By Laura Mack
December 2, 2016
These light and crispy low-carb seed crackers are the perfect side-kick for cheese, dips, and spreads. They’re unusual for a low-carb baked item because they’re nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. The “nutty” flavor and texture comes entirely from an assortment of seeds, whole, and ground. Because seeds are loaded with fiber, the carbs in these crackers are 71% fiber, most of it soluble (the best kind). As a result, they have just over 1 net carb per serving! And, as you might expect, these crackers are very filling.
After living low carb and grain-free for nearly three years, I’ve come to accept that there are certain items that are difficult, if not impossible, to find an alternative that requires no compromise in terms of flavor and texture. Breads, for instance. While there are some alternatives that make OK replacements, to be honest, I’ve found it easier to simply adjust to not having bread. (Having been a professional baker and pastry chef, I will admit that I am picky!) I have secured a pretty darned good low carb pizza crust — yay! — but a stellar cracker had remained elusive until recently.
A while back, I came across Sukrin, a Scandanavian company that makes low carb flours and sweeteners from natural sources. (This is not a paid plug; Sukrin doesn’t know I’m a fan.) One of their products that I use and enjoy is their sesame flour. My recipe for Crispy Low Carb Seed Crackers is adapted from Sukrin’s Low Carb Sesame Crackers recipe.
While my recipe uses sesame flour and sesame seeds (plus a little sesame oil), the proportions are different. Along with the addition of a larger selection of other seeds, my version doesn’t shout SESAME flavor. I also like including a variety of seeds not only to enhance flavor and texture, but also for health benefits. Each type of seed brings unique benefits to the party. I’ve included links at the bottom of this post with more information about each seed I’ve used here. Full disclosure: I probably would have used pumpkin seeds, too, but I was out!
I’d probably be willing to put in considerable effort for a great keto cracker. However, in this case, it’s not needed. In addition to the seeds, these crackers contain only water, oil, and salt. They require no rolling and take about 10 minutes to assemble. After about 45 minutes in the oven and a little cooling time, they are ready to go.
Once the ingredients are whisked together and thickens to the consistency of loose oatmeal (about 3 to 5 minutes), I transfer the batter between two parchment-lined half sheet pans. I spread the batter using an offset spatula, as evenly as possible, into rectangles about 10″ x 13″. The seed mixture is absorbent and can start to over-thicken after a short time, so I don’t dilly-dally. If the batter starts to stick to the spatula, I run the back of the blade underwater, repeating as necessary.
It helps to cut/score the batter into crackers before it is fully baked. I do this after baking for about 20 minutes, so the batter doesn’t stick to my cutting device. I use a pizza wheel because it’s fast and fun, but a sharp knife would work perfectly fine! I get about 48 crackers (6 x 8 rows) per sheet, but that will vary depending on the size and thickness you prefer for your crackers.
After scoring, I return the sheet pans to the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes. I’m looking for golden edges and firm to the touch. I check for doneness by carefully lifting up a cracker to see if it feels dry and looks golden on the bottom. It’s important not to overbake the crackers, or the seeds may develop a bitter taste. If the crackers look done color-wise but feel like they could be drier, I simply turn off the oven and crack the over door open a little. I let the pans sit in the warm oven for about 30 minutes to continue drying.
Once the crackers come out of the oven, I transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. I then carefully break up the crackers along the score lines and transfer the crackers (no pans or parchment) back to the wire rack to finish cooling, about 30 minutes or so. They will continue to crisp up more as they cool. At this point, they are ready to eat! To store, transfer them to an air-tight container and keep at room temperature for up to a month (if you don’t eat them all before then).
This recipe yields a total of about 10 ounces of crackers once baked. I find that a 1/2-ounce (14 gram) portion is just right, which is about 5 crackers the way I cut them. Because the crackers are loaded with healthy fat and fiber, they are more filling than their typical grain-based cousins.
There are many wonderful low carb dips and spreads that go well with these nutty-tasting delights — spinach dip, cheese balls, etc. — but they’re also terrific eaten out of hand, or crumbled on top of a salad like croutons. As I was typing this post, I was compelled to take a lunch break to enjoy tuna salad mounded atop these lovelies. So. Seriously. Good.
I realize that you may not have all of these seeds and seed flours on hand, but many of them are available at natural grocery stores and even Costco. I’ve not seen the Sukrin sesame flour in stores, but it’s worth ordering online. I’m also a fan of some of Sukrin’s bread mixes and fiber syrups, although I haven’t tried all of their product line. I’m guessing that you could substitute almond flour for the sesame flour, although I have not tried it myself. Of course, the crackers would not be nut-free in that case. As with nuts and nut flours, seeds and seed flours can go rancid after a month or two at room temperature. I always store these items in tightly sealed containers in the freezer, and they hold well for up to a year.
As we are in the midst of the holiday season, I imagine that a box or tin of these crackers would make a lovely gift for any friend, low carber or otherwise. And, since they can be made well ahead, they’re also perfect for easy entertaining.
We can’t wait for you to try these Crispy Low Carb Seed Crackers — be sure to tell us what you think! What are some of your favorite things to serve with crackers?
Crispy Low Carb Seed Crackers
Author: Laura Mack
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 55 mins
These light and crispy low-carb seed crackers are the perfect side-kick for cheese, dips, and spreads. Nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.
⅓ cup / 40 grams sesame flour, reduced fat (I use Sukrin brand)
⅓ cup / 40 grams ground golden flaxseed
⅓ cup / 48 g raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup / 32 g raw sesame seeds
¼ cup / 42 g chia seeds
¼ cup / 42 g raw hemp seeds
1 tbsp / 12 g powdered psyllium husks
1 tbsp / 8 g caraway seeds
1 tsp / 7 g fine sea salt
1½ cups / 340 ml boiling water
3 tbsps / 42 ml avocado oil
1 tsp / 5 ml toasted sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line two half-sheet pans (18" x 13") with parchment paper and set aside.
- With a fork, whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add boiling water, avocado oil, and sesame, stirring to blend thoroughly until mixture thickens to the consistency of loose oatmeal, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Divide the batter among the two sheet pans. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter in an even layer into rectangles about 10" x 13". If the spatula starts to stick the batter, run the back of the blade under a little water, repeating if necessary.
- Transfer the sheet pans to the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. If both sheet pans don't fit on the bottom rack of your oven, place one on the bottom and one on the rack above, then switch after 10 minutes.
- Remove pans from oven, and cut/score using a pizza wheel or sharp knife into the size crackers you would like.
- Return the sheet pans to the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes. The crackers should have golden edges and be firm to the touch. Check for doneness by carefully lifting up a cracker to see if it feels dry and looks golden on the bottom. Do not overbake the crackers, or the seeds may develop a bitter taste. If the crackers look done, but feel like they could be drier, turn off the oven and crack the oven door open a little. Let the pans sit in the warm oven for 30 minutes to continue drying.
- Remove pans from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully break into crackers along the score lines and transfer (no pans or parchment) to the wire rack to continue cooling and crisping, about 30 minutes more. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to one month.
Nutritional info* per ½-oz (14 g) serving: 89 cal, 7.1 g total fat (74%), 0.7 g sat fat, 4.2 g total carbs, 3.0 g fiber, 1.2 g net carbs, and 3.1 g protein.
*I use Living Cookbook 2015, along with package information and data from www.nutritiondata.self.com, to calculate the nutritional information for my recipes. Thus, I can make no guarantees as to the accuracy.