Super quick, nutritious, and plastic-free: making crackers at home has become my new norm.
It started last year when I began looking for alternatives to the food we enjoy that has plastic packaging. Bulk food stores are perfect for all sorts of dry goods, but not crackers, and we typically ate through 2-3 packets each week. As you'll know, crackers typically sit in a plastic tray or a foil bag, and then have another plastic package over the top.
The first ones I made were from The Source Wholefoods. The ingredients and recipe were combined in a paper bag, and I literally had to add oil and water, smooth into a baking dish and bake. This made 40-50 crackers and I was hooked. Since then I've discovered a recipe from Wick Nixon's book "Healthy Lunchbox Love", which is similar and now the one I prefer.
You can click through to Wick Nixon's cookbook here. (You'll find plenty of other quick, healthy recipes in it too.)
Here's the recipe:
Seedy Crackers (without flour)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground linseeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp psyllium husks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 160 C. Line baking tray with baking paper or a teflon baking sheet (I actually use a 40 x 27cm baking dish). Mix all ingredients together and leave to stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
Using a spatula or cake icing knife, spoon mixture onto the tray and spread as thinly as possible. Bake for 40-45 minutes until browned around the edges and brown on top. Allow to cool and then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Will keep for two weeks.
Makes approximately 40 crackers.
These are pictured below.
Seedy Crackers (with gluten-free flour)
The other recipe I recommend uses flour combined with seeds, and the texture seems less dense. This recipe was given to me by a lovely lady, Jan Parish, who was given it by a friend. Sorry but I don't know the original source!
1/2 cup cornmeal (polenta in a finer grind)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup each of sesame seeds (black, white, or a mixture), linseed, sunflower, pumpkin.
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix all dry ingredients then pour in oil. Add up to one cup of boiling water to mix to a soft dough. Roll between 2 pieces of baking paper as thinly as possible. (I divide the dough in half and make 2 lots, as it makes enough to cover most of two oven trays). Lift onto tray, indent softly with a knife and sprinkle with sea salt. (You don't need to press hard - just a light knife line is enough, and I find a standard knife is better than a sharp vege knife.)
Bake at 150 C or until brown. Leave to cool then break into pieces along the pre-cut marks. You might find the crackers around the perimeter cook faster than those in the centre, so remove those ones first and give the others longer.
I have two teenage girls, and if I'm perfectly honest, one still won't eat either of these...! Both kept asking for bought crackers, but I decided not to budge. I did try adapting the second recipe by eliminating all the seeds except white sesame seeds (because they blend with the colour of the flour quite well....) and pulled back on the liquid added. I think I use about 1/2 cup of sesame seeds total. (You'll soon be able to gauge when the dough-like consistency is right.) Although these worked fine, my eldest decided after a few tries, that actually the second recipe made crackers that were ok! And my youngest still isn't eating any. She'll eventually come round...
You can add dried herbs (Italian will probably work well), garlic, chilli, etc, but so far I've only done this once - I forget!
I've found that the crisp, crunchy bite is enhanced by keeping them in the fridge. I store them in glass jars so I can easily see the different types, and you can freeze them this way too. In fact, because these recipes make so many, I always end up freezing half.
You'll find you end up with lots of loose seeds after leaving them to cool, transferring them to your jars etc, so scoop these up and store in a small container. They're ideal scattered over salads and soups!
If you find that on cooling, your crackers aren't as crisp as you'd thought, pop them back in the oven. Providing you haven't left it too long your oven won't be cold and they can sit in the residual heat. This has worked well for me.
I hope you love these as I do!