Recipe: how to make (plastic free + zero waste) seed crackers
If there’s one thing that is next to impossible to find without plastic, it’s crackers. Before I went plastic-free, I’d buy packet upon packet of crackers – usually with the plastic tray, then wrapped in plastic and with a final plastic or cardboard outer. Packaging overload!
These days I do things very differently. I either skip the crackers entirely, and make crudites (fancy term for vegetable sticks – carrot, cucumber and capsicum/pepper) or use bread; or I make my own crackers.
I’ve shared in the past how I make sourdough crackers and carrot pulp flatbreads, and today I’ve got another recipe for you: 4 seed crackers.
I actually found the recipe via my local Source Bulk Foods store, who sell the ingredients ready-weighed in a little pack. I bought all the ingredients separately in bulk as I wanted to avoid the packaging but if you were short on time or didn’t want random amounts of seeds left in the pantry, the pack would be a shortcut.
Being made almost entirely of seeds, these crackers and gluten-free, dairy free and vegan.
The magic ingredient binding the seeds together is psyllium husk: it’s the husk of a seed that’s high in soluble fibre, and binds with water to form a slippery gel. It’s often used in raw and vegan recipes for its binding properties. It’s pretty readily available at bulk stores. If that’s not an option, chia seeds might be an alternative to experiment with but it’s not something I’ve yet tried.
Recipe: Zero Waste 4 Seed Crackers
I chose raw seeds rather than roasted ones, as the crackers are baked in the oven. If raw seeds aren’t an option, try with roasted ones but bear in mind you might need to add a little more water to the mix.
Preheat the oven to 160°C, line three trays with baking paper or use silicone baking mats.
200g sunflower seeds
100g sesame seeds
60g pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
60g linseed (flax seed)
15g psyllium husk
Mix all the seeds, husks and salt together in a bowl and pour in the water. Leave to stand for 30 minutes until the mixture has a gloopy consistency.
Empty a third of the mix on each baking tray and spread out thinly and evenly using the back of a spoon. Try to make the mixture as thin as possible. (but be careful of creating holes).
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and using a knife, score the cracker lines in the mix. Once they are fully baked they will not cut without shattering, so the lines need to be marked whilst the mixture is still soft.
Return to the oven for 30 minutes. Check the crackers and remove any that are cooked (the middle will take longer than the edges). If possible, separate the crackers and return to the baking tray to speed up final cooking.
Return any uncooked crackers to the oven. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the crackers are completely dry, crisp and crunchy. To dry out further, the crackers can be left in the warm oven once it is turned off. Remove from oven and cook completely on a rack.
Store in an airtight tin. They will keep for at least a week.
There are plenty of other seeds to experiment with: hemp seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, or even chopped nuts. You could try adding cumin, nigella or fennel seeds; or herbs and spices such rosemary or thyme, paprika or ground coriander. Recipes are there to be played with!
Now I’d love to hear from you! Do make your own crackers? Has it been on the to-do list since forever but you’re yet to get round to it? Or is it something you’ve put in the too-hard basket for now? I’m always interested in hearing new cracker recipe ideas so if you have any favourites – or favourite flavour combinations – share below, along with anything else you’d like to add!
Another creative solution! I made a ton of sourdough crackers back when I was experimenting with sourdough, and they were delicious…. but these sound awfully good, too.
And totally different to the sourdough crackers too – always good to have multiple options! Hope you get to bake them soon :)
Seriously this is one of my hardest waste reduction challenges! My whole family adores crackers and they are a big go-to snack. But I just can’t bear the packaging (especially with one packet of rice crackers lasting less than a day..) and also, the complete lack of nourishment in them.
I bake them regularly but can’t keep up with family demand… they sure are yummy though, and the wholemeal flour, natural fats and lack of artificial flavourings and preservatives makes it worthwhile.
My favourite recipes are:
http://www.momables.com/homemade-cheese-crackers/ (the yummiest in my opinion)
https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/whole-wheat-sourdough-crackers/ (if I remember to start them ahead of time)
https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/homemade-whole-wheat-cracker-recipe-soaked/ (“graham” style crackers)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/recipes/crisp-rosemary-flatbread-crackers/13318/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8324828872a (Ok so I use white flour for these, but they are delicious)
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/whole-wheat-crackers (plain and simple and makes a lot).
I hope those recipes help someone!
Thanks so much for sharing Rebecca! I’m sure they will! :)
What temperature for the oven?
Hi Megan, I wrote it at the top of the post, 160 Degrees C, but you aren’t the only person who missed it! I’ll have to make it more obvious! :)
I’ve made them in the past with flax and chia seeds which work the same as the psyllium husk.
Hi Sandra, just wondering, both glad and chia, or one the other? I have both but no psyllium in the pantry at the moment ;)
Urgh phone typing!
* Both flax and chia, or one or the other?
I say experiment, Savi! Both are used as vegan egg replacement. The main thing is to make the original mix gloopy and stick together, so you could try and then add more if not gloopy enough before baking! Let me know how you get on :)
Hi thank you for sharing your recipe! I would love to make them. Unfortunately I don’t have a bulk food store in my town. The only place I could find psyllium husk is in the form of Metamucil in my supermarket. Is this the right/wrong thing to use? Also another thumbs down is that it costs $20 and comes in a plastic tub. . Would you’d know of any other types of businesses that might sell it or would there be an alternative?
Hi Sarina, I’m not sure that would be the same thing. Can you find flax seeds or chia seeds? They should be able to do the same thing :) I’ll have to try some variations and post the results here!
Thanks Lindsay. I can see if there are flax or chia seeds at the supermarket but will they bind all the seeds together? I thought that’s what the psyllium does?
I used to buy the Italian pane di casa loaf unsliced and use the cut off ends to make small crackers, then put them in the oven for abput 15 mins sprinkled with herbs. They were nice, but a bit chunky for crackers!
Hi Marita! I sometimes do that with French stick, it makes those crunchy bread type crackers that cost a fortune and come in tiny little packets – and heaps of them! Such a great simple cracker hack :)
Hi Lindsay, Thank you for sharing this really cool alternative! What is the orange and white jelly-like ingredient in your picture with the spoons?
Hi Lindsay, thank for sharing the recipe. I want to ask, do i have to grease some oil before adding the mixture?
No oil necessary Angela!
Hi Lindsay! I have no possibility to buy the ingredients bulk where I live, however I gave your recipe a try (I do hope there is soon a bulk store in Erlangen!) and I have a question about the baking process:
Do you bake all 3 trays simultaneously or one by one?
I prepared 2 big trays and baked them simultaneously with air at 150°C for 1 hour. I this time and conditions, they were ready, dry, so the scoring came a bit late. I did score them however, and the result was not so pretty (they broke in random pieces mostly), but tasty!!
Thus, my question to you, so that I can make them better next time!
Cheers from Germany
Hi there great recipe tho the measurements would be good in cups and teaspoons if possible to give an estimate? I don’t have a scale so fine as 15grams or even 60grams. Xx
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