These gluten-free crackers are surprisingly simple to make, no dehydrator required! They are naturally free of refined grains and added oils. I like them with this Raw Almond Hummus.
Low Refined Carbohydrates
Low carbohydrate eating can be interpreted in many different ways. For me, it means low ‘net’ carbs, or available carbs, which equates to a higher fibre intake. Refined carbohydrates, such as white flour, have had much of their nutrition and fibre removed. The emphasis should be on good quality, mostly plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and lots of fibre.
A Source Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This gluten-free cracker recipe is full of beneficial alpha-linolenic acid – a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. See Chia vs Flax vs Hemp – Which One Is Healthier and More Sustainable for more info on the health benefits of these seeds.
Diabetic Friendly Crackers
Lower carbohydrate options help support blood sugar levels. This recipe makes 10 servings, containing 7.7g of carbohydrates and 6g of fibre per serve which equates to only 1.7g of net carbs per serving.
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Flaxseeds
Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) can be found in various plant-based sources including flaxseeds, see Getting Enough Omega-3 For The Vegetarians. Not only are flaxseeds a high source of ALA but they also have a remarkable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:4, which can go a long way towards helping correct an imbalance of essential fatty acids. To access the omega-3s, it is best to grind the flaxseeds and always store ground flax in the refrigerator.
Flaxseeds Are High In Lignans
Flaxseeds are also one of the highest dietary sources of lignans, an important fibre with preliminary evidence that suggests they may help to reduce the growth of human cancer cells (1,2,3).
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds Are High In Calcium and Iron
Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain 142 milligrams of calcium, and most of us need a total of 1000 milligrams per day. They are also a good source of iron with 2.2 milligrams per 2 tablespoons (3).
Chia Seeds Are High In Soluble Fibre
Chia seeds are one of our best sources of soluble fibre, the type of fibre that can help our body rid of excess sugar and fats. A diet high in soluble fibre is one of the primary recommendations for both diabetes management, and high cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Hemp Hearts
Hemp Is A Sustainable Food
Hemp is known for being one of the ‘greenest’ crops on the planet due to its fast-growing nature, its versatility in use, and the need for little to no pesticides or fertilizers. They are one of the most easily digested plant-based sources of protein (4) which can take the pressure off our populations’ high animal protein consumption thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Hemp Is A Good Source Of Gamma-Linolenic Acid
Hemp hearts are one of the few foods that provide beneficial gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) a particularly helpful omega-6 fatty acid. Other sources are limited to evening primrose oil (EPO), blackcurrant seed oil, and borage seed oil.
GLA taken for 6-12 months may reduce symptoms and prevent nerve damage in people with nerve pain due to type 1 or type 2 diabetes (5,6). Gamma linolenic acid seems to work better in people with good blood sugar control (6).
More Hemp Recipes
- Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pate
- For something sweet try these Raw Vegan Chocolate Date Bars with Hemp
- Or these High Protein Peanut Butter Energy Balls with Hemp.
How To Make Them Uniform
If you would like all your crackers to be uniform and not free-formed, then score the crackers gently with a knife before baking. Option to make square crackers, or triangles.
How To Bake
Halfway through the cooking process, the crackers need to be flipped. I find it easier to use a new piece of baking paper, and with the crackers stuck to the original paper, gently flip it onto the new paper.
I love this recipe because no bulky food dehydrator is required. Simply mix all the ingredients and then bake at a low heat. You can’t skimp out on the baking time, so be prepared to let these crackers bake for at least 3 hours plus some additional resting time, but they are worth it, I promise.
Cooking at a low heat also helps to preserve some of the heat-sensitive nutrients in the chia and flaxseeds.
What Seed Variations Can I Use?
I’ve used many different seeds in this recipe. The flax and the chia are necessary for their water-binding abilities, but feel free to play around with alternatives to the hemp hearts and sunflower seeds. The original recipe uses pepitas (pumpkin seeds). I have also made these crackers with slivered almonds which tastes great too.
- When using dried Rosemary I suggest pulsing the herb quickly first in your mini-food processor or mini-blender. I prefer not to get long bits of rosemary in my cracker bite.
- Oregano and thyme are also favourites for these crackers. Add some black pepper for a little bit of bite.
- Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend often made with ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination of these, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and salt. This is a great way to add a ton of flavour to the crackers.
How To Store These Crackers
They store well for up to a week in an air-tight container, be careful not to leave them out as they will go stale. Storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator will extend the life of the crackers to up to two weeks.
I’ve adapted this recipe from May I Have That Recipe. I found that no more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt is necessary, and I prefer to make it using smaller seeds so I have substituted the pepitas for hemp hearts. I always have some dried rosemary on hand, and I love the combination of rosemary and toasted sesame seeds.
Dip Recipes for Serving
- In the Spring and Autumn, I love making this Wild Fennel Pesto
- Any time of the year is a good time for this Simple Beet Dip with Balsamic Vinegar
- And this Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pate
Gluten-Free Crackers with Seeds
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flaxseeds whole
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp hemp hearts
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp herbs or spices (I used dried rosemary)*
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds toasted (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (I use 1 1/4 trays).
- Combine the flaxseeds and chia seeds with the water in a mixing bowl. Mix well and ensure everything has been coated with the water. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Spread the mixture as thinly as possible onto the parchment paper lined baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out the mixture so it is evenly spread, making sure there are no holes. I find with my baking trays I need one full try and 1/4 of another tray. If you want your crackers to be uniform, now is the time to score them with a knife (I prefer my crackers to be broken freestyle).
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours and then flip the cracker mixture over using a spatula. It should stay together, but still be a bit flexible at this point. I sometimes find placing a new sheet of parchment paper on the tray and flipping the mixture onto that works best. Bake for another 1 1/2 hours.
- Once the crackers have baked for a total of 3 hours, turn the oven off but let the crackers stay in the warmed oven to cook further for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the crackers completely cool. Break into your desired cracker size. Store in a sealed container on the countertop for 5 to 7 days.
4. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: an overview (2004). Euphytica