Cauliflower and spelt crackers with a dairy free “cheese” option

finished

Kids love crackers, and why shouldn’t they? they’re crunchy, and great to hold onto while you’re running around playing super heroes in the living room.

They’re good for parents too. Quick, no leakage and I’ve never once heard a kid complaining that they’ve just been given a cracker to eat.  Which is why It’s so easy to let your kids consume large quantities of them. I’ve seen my own little monkeys polish off a whole box of rice crackers in under 40min… it was quite impressive.

Win win right? not so fast. If you take the time and turn around that packet of crackers that you just bought, you might find that things start getting a little more complicated.

 THE PROBLEM WITH COMMERCIAL CRACKERS

Most commercial crackers are full of four things that are not so good for you.

  • Salt,
  • Sugar
  • GMOs
  • Trans fats

Yes you may be able to find some delicious, organic substitutions. They will however, considerably lighten your wallet.

So my goal this year was to make all our own crackers, and guess what – IT WAS EASY!

Some crackers do take more time than others. However, I am able to whip up a batch of yummy spelt parmesan crackers in 20mins! They are fresh, crunchy and taste better than anything you could buy at the shops.

The recipe below is for a hybrid cauliflower and spelt cracker. Yep you heard me right, CAULIFLOWER!

cauli in strainer

What I love most about this recipe is that it’s a great way to use excess cauliflower, without turning it into boring old cauliflower and cheese. I used to audiably groan every time we got a huge head of cauliflower in our communal vege box.  Now I celebrate!

BUT MY KIDS DON’T LIKE CAULIFLOWER

Great, because these crackers don’t taste like cauliflower at all! The cauliflower in this recipe just adds to the overall cheesy flavour. Plus, It’s a good way to sneak an extra cheeky vegetable into your child’s food.

CAN I USE CAULIFLOWER WITHOUT THE SPELT?

Sure can. I combined cauliflower with spelt to give the crackers more crunch.

If you do use 100% cauliflower, the resulting cracker will be slightly floppier. Not a huge problem, but if your kids are used to more crunch, I’d start them off with a combination of cauliflower and spelt. There not as crunchy as traditional crackers, but they’re not far from it.

A few things you need to know about using 100% cauliflower are

  • The dough is wetter and not as stretchy than the cauli/spelt dough. You will therefore need to use your fingertips to flatten the dough onto your tray.
  • The outer edges burn much more quickly than the cauli/spelt mix. You will need to build the outer edges of the dough so that they are thicker than the rest of the mixture (approximately 0.5cm). I also didn’t  score my dough before it was cooked.

100% cauli dough

GRATING YOUR CAULIFLOWER

There are a few ways you can do this

  1. A grater attachment on your food processor. Cut the stalks off of your cauliflower leaving only the florets before you grate.
  2. Elbow grease. Surprisingly, this didn’t take that long when I tried it. Leave the cauliflower stalks on while you’re grating so that you have something to hold on to. Grated knuckles aren’t fun.
  3. Normal food processor S blade. Cut the stalks off your cauliflower leaving only the florets. Break your florets into small pieces before putting it in your food processor.

Once grated it should look something like this

grated cauli

You can find the substitutions for 100% cauliflower crackers at the bottom of the post.

DAIRY FREE OPTION

Two words, nutritional yeast.

nutritional yeast

Long relegated to the world of hardcore vegans, these yeasty flakes of goodness can turn any dairy free recipe into a delicious cheese flavoured dish.

Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of the strain Saccharomyces Cerevasiae. It is rich in B vitamins and because it is inactive, it will not exacerbate any issues in relation to candida.

It has a cheesy, slightly vegemite flavour and looks a lot like fish flakes. Because it readily dissolves in water it can be easily added to things like soups. Mix it with oil or water to create a cheesy spread for toast. ( I mix mine with grass fed butter for a yummy low salt spread).

In this recipe you’ll be adding it to the dough to replace the cheese. Since the temperature you will be baking the crackers at will exceed 100C some of the nutrients will be compromised. This can be remedied by  sprinkling extra nutritional yeast on the crackers after they have cooked.

Substitutions for dairy free crackers can be found after the standard cheese recipe.

GETTING YOUR CRACKERS CRUNCHY

There are two things that I have found works to get my crackers nice and crunchy.

  1. Wring out as much liquid as you can from the cooked cauliflower.
  2. Roll your crackers as thinly as possible.
Wringing out your cauliflower
Wringing out your cauliflower
Cooked cauliflower squeezed of excess water
Cooked cauliflower squeezed of excess water

Also use a pizza stone if you own one. It only makes a slight difference, so no biggie if you don’t have one.

CAULIFLOWER TO SPELT RATIOS

In the ingredients list for all variations of the recipe, I have told you to use one medium cauliflower. For me, once cooked and wrung out of excess liquid, it yielded 1/2 cup of cauliflower. If you have more or less cauliflower, the only thing you have to remember is this.

The spelt to cauliflower ratio is 1:1.

So if you end up with 3/4 of a cup of cauliflower, use 3/4 a cup of spelt.  This is ratio is not set in stone, play around with it. Using more spelt will give you a crispier cracker.

Enjoy!

CHEESY CAULIFLOWER AND SPELT CRACKERS

Makes two trays of crackers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium sized cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup spelt flower
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup parmesan/mozzerella mix with extra parmesan for sprinkling on the top of the crackers
  • 2 tbs olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  2. Wash and pat dry cauliflower. Grate cauliflower using one of the methods listed above.
  3. Place grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave uncovered on high for 10min. Leave to cool.
  4. Transfer cooked cauliflower onto a tea towel and wring tightly. The more liquid you can extract, the crunchier the crackers will be.
  5. Transfer the cauliflower back to a bowl and mix in other ingredients. Knead dough for a few minutes until it forms a ball. Divide dough into two portions.
  6. Line baking tray/pizza stone with baking parchment. Lightly sprinkle baking parchment with flour. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out one portion of dough as thinly as possible. Lightly score with a knife and sprinkle with extra parmesan.
  7. Bake for 10mins.  Open oven and flip crackers, baking for 5min on the other side. (Baking times are an approximation and will largely depend on factors including how much liquid was wrung from the cauliflower, fluctuating oven temps and how thinly you rolled out your crackers. So keep an eye on them the first time you bake these). Crackers will be ready once the crackers has begun to brown.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool

DAIRY FREE “CHEESY” CAULIFLOWER CRACKERS

Makes two trays of crackers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium sized cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup spelt flower
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast with extra to sprinkle
  • 2 tbs olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  2. Wash and pat dry cauliflower. Grate cauliflower using one of the methods listed above.
  3. Place grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave uncovered on high for 10min. Leave to cool.
  4. Transfer cooked cauliflower onto a tea towel and wring tightly. The more liquid you can extract, the crunchier the crackers will be.
  5. Transfer the cauliflower back to a bowl and mix in other ingredients. Knead dough for a few minutes until it forms a ball. Divide dough into two portions.
  6. Line baking tray/pizza stone with baking parchment. Lightly sprinkle baking parchment with flour. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out one portion of dough as thinly as possible. Lightly score with a knife.
  7. Bake for 10mins.  Open oven and flip crackers, baking for 5min on the other side. (Baking times are an approximation and will largely depend on factors including how much liquid was wrung from the cauliflower, fluctuating oven temps and how thinly you rolled out your crackers. So keep an eye on them the first time you bake these). Crackers will be ready once the crackers has begun to brown.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool
  9. In a small bowl combine 1 tbs of nutritional yeast with two tsp of water. Mix until it forms a thick paste (this will help the sprinkled nutritional yeast to stick). Very lightly  spread the individual crackers with the paste and then sprinkle with extra nutritional yeast.

100% CAULIFLOWER CRACKERS

Makes one tray

INGRedients

  • 1 medium sized cauliflower
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup parmesan/mozzerella mix with extra parmesan for sprinkling on the top of the crackers

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  2. Wash and pat dry cauliflower. Grate cauliflower using one of the methods listed above.
  3. Place grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave uncovered on high for 10min. Leave to cool.
  4. Transfer cooked cauliflower onto a tea towel and wring tightly.
  5. Transfer the cauliflower back to a bowl and mix in other ingredients. Shape cauliflower mixture in a ball.
  6. Line baking tray/pizza stone with baking parchment. Place cauliflower in the centre of the parchment paper and using your fingertips, lightly press the dough outwards until it is in the shape and thickness of a thin pancake, with the outer edges slightly thicker than the rest of the dough (0.5cm). Sprinkle with extra parmesan.
  7. Bake for 10mins.  Open oven and flip crackers, baking for 10min on the other side. (Baking times are an approximation and will largely depend on factors including how much liquid was wrung from the cauliflower, fluctuating oven temps and how thinly you rolled out your crackers. So keep an eye on them the first time you bake these). Crackers will be ready once the crackers has begun to brown. Cut into rectangles
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

3 thoughts on “Cauliflower and spelt crackers with a dairy free “cheese” option

  1. Very excited! They’re in the oven now! Did the dairy free ones w nutritional yeast but didn’t have onion powder or garlic powder so added some salt, sesame seeds, pepitas and crushed cumin seeds. Will see how we go!

  2. Mmm! Success! And very yummy! 11 month old likes them but perhaps the pepitas are not a good idea for her…how good is the taste of nutritional yeast! Any suggestions on how to use the juice squeezed out of the cauliflower? Do you think it might be good for anything?

  3. I’m so glad it worked for you. I love cumin, I used to sprinkle whole seeds on my potatoes before I put them in the oven to roast. Unfortunately Frankie and Imi wouldn’t have a bar of it. Might be time to reintroduce them to some spice!

    Yes nutritional yeast is awesome. I was quite surprised at how cheesy it was.

    You really got me thinking. I usually just throw the juice away but it would be a good idea to keep it. I’ve been reading up on cauliflower. Not only is it a good source of vitamins C, K and manganese, like all cruciferous vegetables it contains glucosinolates, which in the body is converted into sulphoraphane.

    Sulphoraphane helps protect the lining of your stomach by inhibiting the overgrowth of the bacteria helicobacter pylori in the gut. Helicobacter pylori overgrowth is linked with stomach ulcers and even gastric cancer!

    I think any part of the cauliflower is too good to throw away!

    You could freeze the cauliflower juice and add it to soups, stocks or mix it with some nutritional yeast and add it to your mashed potatoes. You could also just drink it… probably not so appealing to the kids:)

    Let me know if you can think of any other uses? I’d love to hear them.

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