If you go shopping, here are two things that you can say about crackers:
- “Why are you so bad for me, Crackers?!? I hate you!” (while reading the ingredients label on a box of Saltines), or
- “Why do you cost so much, Crackers?!? I hate you!” (while reading the price tag on a box of whole-grain crackers).
If you own a dehydrator, however, and have a taste for adventure, you can stay home and say this:
“I love you, Crackers! You’re so good for me, so tasty, and you didn’t cost that much to make, at all!!!”
These homemade dehydrated crackers are delicious. They’re made entirely of seeds and nuts, so they’re SO good for you. They’re vegan and raw, if you’re into that. And my kid there ate an entire tray of them this morning for Second Breakfast, so they’re a hit with the small, fussy ones, too.
Here’s how to make your own homemade, healthy, dehydrated crackers:
1. Soak some flax seeds. Add whole flax seeds and water to a Mason jar in a 1:1 ratio, screw on the lid, shake it up, and pop it into your refrigerator and forget about it until tomorrow. A cup of flax seeds will make one tray of crackers in my round Nesco dehydrator, and I usually quadruple this recipe to fill the entire thing.
2. Add additional seeds, nuts, and seasonings. You can make really tasty crackers with only those soaked flax seeds, but I like to add a ton of other random nuts, seeds and spices to my mix.
Seeds should be mixed with water in a 1:1 ratio and soaked just while you’re dragging the dehydrator out of the basement, wiping it off, fussing with the parchment paper, etc. If they’re small, like sesame seeds or poppy seeds, you don’t need to chop them, but if they’re large, like pumpkin seeds, you should throw the mixture into your food processor or Vitamix and chop them way down.
Nuts should also be chopped very fine, but shouldn’t be soaked (We don’t want to accidentally make nut butter!).
NOTE: Because the flax seeds are the powerhouse of this recipe, doing most of the work of keeping the cracker together when it’s dehydrated, I wouldn’t go beyond a 2:1 ratio of flax seeds to other ingredients; you still want to have plenty of flax seeds to hold everything together, no matter what else you include.
Dump the flax seed mixture, the seed mixture (if using), the chopped nuts (if using), and any spices or seasonings (if using) into an excellent blender, and whirl them all together until thoroughly mixed. You should now have a thick batter, spreadable and sort of gluey looking (thanks to the flax seeds).
3. Prepare the dehydrator. You won’t be able to dehydrate these crackers on the regular trays; if you have a fruit leather tray, you can use that, but even better is to trace the dehydrator tray onto parchment paper, and cut out parchment paper bottoms for every tray that you’ll be using.
4. Dehydrate the crackers. Lay parchment paper on the bottom of the dehydrator tray, then pour out some cracker batter and spread it onto the tray. Try to spread it pretty thin, but thick crackers work, too, so don’t get too fussed about it.
You can sprinkle additional seasonings, such as sea salt or dried rosemary, on top of the cracker batter if you’d like, or leave them undecorated.
Turn on your dehydrator and check your crackers every half hour or so. When the tops are set, you can flip the parchment paper over so that the crackers are resting upside-down on the trays, then peel the parchment paper off so that they continue to dehydrate even faster. In an hour or two, they should be ready!
5. Cut the crackers. While the crackers are still warm from the dehydrator, press down with a knife blade where you want to slice them, and they should break away more or less evenly.
Let the crackers cool and then feed them to your kids, who will do their best to eat them all before you even get a taste, ideally spread with more cream cheese than a sane person should ever contemplate.
Got extra flax seeds? You can use them instead of buckwheat in this eye pillow.