Lately, I’ve been pretty obsessed with making a homemade cracker my kids will eat. You see, we moved to Argentina awhile back and all things changed for us food-wise. I had no idea I was moving to the country of crackers, cookies and coca-cola, but that’s where I ended up. Children eat cookies all day long here. As breakfast. At school for snack. In the park. It doesn’t really matter what time of day it is–you can bet children in Argentina are eating cookies disguised as crackers and probably drinking coca-cola but that’s a post for another time (and don’t get me started). Before our expat adventure, my children didn’t really eat many crackers—well, maybe some crazy $9 raw variety from Whole Foods that tasted similar to cardboard–but only when I was desperate and my kids probably hated them. In general we used to avoid food found in boxes.
My how things have changed!
We now live in a country where crackers and cookies are a way of life. Our son’s school considers itself nutritionally aware and healthy because they only allow vanilla or plain crackers (chocolate cookies are for special occasions) and they serve the kids water instead of juice or coca cola. You should have seen my son’s eyes light up on the first day of school when he realized he was going to get cookies EVERY day at school and his mom was NOT going to be around to say a word. HA!
I thought about talking to the school director about healthy nutrition and offering my services but I quickly learned that sugar is the way adults show love for children here. Sugar is a very strong part of the culture in Argentina and it won’t be changing any time soon. In fact it would seem mean to keep sweets from kids here (my friend overheard some local women calling her a “mean, terrible mom” for not allowing her son to consume his 6th chocolate alfajor one afternoon at a party). SO, with the cultural ties to sugar in mind, I let my son eat all the
cookies crackers he can get his hands on at snack time.
Have I mentioned how much he LOVES snack time at school here ???
He never comes home hungry.
It’s SO weird.
With Caroline’s recent eczema flare, I’m clamping down on our cracker consumption. Sorry kiddos, but your hippy, crunchy, gluten-free USA mom is BAAAAACCCCK!
I wanted to make a homemade cracker that my kids would eat so when we are at the park with friends and they get hungry I have something cracker-like that’s also healthy. So yesterday I experimented with ground sunflower seeds and mandioca flour (a local flour here and similar to tapioca flour in the USA). The kids liked them and I plan to make a few more varieties in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. These are sweet due to the honey and very addicting. I may or may not have eaten almost the whole batch in one day.
**Rant disclaimer: Please don’t take my food frustrations as how I feel about our expat stay in general. Apart from the sugar I have LOVED living here and would do it over and million times again! We will miss this place when we leave!
What are your favorite homemade crackers?
- 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour or mandioca flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- pinch sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until fully combined
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Pour batter onto parchment paper and spread thin (about 1/2 in deep) with a spatula
Bake 20-25 minutes.
Keep an eye on the crackers so they don't burn
The longer you cook them the crispier they will get but it's a fine line between crispy and burnt (I baked mine 20 minutes)
Remove from oven and let cool slightly
Cut into squares with a knife and serve