Healthy Homemade Cheez-ItsJul 12, 2019
Fun fact about me: I love artificial cheese. Yes, I said it! Cheetos, Goldfish, you name it, my childhood self was all over it. But more than anything, Cheez-Its were my cheesy junk food snack of choice. While today I try to avoid preservatives, dairy and other questionable ingredients that are in most “cheese” snacks, I do find myself craving them from time to time.
So when I had nut milk pulp leftover from making homemade almond milk recently, I knew crackers would be the perfect solution! As I hate food waste, I strive to make good use of everything when possible. In addition to these simple crackers, check out another use for nut milk pulp, my Cinnamon Bun Bliss Balls.
If you don’t have nut milk pulp on hand, you can simply substitute for almond flour. Check out my 3-Ingredient Almond Flour Crackers for more details on how to use these modified ingredients.
Likewise, while you can omit the flaxseed meal in this recipe if need be, it brings another dose of nutrition to this and every recipe. Flaxseeds are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and nutrients, so I highly recommend adding them to everything possible!
Overall, you might be wondering just how to get that cheesy flavor and color without the real deal? I can thank one of my favorite kitchen staples, nutritional yeast, for that. This health food phenomenon has a remarkable cheese-like flavor without any of the dairy. Plus, it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein. For more info about these tasty, healthy flakes, I provide more details in my Dairy-Free Pine Nut Pesto post.
You can find nutritional yeast in bulk at most health food stores, but I prefer to pick up a jar of Bragg’s because of its quality and flavor.
In addition to this important, cheesy ingredient, several spices add extra zip to these crackers. You’re welcome to play around with quanitites according to your taste, but I found that the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper brought just the right amount of flavor.
As for the turmeric, this colorful spice creates that golden color you expect from real Cheez-Its, so for that alone, it’s a must in this recipe!
Making your own crackers overall can indeed seem daunting, but I’m always shocked by just how easy the process is every time. Simply combine your ingredients, spread evenly on a baking sheet, cut into squares and let the oven turn them into crispy, perfect bites.
If you do choose to use nut milk pulp for this recipe, just be aware that the timing might vary depending on the amount of liquid left in your pulp. My particular batch took longer to crisp up as more liquid needed to evaporate.
Just keep an eye on your crackers as they bake, and adjust the time accordingly. Once they begin to brown, they’re ready to go! The crackers on the edges will crisp more quickly than those in the center, so remove those that are finished and place the rest back into the oven.
Whether you’re as big of a cheesy snack fan as I am or not, I think this healthified recipe will become one of your new favorites. While I do love a good sweet treat, salty snacks have always been my weakness. Rather than fill myself with the artificial and questionable ingredients found in most packaged crackers, I try to make my own when possible.
And though I might still have a soft spot for real-deal Cheez-Its, my tastebuds are just as happy with this delicious alternative. And with no gluten, dairy or preservatives, my body is as well. So go ahead and lean into your cheese-craving and whip up a batch of these crunchy, flavorful and nutritious crackers!
- 2 cups nut milk pulp (or almond flour)
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp black pepper
- pinch of sea salt
Likewise, the crackers on the edges will brown more quickly than those in the center. Remove the finished crackers, and place the remaining back in the oven.
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