Is there anything more snack-y than crackers? Who doesn’t love those crispy little squares of herby, cheesy, salty goodness, whether straight out of the box or piled with your favorite toppings- a dab of cheese spread, peanut butter, or avocado perhaps? Crackers are a year-round staple of the everyday pantry as well as the party buffet.
Thank goodness that there’s still many vegan options available to us after we make the switch away from animal products, but gravitating toward the more natural and healthy vegan cracker options can often come with an unwanted side effect- sticker shock!
Perusing the snack aisles at several stores tells a story of spendy boxes with flashy promises of healthy treats, most barely half-filled with crackers that often contained high amounts of oil and salt, so I set out to develop a recipe that fit my criteria for the perfect cracker: satisfying crunch, no added oils, minimal salt, BIG taste, and a finished product that I could feel good about eating and giving my family.
After several attempts that were either too nutty, too doughy, or otherwise not hitting the mark, I’ve finally found THE right combo of ingredients that results in a cracker I love to eat and that’s a snap to prepare.
Looking at the recipe, you might be concerned that some of the ingredients themselves are somewhat spendy, and I won’t lie. They are. However, keep in mind that many items such as seeds and flours can be purchased in bulk at a lower cost, and also, these are ingredient that you’ll find are pretty common to vegan baking, so they are handy to have on hand anyway. For instance, the large bag of whole flax seeds I keep in the fridge costs about $10 upfront, but lasts a very long time and has many uses, like adding them to smoothies, making flax egg replacers, and adding a nutty taste and extra nutrition to breads.
The only real work that goes into these crackers is the pressing of the mixture into the pan, which takes a bit of doing to get it the right thickness. You want a cracker that isn’t so thin it’ll crumble to pieces when you pick it up, but not so thick that it resembles more of a flatbread. Here’s a great trick to getting just the right thickness: instead of rolling the mixture out with a pin or other tool, use your fingers to press it into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep a bowl of warm water nearby and continually wet your fingers to keep the dough from sticking. Keep pressing it until it feels just right to you. You’ll know!
I hope you enjoy these easy, vegan and gluten-free crackers! Be sure to comment below and let me know how they turned out for you.
Easy Vegan, Gluten-Free Crackers
The perfect cracker for any snack attack!
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pepitas (raw, shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon EACH sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder
- 2 teaspoons EACH oregano and thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup warm water
- Sesame seeds and addtional whole flax seed, OPTIONAL
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- In a food processor or spice grinder, pulse the sunflower seeds until ground almost into a powder, but you still want many larger, visible pieces.
- Measure the remaining ingredients into a large bowl, and add the ground seed mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add the 3/4 cup warm water, ans stir until the mixture is uniformly wet.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Trust me, you do NOT want to do this without parchment paper, or the crackers will stick, even to a well-oiled pan.
- Turn the mixture out onto the parchment paper. Wet hands, and begin patting the mixture into the pan, continuing to wet your fingers to keep the mixture from sticking to you. Pat until you have a uniform thickness- you're going for about 1/8 of an inch.
- Next, lightly score the mixture into squares. I suggest using a butter knife or a pizza cutter.
- Finally, as an optional step, you may sprinkle the crackers with sesame seeds and whole flax seeds for added flavor and a nice appearance.
- Bake at 400 for approximately 20 minutes.
- If, at 20 minutes, some areas still seem too soft, like they need more crisping up, bake an additional 5 minutes, but lay strips of aluminum foil over any areas that look like they're getting too brown.
The Kinder Kitchen http://thekinderkitchen.com/