I will warn you that these humble looking nut and seed crackers are addictive! I have now made them twice in one week and they disappeared quite quickly.
The good news about the crackers is that they are highly nutritious; gluten, dairy and egg free, so I feel good about eating them and they fulfill my snack “need” quite easily.
Incredibly nutritionally dense as they are, as the name suggests, they consist of only nuts and seeds which are very caloric. Eating a serving of 4-5 crackers for a snack is probably an amount to aim for which is okay as they are substantial in fat and protein which makes them very satiating.
Mixed nut and seed crackers could also be a part of a healthy lunch too; serve them with roasted or cut up fresh vegetables and a dip such as our spicy tahini hummus or chipotle ranch dip.
What I love about these nut and seed crackers is the fact that they are such a powerhouse of protein, “good fats” (monounsaturated) and dietary fibre which is what makes them so densely nutritious.
- Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and Vit B6
- Almonds are exemplary in protein, magnesium and Vit B2
- Cashews also have notable levels in monounsaturated fats, protein, and contain no cholesterol.
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and magnesium.
- Sunflower seeds contain significant amounts of Selenium, Magnesium, Vit E, Phytosterols, and Copper.
These plant-based gluten free crackers are quick to make if you have all these ingredients on hand. It is also okay if you substitute another nut and/or seed if you don’t have the exact list. For example, you could try poppy or sesame seeds instead of the flax seeds, or substitute pecans for the walnuts or almonds.
The other fun thing about these nut and seed crackers is that they are a blank canvas for other flavours.
Feel free to add spice mixes like:
- A combination of 1 tsp (5 ml) of cinnamon and ½ tsp (2 ml) of nutmeg
- Chili flakes, black pepper and nutritional yeast
- Or perhaps 1 tsp (5 ml) curry spice, 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cumin and ½ tsp (2 ml) ground coriander.
- Fresh herbs like 2 tsp (10 ml) of basil, or oregano
The one seed you cannot omit is the chia seed as it acts as the egg substitute and is the binder for the cracker dough.
(Makes approx 40 (1.5″x 1.5″) crackers)
- 3/4 cup (185 ml) raw cashews
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) raw almonds
- ½ cup (125 ml) walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup (60 ml)raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) chia seeds
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) flax seeds
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) fresh ground black pepper (optional)
- 1/4 tsp (1ml) red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp (5 ml) nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
Garnish: Sprinkle with more salt before baking (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- On a baking sheet, put the cashews, almonds and walnuts and bake for 15 min or until golden brown, tossing occasionally.
- In a small baking sheet or frying pan, toast the pumpkin seeds in the oven for 5-10 min or until lightly golden brown
- Once all the nuts are toasted and cooled, transfer to a food processor, along with the sunflower, flax seeds, salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, and process until the texture of coarse sand.
- In a small bowl, soak the chia seeds in 1/4 cup for 5 min, then add to the food processor with the olive oil and 1/4 cup water.
- Process all together until the mixture comes together into a ball.
- Transfer the mixture to a large piece of parchment and cover with an equal size piece of parchment.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out to an even thin layer
- With a large knife, score the crackers into the size you want; ideally 1.5” x 1.5” square. Lightly sprinkle with more salt if you like.
- Cut the irregular ragged pieces off and set aside.
- Slide the parchment paper with the crackers on it to a baking sheet, and bake for 15 min
- Turn the baking sheet and bake again for another 10-15 min being careful not to overbake. Allow the crackers to cool completely on the baking sheet on a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile roll out of the remaining scraps of the cracker mixture, and repeat however the edges can be more irregular this time.
- Bake the remaining crackers.
Once completely cool, transfer to an airtight container.
On a side note; check out our article about chia as an egg substitute in “Top Plant-based Substitutes for Animal Ingredients” for more information and our article “Top Pantry Essentials to Cook Like a Pro” for pantry staples to have on hand.
Publisher’s Note: Carol Dudar is a Toronto based recipe developer and food stylist.