Last summer, we took a trip to Portland, OR and while we had the *best* time, I only wish I had “met” Kristina before that! Then I could have begged her to show me around all the hot spots for vegans in the city. (Many of you know that I am not a vegan, but when I travel I look forward to trying all kinds of food – and we did in Portland!) Or maybe she’d just invite me over for one of her gluten free and vegan specialties, like vegan Pumpkin Spice French Toast, Cherry Goat Cheese Tarts (with vegan “goat cheese”) or Chocolate Tahini Shortbread Bars. There’s always next time, right?!

For more of Kristina’s recipes, visit spabettie, “Like” her page on Facebook, and follow @spabettie on Twitter.

I am so happy to be invited to Cara’s party – such a fun party it has been and I am in very good company! I love to create bright and vibrant flavors, and as we get into the colder darker months, I really wanted to bring some bright and vibrant to the party!

Lately I seem to bring home a large bag of tiny oranges every time I go to the store. The fresh flavors are so appreciated this time of year, and I have been making quite a lot with orange these days. What I bring to the party is a welcome taste of tropical summer in the middle of the cold winter!

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Orange Pineapple Crackers

Yield: 30-35 2-inch crackers

Bring a hint of the tropics to your party any time of year with this healthy, raw, vegan treat of crispy fruit flavored crackers and a luscious tropical mousse for dipping.

Ingredients:

Crackers
2 cups flax seeds
1/4 large pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
juice of 2 oranges

Tropical Mousse
1/2 cup Irish moss paste (see below)
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate
6 large Medjool dates, pitted
1 large banana
1-3 tablespoons water, as needed

Directions:

Crackers:
In high speed blender or food processor fitted with small bowl, pulse flax seeds into meal. Add orange juice, combine and let sit a few minutes. Once mixture begins to thicken, add pineapple cubes and puree until smooth.

Pour onto dehydrator sheet or baking sheet with parchment. Spread in even thin layer, dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10 hours, or bake at lowest temperature in oven until set. (A thin cracker will dry faster).

Mousse:
In high speed blender or food processor, combine Irish moss paste, orange juice concentrate, Medjool dates and banana. Blend until smooth, adding water by the tablespoon as needed, until a thick smooth consistency is reached. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Spread should become fluffy like a mousse.

Note:
Irish moss is my favorite ingredient for raw foods - it gives foods that fluffy mousse or cheesecake like texture, a lighter consistency, without adding flavor. A little goes a long way and it stores in the refrigerator with a long shelf life.

To make 1/2 cup Irish moss paste:
1/4 cup (packed) Irish moss
water

Thoroughly clean/rinse Irish moss, removing sand, other debris. Place in bowl (large enough to accommodate moss doubling in size), add water to soak (enough water to cover moss). Set aside for several hours/overnight, moss will double in size, absorb some of the water. Transfer moss to high speed blender, blend until smooth paste forms (adding water by the tablespoon as needed to thin).

Thank you so much for having me, Cara, and thank you all for reading! Happy Holidays!