How Home-made Cornmeal Crackers Can Help You Burn Calories

“With all the cooking you do, how do you stay thin?” I am not thin but being on my feet in the kitchen, moving constantly, does benefit my weight. Writing is when I tend to gain weight. To help minimize this, my laptop is set up so I work on it standing up. Still, I start every piece and write the first draft for recipes while sitting down, pen in hand, facing a yellow pad.

Like most writers, I feel anxious looking at the empty page. To get past this anxiety, munching on something savory with crunch works best. Yes, it is a bad habit. I wish celery sticks worked but they do not. Limiting my choices to foods with some health benefits, I rely on nuts, baked corn chips, and lightly salted crackers to comfort me until words start flowing.

Recently, I found a whole-grain cracker recipe that I have adapted here; munching on them helped me get this post going.

Cornmeal Crackers_06Making these herb-flavored crackers takes some concentrated, calorie-burning work: after you cook stone-ground cornmeal to make a thick, gritty polenta and mix in all the other ingredients to make a dough, you must roll it out by hand until it is very thin, almost thin enough to see through. Like making pasta, this takes effort. It produces crackers that snap nicely.

While making the dough, handle it as little as possible or your crackers will be tough. Rolling the dough out on baking parchment is fantastic. The non-stick paper lets you lift and release the dough easily so you can roll until it is even thinner than 1/16th-inch. The dough is forgiving—simply press tears together. For the final rectangle, this means you can cut pieces off where the sheet of dough bulges out and press them to fill in where it is narrow. After cutting the dough into neat, two-bite-size crackers, toss out any trimmings; rerolled, they make a sticky dough and tough crackers.

Using a light colored baking sheet is important. If you do not have one, line a dark sheet with baking parchment and allow a longer baking time. The crackers color unevenly, giving them a rustic look. They get crisper as they cool, so it is ok to take the colored crackers from the oven when they are still a bit soft.

These crackers are excellent with cheese, dips, or soup as well as for snacking.

Here’s the recipe: Cornmeal Herb Crisp Crackers.

Going Green for Cancer Prevention

In celebration of Saint Patrick’s day, you’re probably thinking green. We talk about greens a lot here because eating plenty of those green vegetables is a big part of a cancer-preventive pattern of eating.

Green foodsResearch shows that consuming non-starchy vegetables, like dark-colored leafy greens, may protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach while providing fiber and phytochemicals.

The phytochemical beta-carotene, for example, is found in dark leafy greens. As a rule of thumb, the greater the intensity of the color of these vegetables, the more beta-carotene it contains.

Most of you are familiar with “leafy greens” like spinach and deep green colored lettuces. And of course, there are green apples, broccoli and green tea. But if you want to fill your plate with greens today, there are plenty of others you can choose. Many of which researchers are studying for how they play a role in lowering cancer risk. Here’s a few other options.

  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Chard
  • Mustard greens
  • Mesclun (a salad mix)

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