Dairy free,  Great for kids,  Healthy,  Snacks

Coconut sugar lactose-free gourmet crackers

Several homemade gourmet crackers on white plates.
Snacking happy right now.

The other day I picked up some gourmet crackers at the shops. They were gluten free and contained cranberries and pistachios and tasted really nice. The only thing I didn’t like so much was how hard they were!

The twins found them pretty hard for their little teeth too. So I thought, how hard would these be to make? I googled and I found a recipe on RecipeTinEats which looked similar but after reading through the ingredients, I knew I didn’t want to use brown sugar in my cracker mixture. I also wondered what would happen to the texture if I substituted the cow milk for nut milk and the plain and wholemeal flours for some healthier flours, to make the crackers easier to digest.

How I changed the original recipe

I used organic activated almond milk and yoghurt instead of cow milk and yoghurt, I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, and then I also substituted the flours as mentioned above.

Close up of homemade gourmet crackers on a white plate.
Close up of the gorgeous texture of these crackers.

More nutritious flours

Buckwheat flour is gluten-free, a good source of fiber, and rich in minerals and various plant compounds, especially rutin. As a result, buckwheat consumption is linked to several health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and heart health.

Spelt flour is made of an ancient grain which is closely related to wheat but is more water-soluble than wheat, which makes it easier for the body to digest. Due to the many minerals and vitamins spelt contains, it can help regulate metabolism, increase circulation, improve the immune system, lower blood sugar, and reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Several homemade gourmet crackers arranged in a circle on a wooden plate.
All ready for a party!

Refined sugar vs coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is being touted as a healthy alternative and, while it does contain some vital nutrients (unlike white sugar, which has been stripped of all its nutrients), such as iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants, the quantities of these aren’t huge.

The glycemic index of coconut sugar may be lower than refined white sugar, but it still contains fructose and as such should be used sparingly. I’ve used 1/4 cup in this recipe which is a modest amount but if you are making these for a kid’s party or have diabetes, consider lowering the amount used further or perhaps substituting stevia.

Lactose free

If you are lactose intolerant, you will be pleased to know that by substituting cow milk for almond milk and Greek yoghurt for almond yoghurt, these crackers are naturally lactose free. Almond milk, happily, is also lower in calories, high in Vitamin E and vegan-friendly. Yay.

Several homemade gourmet crackers on white plates.

And the result?

You will be pleased to know that all these substitutions made the crackers a little more nutritious, a little easier to digest but didn’t take away from the taste at all. Plus, they are not as hard as the shop-bought crackers, which your kids (and your teeth) will appreciate.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) activated almond milk (I use the Nutty Bruce brand)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup dairy free vanilla almond yoghurt (I like this one)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured dried apricots, sliced
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bi-carb)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sunflower and pumpkin seeds (a mixture or either/or)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (white or black)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (which I put in a ziploc bag, squish all the air out, then seal the bag; then I bash them a bit with a rolling pin or a wooden mallet until I have a mixture of nut pieces and nut meal)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Grease a small loaf tin and line it with baking paper. I use a Jamie Oliver 1 litre tin.
  3. Whisk the almond milk, coconut sugar and almond yoghurt in a small bowl.
  4. In another (large) bowl, add buckwheat flour, wholemeal spelt flour, craisins, apricots, baking soda, rolled oats, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, cinnamon, all spice, dried thyme and dried oregano. Mix well.
  5. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Pour into the lined loaf tin. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool on rack, then wrap in cling wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours.
  8. Unwrap loaf and, if frozen all the way through (mine wasn’t), allow to thaw partially so the outside is not rock hard frozen.
  9. Preheat oven to 120C. Place one shelf in the middle, and another shelf beneath it.
  10. Line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
  11. Use a serrated (bread) knife to slice thinly – around 2 mm. Place biscuits onto the cookie sheets, you can squeeze them in as they won’t expand or stick.
  12. Bake for 50 minutes or until they are a light brown, swapping cookie sheets halfway.
  13. Leave biscuits on tray to cool – they will harden a little more.
  14. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Serving suggestions

You can serve these as savoury crackers with soft cheeses (if you are not lactose intolerant) or you can go a little sweeter, like me – this is my snack the other day: a couple of crackers with homemade refined sugar free toppings – macadamia and pecan butter and my favourite berry cherry jam. A scrumptious and nutritious little snack!

Homemade gourmet crackers topped with homemade nut butter and berry cherry jam.
A great mid-afternoon snack.

Recipe notes

As noted above, this recipe is based on RecipeTinEats’ recipe which you can find here.

Coconut sugar lactose-free gourmet crackers

Author: Katerina | Once a Foodie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) activated almond milk (I use the Nutty Bruce brand)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup dairy free vanilla almond yoghurt (I like this one)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured dried apricots, sliced
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bi-carb)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sunflower and pumpkin seeds (a mixture or either/or)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (white or black)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (which I put in a ziploc bag, squish all the air out, then seal the bag; then I bash them a bit with a rolling pin or a wooden mallet until I have a mixture of nut pieces and nut meal)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  • Grease a small loaf tin and line it with baking paper. I use a Jamie Oliver 1 litre tin.
  • Whisk the almond milk, coconut sugar and almond yoghurt in a small bowl.
  • In another (large) bowl, add buckwheat flour, wholemeal spelt flour, craisins, apricots, baking soda, rolled oats, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, cinnamon, all spice, dried thyme and dried oregano. Mix well.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Pour into the lined loaf tin. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool on rack, then wrap in cling wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours.
  • Unwrap loaf and, if frozen all the way through (mine wasn’t), allow to thaw partially so the outside is not rock hard frozen.
  • Preheat oven to 120C. Place one shelf in the middle, and another shelf beneath it.
  • Line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
  • Use a serrated (bread) knife to slice thinly – around 2 mm. Place biscuits onto the cookie sheets, you can squeeze them in as they won’t expand or stick.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until they are a light brown, swapping cookie sheets halfway.
  • Leave biscuits on tray to cool – they will harden a little more.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

As noted above, this recipe is based on RecipeTinEats’ recipe which you can find here.
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