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Shoutout to my cravings for inspiring me to try my hand at this recipe. You read the title right! Healthy Vegan Cheez Its that are gluten free, oil free and as an added bonus, high in protein too. Can your regular Cheez It do that??? Earlier this week I shared a Teddy Graham copycat recipe, and since then I’ve kind of been on a copycat recipe kick. I also realized that I could apply a similar recipe concept from that cookie to create a savoury cracker. I love the concept of recreating familiar flavours and making them vegan, and also better for your health! Win win.
To make these Healthy Vegan Cheez Its, we’re using primarily chickpea flour (one of my absolute favourite ingredients, as you know) and for the cheezy-ness, we’re using nutritional yeast. In addition to it being cheezy in flavour, as the name would suggest, there is some serious nutrition in nutritional yeast too. It adds a whopping 11 grams of protein to this recipe and is also high in B vitamins and trace minerals (among other things). Add to that the 15 grams of protein from the chickpea flour and we’ve got 26 grams of plant protein in this recipe–not even intentional!
For the healthy fat to bind everything together, we’re using tahini–surprise surprise! You know I love to use tahini in my recipes and it’s holding our cracker together, adding creaminess to lend to the “cheeze” flavour and supplying those healthy fats. Typically, to create a cheezy flavour (vegan style), you need a healthy fat for the creaminess, plus nutritional yeast and spices. So, that’s exactly what’s in our recipe today! And as a bonus, I like to add a little bit of miso paste for that deep savoury umami flavour and saltiness, however it’s completely optional.
The only tips I have for you when making this recipe is to be sparing with the liquids you add, go by tablespoon and only add as much as you need. Also, go as thin as you can with your rolling of the dough in order to achieve max crunchiness! The ridges, as you see here in the photo are optional and I’d actually recommend skipping that part because I found that it created a thicker texture in my crackers, took a lot more time (of course), and resulted in more of a biscuit. If you really want that thin cracker, reminiscent of a cheez it, you’re better off rolling the dough thin, and scoring it to separate the crackers on the sheet pan. Lastly, if you feel inspired to use a cookie cutter to make various shapes, you know I support creative baking! Go crazy with the shapes but keep the shape small. Small and thin cracker sizes will produce the best results.
Last note is about adding vegan cheese to the recipe. I experimented with 2 batches, a second batch I made with added grated vegan cheese and it was definitely delicious, but of course, not quite AS healthy. So, if you’re really wanting a super cheezy flavour, and typically don’t find nutritional yeast cheezy enough, then add in the optional vegan cheese (see recipe notes).
Healthy Vegan Cheez Its–a play on the classic snack made vegan, gluten free, oil free and high in protein! Better for you and super fun to make at home.
3/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup fine oat flour
3–4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
3 tbsp tahini
3–5 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
crack of black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt*
pinch of ground turmeric (for colour)
2 tsp miso paste (if using, reduce salt to 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup vegan cheese, grated or pulsed in a food processor (highly recommended!!)
Preheat oven to 350F while you prepare your dough.
In a large mixing bowl, sift in chickpea flour, oat flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder and spices. Whisk until combined and no lumps remain.
To the bowl, add tahini, miso paste if using, and water by the tablespoon. Begin to mix dough with a spatula or your hands and add additional liquid as needed until a dough forms. Dough should stick together, pull away from sides of the bowl but not be too sticky to handle.
If using vegan cheese, grate it finely or pulse in a food processor to break down into small pieces. Incorporate and mix into the dough.
Place the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out to create a thin layer. Aim for the thickness of a traditional cheez it (the thinner, the crispier the result!).
Using a knife, cut horizontal lines and vertical lines to create cheez it sized squares, and poke a hole in the center of each square using a chopstick or other stick.
Bake at 350F degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are crisp and cracker is golden brown. Let cool completely before storing.
I recommend using Violife parmesan, as it grates wonderfully and has a great sharp taste to it.
Use salt to taste, and consider using a heavy hand–the original Cheez It is insanely salty, but you know your palate best!
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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