Savoury oat and seed crunchies (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Oat and seed crunchies. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

Every now and then I try very hard to cut back on the amount of sugar I eat. I find it challenging to find something to stave off the cravings. and I usually turn to seeds to do the job. This week, I started my latest “health-kick” and I found that I had built up quite a collection of different seed varieties from the last time. Many of the seeds are in half-opened bags stored in the fridge and are now coming up to the “best before” date; it seemed the perfect time for a healthy, and very much savoury, baking session. Bursting with  nutrition and flavour, and with super crunchy textures, seeds are one of the best foods to snack on without feeling too guilty.

Some of my current seed collection. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

You can use any seeds in this recipe, but a mixture of different sizes works the best. Introduce your own flavourings if you like; I kept mine plain and simple this time, but black pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli, thyme and rosemary are good flavours to try if you like to experiment. I use the thicker milled, porridge  (or Scottish Porage) oats, the finer milled varieties seem to go a bit mushy and give a less crisp texture to the final bake. There is a small amount of gram (chickpea) flour added to the mix to help bind the ingredients together but the recipe works fine with other gluten-free blends if you prefer.

Thick milled Scottish porridge oats. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

These crunchies are very easy to make and will keep for a week or so in an airtight container. Enjoy them broken into large shards as a crispbread, or crumble them on to soups or salads for extra nutty flavour. Here’s what to do…….

Makes at least 10 big pieces

  • 90g thick or coarse milled oats
  • 175g assorted seeds – I used chia, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds
  • 25g gram (chickpea) flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp soft dark brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Approx. 100ml warm water
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven, gas mark 5) Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Put the oats and seeds in a large bowl and mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Gradually pour and stir in approx. 100ml warm water to make a clumpy mixture. Leave aside to soak for 15 minutes, then squeeze the ingredients together with your hands to make a ball. Add a little more water if the mixture is still a bit dry.
  3. Put the mix on to the prepared baking tray and flatten with your hands. Place another sheet of parchment on top and roll using a rolling pin to make a rectangle approx. 36 x 25cm minimum. Remove the top layer of parchment.
    Making the oat and seed dough. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

    4. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Place a sheet of parchment on the surface of the bake, lay another baking tray on top and carefully flip the mixture over. Peel away the top parchment and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until crisp and lightly golden all over. Cool for 10 minutes then slide on to a wire rack to cool completely.

    A freshly baked slab of oat and seed crunchies. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

    When cold, transfer to a board and either snap into pieces with your fingers, or break into shards using the tip of a knife.

    Oat and seed crunchies. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

    As an alternative way to bake, you can divide the dough into 10 or 12 portions, flatten each one separately, and roll into thin rounds. Bake in the same way for about 5 minutes less cooking time. The crunchies are delicious with all kinds of savoury spreads, but I prefer mine with crunchy wholenut peanut butter.

    Ready for snacking. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

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