Gluten Free, Multi-Grain Crackers
Bet you never thought you’d make your own crackers! You know, mix the dough, roll it out as thin as you can, slice them any which way and bake without burning those skinny little buggers. Well, maybe you did think you’d try someday to conquer store bought brands in your own kitchen. Or maybe you already do!
But me? I never believed I’d embark on baking my own crackers. Until all at once I became a mommy and a real food fanatic. I recall reading those baby food making books, feeling all adventurous as I shopped for new, nourishing ingredients and got home to concoct a batch of baby-friendly nuggets of whole grain. (I know, we’re not talking sky diving or anything but for a post-partum, breast feeding first time mom, making crackers really hit the adrenalin spot!)
Baby food. That was the beginning. Sure, I’d always baked and been predisposed to loving life in the kitchen. But as each adult year passed, my adventurous side urged me to keep trying the next new, REAL food recipe. I educated myself along the way realizing how much healthier homemade really is.
If homemade sounds hard to you, I want you to know ‘THIS’ (I say referencing myself all covered in whole grain flours with food processor and stand mixer cluttering my countertops) didn’t happen overnight.
I started someplace far from whipping up my own crackers. Step by step, real, whole foods took the place of processed in my pantry. Now most of that is a distant nutritional vision in my past. I cringe peering into pantry memories of fat free cream of mushroom soup and baked Cheetos. Those, for me my Friends, consisted of ‘healthy foods’. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a can of any kind of soup or over processed snack in my pantry. (Don’t worry! I’m planning a post with pictures of my humble little pantry—I just have to get the thing all shined up before I share it!)
No offense if you fill your pantry with low fat/fat free cans of creamy soup or gravitate towards store bought snacks. Remember, when you’re on Happily Whole, you’ve entered the ‘no-judgment-zone’ of all things wellness. I only intend to make the point that we all start someplace!
Define YOUR STARTING PLACE first. So many women I’ve worked with go about their business allowing every magazine article, internet image and social circle to define their personal eating expectations.
Stop that! Look at and IN yourself to determine where you are and why. Are you eating intentionally? Do you know why you choose to eat and feed your family what you do?
Perhaps you prefer store-bought snacks. So, let’s see how we can spruce them up nutritionally by reading labels, reducing sugar grams or buying exclusively whole grain. Maybe you’re ready to start baking from scratch…you’re in the right place for that, by the way. Or maybe exploration suites your fancy for today, just perusing around some different healthy philosophies or websites before you decide to set off on a good fit for you.
Once you are ready…put on your real-food heroine suit! Wherever you are right now is just right for you. I promise, little by little, you will embark on new eating adventures, especially as you experience how much better you feel.
If you happen to want to jump right in with homemade crackers, this is a GRRRREAT place to start because the dough mixes right up and rolls out nicely (not true of all cracker recipes). We LOVE these alone or with hummus. Check ‘em out!
I've tried several cracker recipes and this is my favorite to date. It happens to be multigrain AND gluten free. The quinoa flour raises the protein and the brown rice softens the flavor a bit. We eat these alone, with hummus or even dipped into a hearty soup.
- ½ cup organic quinoa flour*
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes**
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Celtic Sea salt or other coarse ground salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or you can use light brown sugar)
- 1 ¼ cup almond meal
- 1 flax egg***
- ¼ cup organic olive oil
- ¼ cup almond or rice milk (or you can use dairy milk if it's what you have on hand)
- ¼ cup slightly warm water
- Preheat oven to 350 and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine all dry ingredients (on the list, quinoa flour through the sugar)
- In a seperate bowl, mix the remaining five ingredients.
- Using a sturdy stand mixer (or a wooden spoon and muscle like they did in the olden days!), mix together wet and dry ingredients until a slightly sticky dough forms. You'll be pressing the dough flat into a thin layer, so if it seems dry or it falls apart easily, add a tablespoon of warm water at a time until the dough is moist and pliable but not overly wet.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Using lightly oiled hands flatten and spread half the dough on the prepared baking sheet or on a mat used for rolling dough. Make as thin a layer as possible. Use the edge of a rubber spatula to help smooth and straighten outside edges. The thinner the cracker is, the crisper it will be.
- Prick the dough with a fork every two inches or so and score the flattened dough into cracker sized squares or rectangles (I like to use pizza cutter to do this but my girls love using cookie cutters and we usually end up with either very entertaining or messy looking 'crackers'!).
- If necessary, transfer crackers to baking sheet and sprinkle the top with sea salt.
- Bake in the center of a preheated oven for around 23 minutes or so, or till firm and slightly crisp (they will crisp up a bit as they cool, but they should be fairly crisp- keep an eye on them so they don't brown too much)
- Remove from the oven and allow the crackers to cool on a rack.
- Store in an air-tight container when cool, if eating the same day. To store longer, I like to freeze all my baked goodies and thaw before serving.
*While I have purchased quinoa flour, I'm the first to admit the stuff is pricey! So, most often I toss some uncooked white quinoa into my Ninja single cup or food processor and press play just until the quinoa turns into a powdery flour. It works perfectly!
**Here's more information on Nutritional Yeast. I love the stuff for it's B vitamins and somewhat cheesey flavor. I use it in recipes, on roasted veggies and pan-popped popcorn.
***In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon with 2 tablespoons warm water and let sit for a few minutes before using in the recipe.