

Total prep time: two days, plus three hours grinding, mixing, rolling, and cutting.

Total time goldfish crackers lasted before Martin ate them all: one week.

Next time, if I need to supplement the flour that I make, I will try using Blue Mountain Organics sprouted almond butter instead (there are various sprouted nut butters available commercially; usually I select the one I find first), and maybe decreasing the olive oil to compensate for the oilier product. As healthy as the current batch is, I can always do better.

(Now might be when you revisit the final paragraphs of “My Beef With the GAPS Diet Author,” wherein I asserted that my mental health is strong . . . .)

ASD Recovery Recipe: Super-Strict Snack

For eight weeks, Martin is on an extra-strict diet, as part of a final push against yeast overgrowth. You may ask, How could that possibly be, an extra-strict diet? After all, forget the extra strictness; Martin’s ASD recovery diet includes, well, almost nothing in the first instance.

But it’s true. For these eight weeks (as of today, we’re three weeks in) we’re shaving “almost nothing” down to “really pretty darned close to nothing.” No grains, no quinoa, no honey or raw agave nectar or coconut crystals, no winter squash or sweet potato, no sauerkraut or other fermented foods, no once-a-week pear. Martin is subsisting on dark green vegetables, cauliflower, summer squash, lemons, ginger, turmeric, nuts, seeds, eggs (not chicken eggs), and meat.

Martin’s school asks that I send cookies/treats with him each day, as the children often receive snacks for positive reinforcement. I tried a couple recipes for unsweetened hazelnut cookies, which flopped—returned home in Martin’s steel snack container, crumbled and sad, accompanied by a teacher’s note that Martin just didn’t like them.

The recipes thus proven fruitless, I was left to sally forth alone in pursuit of a snack he might enjoy. And soon I hit pay dirt, big time. Martin goes bonkers for these “nutty bars.” (Why must I conjure a cutesy diminutive name for everything from snacks to body parts? No idea.) I’ve tried the nutty bars myself, and they really aren’t bad, unless you consider incredibly fattening to be “bad.”

almond butter, lots
unsweetened cocoa powder
bee pollen
unsweetened coconut flakes
some combination of cacao nibs, sesame seeds, and/or hemp seeds

The almond butter is the base. (Hazelnut butter works well, too, but it tends to be much more expensive.) Mix in enough cocoa powder to give the almond butter a dry consistency, keeping in mind that too much cocoa powder can result in a bitter taste. Then add the combination ingredients and a generous helping of bee pollen and coconut flakes, both of which give the bars a sweet edge without adding sugar. You may find it easiest to use your hands to mix in these final ingredients, in a kneading motion.

Press the mixture into a small glass storage container, cover, and refrigerate. Cut into bars.

Note that these need to be kept cold, or else they can morph into something resembling pudding, which is still tasty but less convenient. I send Martin’s nutty bars to school with a cold brick in the container.