Snacking on the "Mediterranean"

Flor de sal, thyme and olive oil crackers (recipe below)
One of the great things about the Mediterranean diet is that it is not restrictive. You don’t need to eat more than 3 meals per day, but if you become hungry between meals, there are plenty of healthy snack options which you can enjoy.It is important to be able to actually feel hunger, and look forward to eating a meal.  While adding a snack here and there is good to keep blood sugar and hunger levels in balance, snacking can also backfire. Many times we eat a snack without being hungry or we depend on ready-made snacks such as granola bars, juices, smoothies etc. which not only add quite a few calories but also are a processed food with all that it entails.

  • A handful of nuts.
  •  A piece of fruit.
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Some berries or grapes
  • Greek yogurt
  • Dried apricots
  • Olives and olive based dips


Prepare your snacks. Whether you’re prepping them in advance or making them on demand, replace packaged snacks with healthy snacks. There is nothing more satisfying than the home made variety

Spiced Nut Blend

You can use your own mix as there are unlimited possibilities.
A typical dried nuts mix might include hazelnut, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, cashews, pecans…and coatings can be......
Olive oil, tamarind paste, Salt and pepper
Spices: Paprika, Curry, Chili flakes ,Dukkah, Zaatar, Ras al hanout, cajun spice mix. 

350g (11 oz) mixed dried nuts
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 tsp fennel seeds 
1/2 tsp black peppercorns 
1tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 teaspoons Flor de sal
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to160C ( 315F ) Place all the spices in a spice grinder or blender and grind to a fine powder. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix through the brown sugar, nuts and two teaspoons of Flor de sal. Add the olive oil, mix well and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the nuts have coloured a little, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
You might also like:
Sumac roasted chick peas
Wasabi peanuts  
Spiced marcona almonds

Flor de sal, thyme and olive oil crackers
  (pictured above)

No kitchen should be without the heady, aromatic flavour of thyme, A delicate looking herb with a penetrating fragrance,whether used by the pinch or by the bunch, fresh thyme infuses any dish with unparalleled aroma and flavour. Try making these Flor de sal, thyme and olive oil crackers. They are rustic, elegant and very unusual. They are so damn easy to make and I swear once you´ve tried them you will never need to buy crackers ever again. Serve them straight from the oven, as crisp as crisp can be.  

Makes 24

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
115ml water
25ml olive oil,plus extra for brushing
1/2 tsp
Flor de sal mediterranica
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked picante paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
Generous sprinklings of Flor de sal mediterranica 
In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients except the flor de sal, to form a soft dough. You can do this by hand or in a processor fitted with a dough hook. Work the dough until you get a firm consistency, then cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 220c/gas mark 7. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface or board.Have a bowl of flour ready at your side for dusting. Use a large sharp knife to cut  off wanut sized pieces (roughly 15g each) from the dough. Roll out each piece as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, dusting with plenty of flour as you go. They should end up looking like long oval tongues,almost paper thin.
Place the crackers on a tray lined with baking parchment. Brush them with plenty of olive oil and sprinkle generously with Flor de sal. Bake for about 6 minutes,until crisp and golden.

Adapted from Ottolenghi ("Ottolenghi the cookbook")

....and now you need something to spread on them Tapenade is one the easiest recipes from Provence, it is very popular and seen as a staple there. The base of a tapenade is olive and capers and in the end, you will have a spread of that mixture. The essential ingredients are olives, capers, olive oil and lemon juice. Of course, nowadays it possible to see many different ingredients in tapenade and they are available everywhere, including supermarkets. The best way to enjoy it is spread over a thin cracker or a thinly sliced and toasted piece of rustic bread. When we think of tapenade, we usually envision a thick, smooth paste of black olives spiked with anchovies and garlic. But I also opted for two other versions

Black oilve pesto (traditional tapenade)

125g ( 4oz) anchovies
175g ( 6oz) pitted back olives
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix all in a processor, adjusting quantity of olive oil until your desired consistency is achieved

Green olive tapenade
4 cups green olives pitted
12 anchovies
4 tablespoons capers drained
2 garlic cloves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix all in a processor, as above adjusting quantity of olive oil until your desired consistency is achieved

Tapenade of olives, sundried tomato and basil
250g ( 8oz) pitted black olives
250g ( 8oz) sundried tomatoes
25g ( 1 oz) fresh basil, leaves only
1 small tin anchovies
1 cup capers, drained and pressed between kitchen towel
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a food processor with the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and use the pulse button( if you over process it will turn to a puréee )You need to aim for a texture that looks like coarse gravel. Add a little more olive oil if it looks too dry.

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