17-20 October 2024
International Convention Centre Sydney

Recipe: Super Seed Crackers

Perfect as an on-the-go snack these crackers are packed full of Vitamin E and are made with Australian pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed meal.

Makes: 2 Trays
Time Taken: 60 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
★ ½ cup linseeds
★ ¼ cup sunflower seeds
★ ¼ cup Australian pumpkin seeds
★ ½ cup sesame seeds
★ ½ cup chia seeds
★ ½ cup Australian pumpkin seed meal
★ Himalayan salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C.  Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
  2. Put all of the seeds and meal into a bowl and mix to combine.  Add 1 cup of water and stir until the mixture comes together.
  3. Spread the mixture on a prepared tray as thinly as possible.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until crisp.  You might want to turn the whole cracker over halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove trays from the oven.  Break into smaller crackers.  If any of the crackers need further crisping, return them to the oven for a short time.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PUMPKIN SEEDS AND THEIR OIL
Pumpkin seed oil is traditionally consumed in European countries such as Austria and Slovenia, but is now part of a growing industry in Australia.  It possesses very high levels of natural antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is especially high in the gamma-tocopherol form of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.  Antioxidants protect cell structure and health by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules generated from sources like radiation, air pollution, and toxins from food sources. Left unchecked, free radicals can attack the skin’s structure, leaving it vulnerable to wrinkling, infection, and other damage.

Vitamin E has been shown to have a wide range of skin benefits: it helps to reduce the amount of scarring from wounds, including the appearance of stretch marks on the skin; it has also been shown to decrease the effects of dermatitis, eczema & psoriasis, and to diminish the redness associated with erythema, which is one symptom of rosacea.

Aside from the high levels of Vitamin E found in pumpkin seeds, they also have a unique fatty acid composition.  The four fatty acids which comprise 98% of pumpkin seed oil are palmitic, stearic, linoleic, and oleic acids.  Palmitic acid works to promote natural oil regeneration. Oil is an important component for the skin to retain its protective barrier. With too little oil, the skin will crack and bleed; opening it to a greater risk of infection and disease.  Stearic acid acts primarily as a lubricant. It allows the skin to retain the proper moisture balance vital for good health (and good looks).  Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies don’t manufacture it, and so we must ingest it in our diets. Linoleic acid is an important step in the manufacturing of prostaglandins, which decrease inflammation in the body. Linoleic acid helps maintain smooth skin, and will help repair flaky, itchy, or rough skin.  Oleic acid is the final fatty acid found in pumpkin seed oil. It works to replenish and maintain the skin’s moisture and lubrication. It is an Omega 9 acid and has similar health benefits (both general and to the skin) as the better known Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids.

When pumpkin seed oil is produced (through traditional cold pressing), pumpkin seed meal is the resulting by-product.  Having had the oil removed, pumpkin seed meal is extremely high in protein, as well as minerals such as zinc, manganese, selenium and magnesium.  It’s low oil content means that it is not very susceptible to going rancid, and can be stored for a long time.  Most importantly, it can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs and nut meals, (which may cause intolerances.  Oh, and by the way it tastes fantastic!