There are many good brands of crackers out there but most are high in sodium, have additives and if you don’t reseal the bag well, you can easily end up with stale crackers. I also don’t like buying products that come in boxes. That’s such a waste. Making crackers from scratch on the other hand is fun, it can save you money and allow you to control the amount and type of herbs, spices and seeds you want. Now not all crackers are created equal though!
TIME FOR TRIVIA
What the is the most popular brand of cracker in the world? Is it:
A. Pepperidge Farm, Goldfish crackers, cheddar
B. Ritz, The Original cracker
C. Cheez-it, original crackers
D. Honey Maid, graham crackers
Answer at the end of the article!
Types of crackers
Looking at the cracker isle of most grocery stores, you may think that there are many types of crackers. But it comes down to mostly three types:
- Soda crackers: combines flour, shortening and salt.
- Graham crackers: a combination of both white and wheat flour, and some sweetener.
- Sprayed crackers: any of the above sprayed with a thin coat of oil after baking.
This being said, people come up with new ideas all the time, just to create, for instance, vegan or gluten-free versions that can make the cut. One of these alternatives involves using seeds instead of flour. I remember first tasting these odd looking crackers 30+ years ago in restaurants that served raw vegan food and amazing spreads. They reminded me of bird crackers!
These crackers do not use any flour, only seeds (flax, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, etc). What binds them? Flax or chia gel, psyllium husk, you get the idea.
They are very healthy, a little dry, on the brittle side, but great for dips and spreads. They look more organic not so neatly shaped crackers (unless you score them well before or midway through the baking process). They are naturally gluten-free. They will last a week or more as long as you store them in an air tight container. If you don’t, they do tend to fall apart a little.
Combo seeds and flour
In an attempt to produce crackers that are a little thicker, and less brittle, I like to add some flour. This can be a gluten-free mix, almond, coconut or even chickpea flour. The mix produces a little thicker and homogeneous cracker.
What is nice about using different types of flour is that you can create crackers with different nutritional content. Using chickpea flour for example will produce a protein rich cracker. Almond flour is naturally low-carbs but very nutrient dense. You control what you make, so your food can be your medicine, if you choose the good stuff!
Herb crackers are usually flavored with Mediterranean herbs like garlic, onion, rosemary. Most brands add cheese to them for an extra layer of flavor.
While most crackers are savory I love to make a lightly sweet version using dates or agave syrup. They make a great snack! So have fun trying different flavors!
Trivia answer: Cheez-it, the Original
Herb Seed Crackers
- baking trays
- parchment paper or silicone mats
- 1/3 cup flaxseeds
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk
- 2.5 cups vegetable broth (1 tsp paste or powder)
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds (black or white)
- 1 cup raw sunflower or hemp seeds
- 1 cup gluten-free flour mix, almond, coconut or chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
Putting it together
- Combine the broth, flax seeds and psyllium husk in a bow, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Set a side for a few minutes to let the gel expand.
- Turn the oven to 325 F and line 1-2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Taste and season if needed. Spread the mix over a lined baking tray in a thin layer about 4-5 mm thick. Wet your hands and smooth out the surface.
- Sprinkle the nutritional yeast evenly like parmesan.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Move the tray out and score the sheet to make squares or rectangles. The cracker should be still soft.
- Bake for another 25 minutes or until the crackers are dried but still have some chewiness. It make need more time depending on your oven and the thickness of your crackers.
- Allow to cool down before peeling the cracker from the parchment paper and breaking into pieces and storing.
Mexican: add some salsa or chipotle powder
Cheezy: add vegan parmesan, nutritional yeast