Ahhh, Cheez-Its. The golden, cheesy cracker loved by children and adults alike. Cheez-Its are great, but when you can’t eat either dairy or gluten, Cheez-Its are merely a thing of the past. Giving up gluten and dairy can be a tricky beast to tackle, especially when it means that most of your beloved favorite foods get dumped in the process, but that doesn’t have to be the case, and it is my goal to prove to you otherwise. Believe it or not, you can actually make some pretty fabulous substitutes that are not only gluten and dairy free, but also free of any artificial ingredients or preservatives (tert-Butylhydroquinone, anyone?).
While making your own crackers may seem like a tedious and pointless process when you can just go out and buy some, let me assure you that these crackers are beyond easy to make and take about 30 minutes total, including baking time! That’s pretty quick when you think about it. Just simply mix your dough, cut your 1″ squares and pop them in the oven. That’s it. Now, to be fair, I haven’t had a regular Cheez-It in quite some time, but I did taste test on people who have, and they were thoroughly impressed by these crackers, especially considering the lack of signature cheese. How do you make a Cheez-It without cheese, you ask? Nutritional yeast! If giving up cheese is something you’re struggling with, nutritional yeast is your new best friend. While its’ name may not sound ultra appealing, trust me when I say that it is a godsend for those who are dairy free and craving cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast is different from baking yeast in the sense that it is an inactive yeast and does not have any leavening abilities, therefore it is also thought to be safe for those struggling with candida issues. While you probably won’t find it in your standard grocery store, you can find it in the bulk bins at your local natural foods store, or even online at places like Amazon. I promise, it is worth the investment and definitely something you will use again.
This Cheez-It recipe is a perfect snack for kids, adults, or really anyone who enjoys cheesy crackers in general. I honestly can’t tell you how long these will last after baking, because every time I have made them, they get eaten up in about a day, but since these do not contain any preservatives, it is best to make them in smaller batches.
- 1¾ cup almond flour
- 3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (I used the powdered form, not the flakes)
- ½ tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 ener-g ‘egg’ or 1 organic egg
- 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter substitute or virgin, unrefined coconut oil; melted
- 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ½ to 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- Preheat oven to 350F (use an oven thermometer to insure proper temperature and avoid burning)
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, turmeric and nutritional yeast in a bowl.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk the egg with the melted butter or coconut oil and lemon juice.
- Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until dough is well mixed.
- Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to about ⅛ inch thickness
- With a sharp knife, pizza cutter or pastry cutter, cut dough into desired cracker size (I cut mine about 1″ x 1″) and sprinkle the top with more sea salt if desired.
- Slide the bottom piece of parchment and crackers onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove crackers when finished and carefully transfer to a wire rack to thoroughly cool.
- Store on your counter top in a Tupperware container or Ziplock bag.