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Cheese Nip Crackers (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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Cheese-Nip-Crackers-3There is something special about these Cheese Nip Crackers… looking all spiffy with their charmingly scalloped edges. As the light shimmers over the top of them, you will find flecks of sea salt adhering in perfect proportion to each dimpled square… ooooh, I need some now!!!

If you’ve ever tried Cheez Its (a commercially made cracker) you know how salty and cheesy they are. They are highly addictive. Well, I found them to be anyway.

I was able to duplicate the flavor with a little sea salt and nutritional yeast. It’s kind of like magic. It did take a few more ingredients to pull this off but the key ingredient is the nutritional yeast. Without it… well, there just wouldn’t be a raw, vegan, Cheese Nip recipe.

The original cracker is made from wheat flour, vegetable oil, sharp cheddar cheese, salt, and spices. I was able to closely replicate those golden squares without gluten, oil, or dairy.

A high-powdered blender is recommended but not required. If you own a lower end model, that’s ok… you will just want to blend this in stages so it doesn’t overwhelm the motor on the blender.

However, if you do own a Vitamix with a tamper, you can blend everything together at once. I wrote the instructions with the thought that you don’t own a high-powered one. It’s time my friend… hope up and get busy in that kitchen. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this. Many blessings, amie sue

Cheese-Nip-Crackers-1Ingredients:

yields roughly 100 (1.5 x 1.5″) crackers

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded & rough chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 cups zucchini, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup raw, fine almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

Preparation:

  1. After soaking the cashews, drain and discard the soak water.
  2. Chop the red pepper into small pieces and add to a blender with the lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, red chili pepper flakes and salt and again blend until smooth.
    • Doing it in stages like this helps you to get the smooth consistency you need without over-heating it.
  4. Add in the zucchini, almond flour, and ground flax seeds, until well blended.
  5. Pour the batter onto non-stick dehydrator sheets, spreading it evenly, between 1/8 – 1/4″ thickness.
  6. Score into 1 inch squares (a pastry wheel or pizza wheel work great).
  7. Use a toothpick or small end of chop stick to punch a hole into the center of each square.
  8. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top.
  9. Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce temp to 115 degrees (F) and dehydrate for approx. 4 hours.
    • At this point, if they are dry enough, flip the non-stick sheet over so the cracker is now sandwiched between the non-stick sheet and the mesh sheet.
    • Peel the non-stick sheet off, leaving the cracker on the mesh sheet.  This is a good time to score the crackers into the desired shape and sprinkle a little extra salt on top.
    • Continue dehydrating for another 16 hours or until crisp.
  10. Once dry and cooled, store in an airtight container for 7-14 days.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F).  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  • Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.
Spread the batter to roughly 1/4" thick. Score into small cracker shapes and slip the tray into the dehydrator.

Spread the batter to roughly 1/4″ thick. Score into small cracker shapes and slip the tray into the dehydrator.

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43 thoughts on “Cheese Nip Crackers (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Joseph says:

    First, I am loving the site. I am trying this recipe as we speak (or type). I am curious, when do you cut or shape the crackers? It would seem that if you wait until they are crisp, it would be tor hard to do.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Joseph for pointing this out. I modified the directions now to reflect the answer. :) I would love to hear how they come out for you. We loved them! You don’t want to wait until the cracker is completely dry to score them because it will be to crumbly and will just break in pieces. I hope this helps! amie sue

  2. Wendy says:

    Hi Amie,

    Just used my Exaliber for the first time and made these crackers, however they never became crispy like I hoped…and I must have run the dehydrator for 24 hrs! As this is my first cracker to dehydrate, I don’t want to be discouraged but I certainly hope my next batch has the crunch I desire! Any thoughts/advice?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Wendy!
      Don’t be discouraged by any means! Did they seem to firm up more at room temp once you took them out? Keep in mind to not over process nuts in cracker recipes, as a general rule. The more they are processed the more they release their natural oils which in return makes for a chewier cracker. How is the thickness of the cracker? Are they to thick? I am excited for you though that you got your dehydrator! Let the fun begin. :)

      • Wendy says:

        No, I thought they might firm up but they never did. The thickness is similar to the photo of yours. Ah well… I’ve got lots more recipes to try on this site so I’ll keep ya posted! VERY excited about the graham cracker recipe.

        • amie-sue says:

          Wendy, I will try making it again on my end. If I can’t get to it this week, it will have to be after Thanksgiving since we will be traveling. I will get it narrowed down for you!

        • amie-sue says:

          Ok Wendy, I went ahead and started a tray of crackers tonight. I was afraid that my week would get a way from me. I will get back to you on my results tomorrow. :)

        • amie-sue says:

          Wendy… I revised the recipe. Even though we enjoyed the previous recipe, I made a few tweaks that brought it to a new level. I hope you will give them another try!

  3. Wendy says:

    Yum! They look amazing. I will most definitely give it another go— thank you SO much!

  4. leslie says:

    Wonderful recipes thanks so much. Two questions, do you divide this recipe between two trays or just do one to get the right thickness and how thick do you leave them. I just made this recipe and love the flavor I made them too thin though I think. Just a thought, if you did over process them on purpose they would make awesome wraps if you just quartered the tray. I love the flavor for a soup also. Yummy!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Leslie, so glad that you tried the recipe. I just made one tray worth. Are you using an Excalibur? If so, I about leveled the height of the cracker with the lip of the tray. Does that make sense? Man oh man they would be heavenly as wraps. I am such a nutritional yeast fan. I go through huge spells of eating it! Have a great evening!

      • leslie says:

        Yes I purchased the Excalibur and love it. Thanks for the recommendation. I doubled the recipe and put it on three trays but next time I’ll do just 2. I love nutritional yeast too, so addicting. What other recipes do you have with it? I have made a mock mac and cheeze for my son and he liked it a lot. I will be running to the store to get more stuff to make these into wraps next. I’m trying the lasagna tonight. My almond cheeze didn’t mature very well if I use more probiotic powder next time will it make it better or bitter?

        • amie-sue says:

          OOOOH, so glad you got a good dehydrator. I have traveled with my blender and bullet so I can make shakes and smoothies… but I have also traveled with my dehydrator. lol Think I need to be commited with mental issues? haha Anyway, enjoy it! You can make amazing things with it. You may be aware of this…but keep in mind, the more dehydrated foods you eat, the more water you need to drink. Dehydrated foods are very drying (no pun intended :).

          I will need to filter through the recipes to find which ones all have nutritional yeast but just in general it is a staple for me. I go through phases with it, perhaps it is just my body telling me when it is in need of that particular nutrients. I do however always dump sprinkle it on my salads. Great, great flavor. What brand do you use? I have tried MANY different ones and my favorite by far is the Red Star. Red Star’s formula is made specifically for supporting the needs of vegans and vegetarians with added vitamins and minerals you won’t find in other brands (it is a great natural source of all B vitamins, especially B-12). I buy mine in bulk and store it in mason jars. If interested, here is a good source http://www.bulkfoods.com/whole-foods.asp?wholesale=4742.

          Regarding you question about the cheese – it’s not so much the fact of adding more pro-biotic that makes the difference, it is the length of time you allow it to culture. The longer you leave it out in ambient air, the stronger the flavor gets. Once in the fridge, that fermentation process slows way down. But with that being said, it is always good to double check the pro-biotic itself. I have found that I can slight variances in flavor, depending on the pro-biotic that I am using. So, if you are getting consistently “less flavored” cheese, and you have cultured it for 24-72 hours… you might want to try a new brand. This is my experience anyway.

          Have a great day and enjoy that lasagna!!

          • leslie says:

            Thank you so much for all the info. I have just been buying the bulk nutritional yeast at Vitamin Cottage they bag themselves. Now that I know there could be a difference I’ll have to check out your info. I didn’t cure the almond cheeze long enough can I take it back out of the fridge and let it culture longer you think? I have eaten almost all of these crackers and my 3 yr old loves them so I don’t hesitate giving him as many as he desires. But a good note on giving him more water. As far as the probiotic I just bought a pill form acidophollis. What type do you use? You’re great about your responses thanks so much. Leslie

            • amie-sue says:

              Good afternoon Leslie,
              Thanks, I try to respond as quick as I can because I know sometimes people might be hanging in the middle of something and need to know the “next step”. It might be worth it to give the Red Star a try if you can get it. In the beginning of my journey I didn’t realize that different brands could offer different tastes for me. The first time I tried it, my nose went right up. haha It was about 1 yr later that I stumbled onto the Red Star brand and that opened a new world for me. Plus, I was more impressed with their processing, etc.

              As far as taking the cheese out and attempting to re-culture it again, let me do some research and get back to you, real soon!

            • amie-sue says:

              Leslie,

              Well, I can’t find any information that would answer your question 100%, yes or no…. How old is the cheese now? If it were me, I would go ahead and put it out on the counter, in a warm spot and try culturing it longer. The bacteria from the probiotics should still be alive. The are really active during the culturing/fermenting stage and then slow down (I think of it as, they are sleeping) once you refrigerate them. I am afraid we will be conducting an experiment here…but might be worth a shot. Let me know what you decide. Sorry, that I can’t be of any more help.

  5. leslie says:

    Thanks for the reply, I will be taking it out of the fridge. I had done the 12 hrs listed on your almond cheeze recipe but noticed you said 24-48 hours in your upper reply so I’ll adjust my recipe accordingly. This is all new to me I’m trying to be able to have more than just salads everyday. My entrees are too limited right now. I’m about to start your corn wraps and do 1/2 wraps and 1/2 chips. I miss corn chips and salsa a lot. Thanks for all the info. Leslie

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Leslie – You and I have been talking about all this cheese and the recipe we are under doesn’t even use it. haha I bet we are confusing people. :) Keep me posted on your progress. I have a new cheese that I am testing right now that takes 3 weeks to make. If you want to shoot me an email, I can maybe help you with adding some variety into your diet. amiesue@nouveauraw.com. Have a great weekend, amie sue

  6. rhonda says:

    yall don’t have to stop the conversation, i’m learning a lot lol… i’m a raw-wannabe trying to muster up some psychological strength. your site is awesome, i’m gonna bookmark it. :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you rhonda for visiting my sight. You can sign of to receive updates if you wish. Lurk around, ask questions, try recipes and most of all…. ENJOY IT! Blessings, amie sue

  7. rosanne says:

    Thank you so much for your fab website. I am from the caribbean and was delighted to find tasty raw recipes. I tried this cracker twice, and let me just say the taste is divine. The cracker did not turn out crispy though, and i dehydrated them for about 1.5 days. I also did not overprocess the grains. Did your recipe turn out cripsy, because I am thinking that the zuchinni may be keeping it chewy? I will love to master this cracker so that I will no longer answer to the call of ‘lays’ chips. Thanks again for your passion and sharing.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Rosanne,
      Mine did crisp up but not to level of the Nibisco crackers. I used zucchini to cut down on the calories but you could try to use a ground nut flour as a sub. Worth a try for sure!

  8. Anna says:

    I just discovered your website and am so impressed with the photos and recipes. Thank you for sharing your hard work with the rest of us. I just finished making a batch of the Cheese Nips. AMAZING! This exceeded all my expectations. Please keep the great recipes coming!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Anna. :) I love these crackers as well. I appreciate you taking the time to pop in and sharing with us! Have a great evening, amie sue

  9. Dee says:

    These crackers are in the dehydrator now and the flavor is divine! Finally a cracker with a flavor that I can enjoy..finally! I’ve been Raw Vegan for 11 months and I have been searching high and low for a good cracker/chip with a good flavor..the taste is divine! I hope they come out crispy since I used two trays..I don’t mind them thin..I just want crunchy to satisfy my chip craving..Thanks Amie Sue..you rock!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Dee :) I LOVE the flavor of these crackers too. Be sure to keep me posted on how the end result comes out. Good to “see you”. Be blessed!

  10. ben says:

    Made these yesterday along with the Mexican cheese dip. You are truly one of the most talented raw chefs I have come across! I’ve been eating raw food for 6 years, and have tried recipes by many chefs–and you’re right there at the top, as one of the most inventive, innovative chefs with a fine talent for flavor and texture.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh Ben, thank you for your kind words! It means a lot and is a great encouragement to me. Many blessings, amie sue

  11. Rhonda says:

    I love these crackers!!! do u happen to know the nutritional facts for this recipe, or how to figure it up? I wouldn’t know where to start. thanks for sharing this, amie sue!

  12. Donna says:

    I made these for the first time last week. I dabble in raw foods but mostly have eaten no added fat vegan for the last year. These crackers as well as your ranch dressing recipe are awesome!! Thanks so much!

  13. ben says:

    I’ve been making these crackers every week since I first tried them. They are the best crackers–non-raw or raw. Terrific for an afternoon snack, nothing else comes even close. Thank you, Ami Sue.

    • amie-sue says:

      That is wonderful Ben! Thank you for sharing that. :) It’s great to find such staples isn’t it? Many blessings, amie sue

  14. Tolo says:

    Hi Amie. LOVE your site~!

    Question regarding substituting the cashews for a nut-free recipe?

    Many thanks~!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Tolo,
      You could try almonds, hemp seeds or buckwheat. They might change up the texture a bit, but I would think they would taste good. amie sue

  15. anne says:

    We are trying this tonight! My daughter is always begging me to purchase cheese type crackers. I’m going to substitute hemp seeds for the flax. Fingers crossed our trusty Excalibur will yield a crispy crispy cracker!

  16. Joanne Moore says:

    Hi there,
    Just so you know I have made these crackers several times and they are always a smashing hit. I love them too.

  17. Daasya says:

    Dear Amie Sue,
    I made these and they taste fantastic. All your cracker recipes look awesome. Thank you so very much for so generously sharing your creative recipes. Is there a particular cracker recipe that your readers love more than any of the others per the comments you receive? It is so hard to know what I will like. I have made several raw foods from raw food recipe websites, which tasted awful and which I had to end up throwing away. It is so hard to know beforehand if one will like the final creation. Any suggestions? Thank you very much.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Daasya,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment. So happy that you enjoyed these crackers. I am not really sure what your likes and dislikes are as far as ingredients go. I can’t get into my analytics atm so see which is the most popular. I would scroll through and look at the ones are spark your interest, then read through the comments to see what people are saying.

      If you are nervous about making and wasting a recipe, try only making half a batch first. Keep me posted if you try any recipes out. Blessings, amie sue

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