Homemade Vegan Cheez-It Crackers
As a kid I was known as the girl who could eat a whole box of cheez-its in an afternoon. Okay, maybe thats not what people said about me to my face, but I'm pretty sure people thought I was weird and I know for sure that one friend's mom always made sure they had at least one full box before I came over. I just loved them. I was a big cheese kid, but was lactose intolerant, so to compensate and avoid a tummy ache I would just gorge on weird cheesy flavored foods whenever I could get my tiny hands on them. My parents certainly didn't condone it, they just had no idea. And I still got tummy aches, because really who needs to eat an entire box of cheez-its? These days, I 'm a lot better about portion sizes. The originals weren't healthy or good for you and were packed with chemicals - but they were delicious! I decided it was about time I recreated my favorite childhood treat, but knew I needed them to be totally vegan and WAY healthier. And they turned out SO GOOD! They're crispy, crunchy, cheezy, salty, savory and super snackable. Plus, there are only 9 ingredients - and you probably have them all on hand right now. These are the kind of snack you don't at all have to feel guilty about snacking on, even if you do go a bit overboard. Perfect for taking along for lunch or snack at work and bringing on camping or road trips - so let's get snackin'!
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
5 tablespoons vegan butter
3-4 tablespoons cold water
Preheat the oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the flour, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, baking powder and turmeric to a food processor and process to thoroughly combine. Add the vegan butter and pulse until crumbly.
Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the food processor and form it into a disk. Place the disk onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly dust the top with flour and use a rolling pin to roll it to about 1/8th inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into equal-sized square crackers.
Spread the crackers onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 14-18 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Makes 60-80 crackers. Save leftovers in an airtight container or bag on the counter up to a week.
Snacking on goldfish crackers may be the one thing I miss as a vegan. Knowing full well that they're sodium filled, preservative filled, unnaturally colored little demon fishes, I avoid them. Plus, every time I even smell that fake cheddar scent, I end up on a three day craving spree trying to replicate their flavor. Alas, no such luck. One of our readers led us to a link for the website Chef Chloe, where we found a VEGAN goldfish cracker recipe...and the best part? There are only 8 ingredients! And four of them you already have in your kitchen, guaranteed.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a food processor, combine everything but the butter and water. Mix until combined. Add butter and pulse until crumbly. Add water and pulse until dough just comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Now its time to cut your fishies! For this part, you can purchase a goldfish cutter (pretty cheap online) or you can get creative and be cheap and make your own! Just carefully cut an aluminum can lengthwise into several 1 inch strips, a fold into a fish (or any other!) shape. Secure with a staple or clear tape, like I used, and cut away! I even had my roommate add little eyes and mouths using the end of a toothpick while I cut out crackers.
And there's me with the cutter I was entirely too proud of. Definitely not perfect, but it is recycled, and one of my New Years resolutions involves no more paying for things I can make myself. Plus, his slightly misshapen tail adds a little character...right? Right! Once your school is all cut out, bake on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until golden and very lightly browned. Store in an airtight container...if they last that long! These little babies are so good! They're a bit salty and kind of reminiscent of these crackers we used to eat sometimes when we were little, which makes me love them even more because they're a WAY healthier version. Try these, you just can't be disappointed by a snack that smiles back!