Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crunchy Cheesy and a Little Weird. We're Talking Crackers, Not Me.

On our quest to become a healthier family (and shed some extra fat that been hanging around to long), I've been revamping our freezer, fridge and pantry with healthier alternatives. Since cutting sugars and breads out about a month ago, I was ready for something crunchy like a cracker to munch on. There are so many cracker recipes on Pinterest and other sites, but either I didn't have all the ingredients or it required a food dehydrator, which I do not have. is my habit, I made up my own recipe by using the others as a guide.

                                                                 Here's what I had to use.

I think they turned out quite well for my first batches. The first batch I added a little black seed as well. My 13 year old said they were "interesting", but could taste the peppery black seeds.

The second batch, I omitted the black seeds and added a some shredded cheese. This batch received a better review of, "I'm not sure I like them, but in a weird way, I do." as she spreads cream cheese on yet another one and keeps eating them.

The Handsome Hunky Man even liked them and that counts for a lot :)

What's great about making your own crackers is that you know what's in them, and you can personalize them to your favorite flavors.  It seems this recipe is going to be very forgiving and versatile, so I plan on experimenting more soon. Here's what I did today.

Flaxmeal Cheesy Crackers

1 cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp paprika
3/4 cup water (start with 1/2 cup and add more if it seems it needs it)

Preheat oven to 400

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone sheet. In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients together to form a dough somewhat consistent of thick brownie batter. Dump batter onto parchment paper and spread it out to 1/4 inch or even thinner if you can. I used a fork to spread it all around. Using a pizza cutter or knife score into the size crackers you want. I actually baked them for about 5 minutes and then scored them and it worked great.

Bake 15-18 minutes until crackers are getting firmer to the touch. At this point, (after getting one out and testing it) they could have been ready, but I decided I wanted them to dry out a bit more, but didn't want them to burn, so I reduced the oven heat to 275 and let them sit for another 15 minutes. They will crisp up more as they cool, but since my batches were a little thicker, I wanted to give them more time to "dehydrate". This is where you can figure out what works best for you.

If you don't have nutritional yeast, all shredded cheese could be used instead. Or....leave the cheese out. Seriously! As long as you get a "dough" they basically just need to cook long enough to dehydrate.

I certainly enjoyed them while finishing up reading The Giver, with a nice serving of cream cheese and a few slices of sharp cheddar cheese. YUMMO!

Once they've completely cooled and sat on the counter for awhile and everyone has finally stopped "tasting" them, put the remaining crackers in an airtight container and then try to stop getting into them to see if they keep tasting better as they sit longer. They do. I know, because I just ate another one to find out.

Happy healthy eating!