I have been asked to “bring a plate” to a large-ish gathering. In order to find balance sir names A-L have been designated a savoury dish and M-Z bring sweets. I am a bit excited about this but then realise that preparing a savoury dish, that doesn’t ring food safety bells in my head, in the Aussie summer heat to a park is going to be challenging (followed closely by ‘Gee, a lot of people are going to bring cut up vegies & store bought chips and dip’). As the event is child friendly, I wanted a fun snack that is also nutritious and reasonably good from an allergen point of view.
My solution was to make Zucchini & Sesame Crackers and I just so happen to own a duck shaped cookie cutter… making them “Quackers”. Then I had a good laugh about just how funny I was and then a little sob about how sad I was. These crackers are dairy and egg free but do contain sesame and gluten. As per usual, it’s a good recipe to make with the little ones and I’ve divided the steps in the method accordingly. Using cookie cutters is great for motor planning and sprinkling the sesame seeds onto the awaiting ducks is a wonderful fine motor skill exercise.
1 cup plain flour (you can use wholemeal too if you prefer)
½ cup grated zucchini 1 tbsp sesame seeds (plus extra for sprinkles)
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup Nuttelex (or other dairy free spread)
1-2 Tbsp water
(Where you see an A – it is an adult step and K – is a kids step)
A – Add the salt to the grated zucchini and wait a few moments for it to draw away some of the moisture and drain. You should be able to extract about 1 tbsp of moisture. (This stops the mix being too wet for crackers).
K – Add the zucchini mix to the nuttelex in a plastic mixing bowl as well as the flour, sesame seeds and pepper. Mix it well.
A – Finish of the mixing. The dough should still be slightly crumbly. Add 1 tbsp of water and if it is wet enough to form into a ball do that and stop. Add more water if it is still not forming a ball. Wrap the ball in Glad Wrap and refrigerate for 30mins.
A – Remove the cooled dough from the fridge and Preheat the oven to 180oC. Break the dough into 2 balls – each ball will be enough to fill one baking tray. K – Roll one of the balls of dough out thinly on a floured surface. Use a duck shaped cookie cutter (or other shapes you have) to make “quakers”. Put them onto a baking paper lined baking sheet. (repeat with the second ball of dough). Then take little pinches of sesame seeds and sprinkle them on the ducks. Try to see if you can avoid dropping seeds on the baking sheet & only get them on the ducks (as an extra fine motor skill challenge).
A – put the crackers in the oven for 12mins or until golden on the edges. Let them cool on the trays before transferring them to an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to 7 days.
You can serve these with a variety of dips but they are also good on their own. A good yellow coloured dip to fully complete the “duck” look is corn relish mixed with cottage or creamed cheese.
Simone Emery is a mum and owner of Sydney based, Play with Food. Play with Food run fun-filled classes and workshops about fruit and vegetables. We use seasonal produce and give parents lots of ideas for encouraging happy and healthy eating in the home environment. Check out our website for more information on singing, playing and laughing your way to happier family eating experiences www.playwithfood.com.au