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Friday, March 25, 2016

Low-Fat Homemade Parmesean Cheese Crackers


In my journey to eating healthier, I have decided to make as much of  my food and meals from scratch as possible, including our snack foods.  We love chips, pretzels, crackers, etc.  Unfortunately, most of these items that you buy in the store are LOADED with a bunch of junk, preservatives and chemicals to make them shelf stable.  My motto has been for a long time, "If I didn't make it, I don't eat it." and "If  I can't pronounce it, I shouldn't eat it."

Cooking from scratch is not difficult.  It takes some forethought, time and preparation, but the end result is REAL food that you can feel safe eating, because you know what's really in it.  A lot of people have concerns about eating white flour, store-bought cheese and dairy products and anything that is not organic.  My response is, if you can afford the "good" stuff (aka organic), then go for it.  But, for those of us on a food budget who don't have money falling all around us, just do the best you can with the money God gave you.  I do buy whole wheat flour (I keep white flour on hand too), low-fat cheese and dairy product and the healthiest versions of real whole foods that our budget will allow.

Having said all that, let's get on to the real reason for this post and make some healthy, super yummy, cheese crackers!

In a food processor combine flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil and water.  Process until the mixture is starting to combine.  You may need to stop several times and scrape down the sides.  Add the cheese and continue to process until the mixture forms a well-formed dough ball.  The dough will be pretty sticky, yet it will have a nice smooth creamy texture, yes I tasted it...smiles.

Divide the dough in half.  On a well floured surface (I used parchment paper to make the transfer to the baking sheet easier) roll out one half of the dough in to a VERY THIN rectangle (or as close as you can get to that shape).  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into tiny squares.  Then, using a skewer or a chopstick or something like that, poke a single hole in each cracker.


Next, transfer the crackers to a baking sheet.  Lightly spray the crackers with some non-stick baking spray.  Liberally sprinkle them with salt and Parmesan cheese.



Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are a dark golden brown and crispy.  You don't want to over cook these or they could burn and they will crisp up as they cool, but you want them to be pretty crisp when you take them out of the oven.

Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container.  This makes a lot of crackers depending on how small you make them.  They are really good and cheesy with a nice crisp toasty flavor and sooo much healthier for you than the ones on the shelf at your grocery store.  I was so excited to find it was so easy to make these at home and be able to save my $$$ at the store!

Low-Fat Homemade Parmesean Cheese Crackers
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. unflavored organic coconut oil
1 to 1/4 cups water
1 cup shredded low-fat cheese (Any kind will be fine, but I had some reduced-fat Colby Jack on hand so that's what I used)
Parmesean cheese in a jar for sprinkling
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a food processor combine flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil and water.  Process until the mixture is starting to combine.  You may need to stop several times and scrape down the sides.  Add the cheese and continue to process until the mixture forms a well-formed dough ball.  The dough will be pretty sticky, yet it will have a nice smooth creamy texture, yes I tasted it...smiles.

Divide the dough in half.  On a well floured surface (I used parchment paper to make the transfer to the baking sheet easier) roll out one half of the dough in to a VERY THIN rectangle (or as close as you can get to that shape).  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into tiny squares.  Then, using a skewer or a chopstick or something like that, poke a single hole in each cracker.

Next, transfer the crackers to a baking sheet.  Lightly spray the crackers with some non-stick baking spray.  Liberally sprinkle them with salt and Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are a dark golden brown and crispy.  You don't want to over cook these or they could burn and they will crisp up as they cool, but you want them to be pretty crisp when you take them out of the oven.

Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container. 

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