The New OFR Biscuits, Crackers and Cookies

An earlier note  (see here) had described biscuits, crackers and cookies called OFR biscuits and cookies (Organic Food relief) that are an ideal emergency food for situations such as disaster or refugee relief when fresh food cannot be delivered or prepared in a hurry, for example, when persons are trapped in a flood.

There are many different types of biscuits available in the market. However most contain primarily carbohydrates that can relieve hunger on an odd occasion but are not replacement for food because a human requires besides carbohydrates, proteins and a variety of micro-nutrients present in a variety of fruits and vegetables. There are fortified biscuits available that make up for some of these through addition of chemical minerals and vitamins. However, being of chemical origin they are not the best choice for long term use. The OFR biscuits on the other hand use only natural ingredients such as dehydrated vegetables mixed with flour so that they are more suitable as a food replacement. In fact they may be used over long periods in programs such as school midday meals or by others along with a soup and salad for a quick lunch. They are also an ideal companion for a traveler. They can be produced using a variety of different ingredients to offer variety and good health.

The interested reader may check out the older note on details of the existing OFR biscuit. That note has been referred to by a number of biscuit makers around the world and it has it seems contributed towards producing new varieties that are healthier. However, so far most are not using dehydrated vegetables in the mix because of one severe limitation. It is difficult to maintain consistency when much vegetable powder is mixed with flour because vegetables do not contain the gluten that binds bread and biscuits together. The present note offers a new option that overcomes this limitation.

The New OFR Biscuit

The new OFR biscuits contains besides wheat flour, protein as well as micro nutrients from a variety of vegetables as well as natural herbal flavors. The wheat flour used in this preparation may be a mix of whole wheat flour and refined flour mixed in a proportion depending on results of trials perhaps beginning with a 50:50 mix

Protein Content: 

Several existing biscuits contain Soya flour mixed with wheat flour but the difficulty with these is that although it does provide protein it also causes flatulence. It is therefore not easily digested, especially by children. It is recommended that any of the following three may be used to make up the protein content

Red Lentil Flour
Moong Bean flour
Skimmed milk powder
Finely ground peanuts with their oil content
Finely ground coconuts with their oil content

Any or all three may be used so as to make up between 7 to 15 percent of the wheat flour by volume. Different mixes would produce different varieties. The lentil flours must be preferred for salty biscuits as indeed most OFR biscuits should be whereas a sweet variety using larger amounts of the milk powder may be  manufactured.

Vegetable Content:

The new proposal makes adding vegetable nutrients to biscuits easy. Vegetables need not be dehydrated (although large scale manufacturers may still prefer that) but simmered in water to strain and press out the concentrated vegetable broth. This is then used instead of water to prepare the biscuit mix. The recommended vegetables are:


Herbal flavors such as garlic, ginger and coriander may be added to the mix.

Vegetable Juice:

The alternative to simmering vegetables is simply extracting the juice of raw vegetables and straining the juice. The simmering method would extract more nutrients but the direct method may be preferable for vegetables with high water content and a much wider variety may be used than suggested above

Fruit Juice:

Similarly fruit juice may be used when the biscuit to be produced is a sweet one
Vegetable Broth

Well washed vegetables are placed in the boiling vessel and a little water is added to begin with, after the mixtures comes to boil, it is simmered with a cover for one hour, cooled and then the juice is strained and pressed out to extract water soluble nutrients. The remaining solids can be dried and used as animal feed mix or for composting.

With the present methods producing OFR biscuits becomes much easier than the older proposal. A variety can be produced by varying the vegetable and protein mix. One rich in tomatoes would produce a red biscuit and another rich in spinach a green one. It goes without saying that artificial flavors or Trans fats must not be used. However saturated fats such as palm oil may be used because recent studies appear to indicate that it is Trans fats that may damage human health and not saturated fats as such.

Traditional biscuits were most often consumed as a snack with tea or milk or by infants and hence they are usually small in size. The OFR biscuits are meant for meals and are better larger perhaps rectangular for ease of handling and often thicker depending on ingredients so that they do not break easily during handling. Imagine two of those shown in picture with a tossed green salad in thick sour cream dressing for a lunch plate or two of them with a glass of milk and fresh fruit ( An apple or a banana) for a school midday meal! The main use of these however would remain for delivering in a variety of flavors to persons trapped in distress and as a traveler's trusted companion

An OFR Biscuit

Original note may also be read for full details :


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