The holidays are coming up, and with holidays comes holiday parties. With holiday parties comes food, and within food, you’ve got appies. Shrimp and cocktail sauce, spring rolls and sweet chilli, crudités and hummus, baguette with bruschetta, crostini with pâté, and crackers with antipasto. Let’s talk crackers.
I’m a big fan of Mary’s Gone Crackers and they’re a pantry staple in my kitchen. They’re one of the only gluten-free crackers I’ve found that contain truly wholesome ingredients and they’re sturdy enough to handle any sort of dip. The only problem is that they can be a bit spendy.
My usual tactic is to buy them from Costco where you can get nearly the equivalent of 2 regular-sized boxes for a little more than the price of 1 if you were buying from another grocery store. However, being all into my culinary nutrition course for the past couple of months, I’ve been LOVING creating my own crackers that are not only gluten-free, but grain-free and cheaper too. There are a number of diets and eating styles that restrict the use of grains (some long term, some temporary), and these crackers are a tasty and nutrient-dense alternative.
If this sounds like a big endeavour it’s totally not. And to be honest with you, it’s actually quite fun! Rather than using grains as the base, these crackers use ground flax which you can make with whole flaxseed and a coffee grinder. Our bodies can’t digest whole flax, so grinding it is important if we want to be able to take advantage of the healthy fats it has to offer.
You can use whatever spice blend you like to flavour your crackers, and for the best flavour, I highly recommend going for the whole seeds rather than ground. In this case, I’ve used coriander, fennel and caraway, and these will get broken down in the food processor when you make your cracker batter.
One of the things I love about Mary’s Gone Crackers is the seediness of them, so I tried to replicate some of that in my version with sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seeds. I ran my food processor a little long so the seeds ended up getting crushed into fairly small pieces, but if you want bigger bits, simply pulse them for a shorter length of time.
Aside from those items, you’ll just need a bit of sea salt, a touch of maple syrup, a rolling pin or round jar, and parchment paper.
I found that the batter I created had a very doughy consistency and rolled really easily between 2 bits of parchment paper.You can cut out circles with the end of a small jar, round cookie cutter or a small glass. Of course, if you’re feeling festive, you could use cookie cutters and make Christmas tree crackers. That’s what I plan to do for my next batch. ?
Ideally you want to get the layer of dough as even and thin as possible before cutting out the crackers, and the thinner the dough, the crispier they’ll be. Once they’ve baked in the oven for about 30 minutes, you’ll have crunchy, super flavourful crackers that are perfect for traveling with or enjoying with your dip of choice.
Super Seed Grain-Free Crackers
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Ingredients (about 24 crackers)
- 2/3 cup whole flaxseed (this should make about 3/4 cup ground flax)
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp sprouted pumpkin seeds
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp low sodium tamari
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a coffee grinder, grind your flax seeds in batches. Transfer the ground flax to a medium-sized bowl.
Put the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, caraway, coriander and fennel seeds, water and tamari in the food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula.
Pour the contents of the jug into the bowl of ground flax. Add the maple syrup, hemp seeds sea salt and black pepper. Stir well to create a dough. It should be kneadable with your hands.
Roll the dough out on a flat surface to about 2-3mm thickness. (I like to do this by using a round jar and two pieces of parchment with the dough in between.) Thinner dough will make crispier crackers.
Use a round cookie cutter or the opening of a small glass or bottle to cut out round shapes. (Alternatively, make stars, flowers, dinosaurs… whatever you like.)
Place the rounds on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 or until crisp.
Speaking of dips, I’ve got 2 amazing ones coming up for you this Wednesday. So get cracking my friends (see what I did there?), and I’ll see you then!
So tell me…
- What’s your favourite kind of cracker?
- Have you ever tried making your own? How did they turn out?