Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whole-Wheat Cheese Crackers

Ha ha, I tricked you into thinking I was done with my snack-fest yesterday by throwing up the token dinner post. (Insert evil grin here.) I may feel a little kind of, okay not really bad that I attempted to throw you off there for a minute. Yes, I promise this is not a snacking/munchy blog but that's just where my cravings are taking me right now. Aren't you so lucky?

Yes, you are. That's the correct answer.

Let's talk crackers. Adam and I can take down a box of Cheez-Its or Wheat-Thins like it's our job. Okay, one of us may take down the brunt of it. And it might possibly not be Adam. What? So I have a snacking issue. I thought we were moving on. :) crackers.

I saw these pop up the other day during one of my munching moods and tucked it away for sometime in the near future. Well, the near future arrived. I was hungry and not craving anything particularly sweet. But something cheesy? I can always go for cheesy.

Whole-Wheat Cheese Crackers
Adapted from: How Sweet It Is

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup + 2+ tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then lightly flour. Tap the pan to evenly disburse the flour.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup cheese. Add oil and 1/2 cup water. Stir until a dough forms. If dough is still crumbly, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Roll out dough until very thin, about 1/16" or less. Using a pizza cutter or a thin sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/2" x 1/2" squares. The crackers will separate as they bake, so no need to move the dough. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Makes: 9 servings (1/2 cup each)

Yes, I did cheat a bit and use all purpose flour for these as well. I didn't want them overly heavy and dense as whole wheat can have a tendency to do. You may also notice that these are not 1/16" thick. Which is exactly why I know that these need to be that thin. The thicker you leave these the more doughy and flour-like they taste. The thinner they are the more pronounced the cheese flavor becomes. I vote thinner.

I also vote to try some extra sharp cheddar next. That sounds quite tasty.

The only issue I really had with these was they don't maintain their crispy crunchiness very well, even the thinner ones. I packaged these up in ziploc baggies shortly after they cooled and after several hours they had started to soften back up. Not really a deal breaker, unless you really had a hankering for something crunchy.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 155Calories from fat 68
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.5g12%
Saturated Fat 1.5g8%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 197mg8%
Total Carbs 17.3g6%
Dietary Fiber 2.3g9%
Protein 3.8g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4%Iron 4%

Get Up and Move Challenge Day 18: What are some ways I can cut back on the unhealthy fats?

Take note, I said "unhealthy fats" not all fats. Many people have an inherent fear of the consumption of "fats". However, fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids (think: olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, fatty fish or fish oils) are actually good for your heart and help to reduce your risk for heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats, while not quite as healthy for you, still get the green light.

Then there are saturated and trans fatty acids. Trans fat is the black sheep of the fat family, with absolutely no known health benefits. Trans fat is included in items such as margarine and chips (one of the reasons you should opt for butter in small amounts over margarine). Saturated fats are not completely off limits, however, type it into Google and you will get an array of sites and articles explaining how a high consumption of saturated fats is associated with a higher risk of heart disease. A good goal to aim for is 20g or less of saturated fats per day.

Some examples you say? [1]

Foods that are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats:
  • Avacados
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Tahini
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Flax Seeds

Foods heavy in saturated fats:
  • Bacon
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Coconut
  • Coconut milk
  • Butter
  • Dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Cookies, such as Oreos
  • Glazed Donuts
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and other candy bars
  • (Noooo!)

Foods heavy in trans fats:
  • Margarine
  • Soups, such as ramen
  • Fast food
  • Baked goods made with shortening

So what are some ways we can modify our everyday intake without taking the joy out of life? :)

Portion size: Reduce the amount you consume of high saturated fat and trans fat items. This could be as simple as ordering a small fry instead of the medium.

Prepare foods with less fat: Use olive oil or canola oil for your stove-top adventures rather than butter. And opt for grilling, roasting, broiling, baking, steaming, or poaching items rather than deep frying.

Add less fat to food: In the same vein as lowering your portion size of the less healthy fats -- use less butter, cheese, and sour cream on that baked potato or substitute with low-fat or fat-free versions.

Consume lower-fat cuts of meat or opt for poultry or fish: Even though that piece of filet mignon is delicious, save it for a special occasion. Red meats are notorious for their high levels of saturated fat. Instead of making a beef stir-fry, choose to make it with chicken or shrimp.

Substitute fruits and vegetables for fat-containing snack foods: Put the Oreos down and go for the apple instead. Not satisfying enough? How about some popcorn (with low butter and salt)? If you find (as I do) that it's super hard to make the right choice, stop buying the wrong one. You can't eat the chips if they aren't in the house. :)

What is your favorite snack or meal that is low in saturated and trans fats?

[1] Dunford M and Doyle JA. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2008. pp. 197.


  1. John and I can go through a box of Cheez-Its pretty darn fast as well. I got your e-mail, thank you. And believe me, it was more than I expected and I truly appreciate it. I'll reply to it tomorrow. My brain is fried.

    Mmm crackers. Darn you and your snacking! Now you have me getting the munchies! LOL

  2. Those are the cutest little crackers and a far sight better than cheez-its!
    Speaking of healthy fats, I just posted a walnut blondie recipe made with walnut oil. It's delicious, but actually good for you!

  3. These crackers look great. We go through boxes of crackers like it's our job. These look easy and relatively cheap to make!

  4. I never would have even thought of making my own crackers! That is a good idea.

    As far as fats are concerned I have to keep in mind that the intake of too much fat good or bad, will cause weight gain. Here is a calculator for daily fat intake.

    Also important to remember is that in general a food with a higher fat content will also be higher in calories.

  5. Wow homemade crackers?! I love it! I've never made crackers before but am definitely going to give it a try after seeing how delicious your crackers look! Mmm I love how they're bite sized and are cheese crackers! :)

  6. I am so trying these! They sound (and look) delicious



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