In this post I will describe how to make simple raw vegan chia seed crackers with sesame and sunflower seeds. They are naturally gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, and suitable for paleo and ketogenic diets.
Whenever I can, I like to make this kind of chia seed crackers in a raw vegan version; when the seeds are not baked, their natural oils don’t get destroyed by the heat, so the result is better for our health.
Even though the whole process of making raw vegan chia seed crackers is much longer than simply baking them, it is almost effortless (all you need to do is whisk and wait), and the reward is a healthy and delicious snack.
The ingredients you will need to make raw vegan chia seed crackers
To make these simple crackers with chia, sesame and sunflower seeds, you will need:
- chia seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- sea salt or Himalayan salt,
and a couple of optional ingredients, if you’d like to add some more flavour:
- smoked paprika
- dry nutritional yeast.
Smoked paprika and nutritional yeast are my favourite options for adding extra flavour to these seed crackers, but you can use other spices of your choice. Even if you decide to use only seeds, water and salt, you will get a perfect crunchy snack. It can also be a great base to eat with some home-made spreads.
Preparing the seed mixture for your chia, sunflower and sesame crackers
The texture of these crackers will be the best (crunchiest possible!) if you first soak all the seeds. Soaking seeds will make them softer, less chewy and easier to digest. When dehydrated, these softened seeds will give your crackers that perfect crunch.
I explained some of the health-related reasons for soaking and sprouting seeds in general in this post about sprouting. The logic is the same, but in this recipe we won’t be doing the whole process.
Not to mention that from all the seeds that we humans eat, eating dry, unsoaked chia is not a good idea at all. They absorb so much water, and we want them to do that before they get into our digestive system.
For all those reasons, with this recipe we will prepare the seed mixture by soaking them in just the right amount of water that they will absorb and form a thick “batter” after four to six hours (or overnight).
Drying the seed crackers
Even though I like to make these kinds of crackers as raw food, I am aware that most people don’t have a dehydrator at home, so I will explain some other options for drying (or baking) them as well.
My favourite ways to dry this kind of seed crackers are:
1. Dehydrating them in a dehydrator on 42 °C
This method is the best and simplest one. With this amount of ingredients, I got enough “batter” to spread over three dehydrator trays that are 30 cm × 30 cm in size. The time needed is around 10 hours, but you can speed it up if you remove the silicone sheets when the seed crackers are halfway dry, and transfer them to the plastic net to allow better airflow on the dehydrator shelves.
2. Drying them in the sun
My other favourite method! If it is hot outside, sun is the best way to naturally dry your food. I love it because of its simplicity – you just put the soaked seed cracker mixture on a tray with some parchment paper or silicone sheets, and leave on your terrace or garden (some spot with a good air flow) until they are dry.
3. Drying or baking them in the oven
Depending on what temperature you choose, this can take between two and eight hours. I would not recommend a temperature above 100 °C though, because the lower the temperature, the more you preserve seeds’ natural oils. If you have the patience to wait for your crackers to dry at 50 °C with oven ventilation on, that would be the best option. It will probably take up to eight hours to dry, so keep that on mind too. Oven would be my last option, but if nothing else is available, it comes in handy.
Storing the crackers
You can store the chia seed crackers in a dry glass jar, covered with a lid. Just make sure that the crackers are really completely dry and crunchy, and check the jar to make sure it is dry as well.
When stored properly, they can stay fresh and crunchy for months. I’m sure that they will be eaten much sooner though. Paired with raw mushroom paté, creamy green pesto or some other spread, they will make the perfect healthy snack for any occasion.
Ideas for serving the raw chia seed crackers
These chia seed crackers with sesame and sunflower seeds are really versatile. They can be eaten just as they are; they are nice and crunchy and, honestly, probably a better snack for a movies night than a bag of crisps or popcorn.
They can also be combined with a variety of home-made dips and spreads. This raw mushroom paté is one of my favourite things to eat with chia seed crackers; combining them with this parsley and chives pesto is another great idea.
They also go well with guacamole, fermented plant-based cheeses, olives, home-made tomato salsa, ajvar… Whichever combination you decide on, I’m sure it will taste amazing!
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 4 cups water
- ¾ cup sesame seeds
- ¾ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp ground smoked paprika (optional)
- 1 tbsp dry nutritional yeast (optional)
- Put the chia seeds into a large bowl, add water and whisk to combine.
- Let the seeds soak up the water for about 15 minutes, stirring them with a whisk occasionally.
- Once it all thickens and you get a gel-like mass in the bowl (it will not be super dense, which is okay because the other seeds will also soak up water after some time), you can add the rest of the seeds.
- Whisk everything well once again, cover with a lid or a plate and let it sit for at least four hours; I usually do this in the evening, and let it sit overnight.
- After the seeds are properly soaked, they should be forming a thick, somewhat gelatinous mass that is easy to pour. Now you can transfer this mixture to the dehydrator trays and dehydrate on 42 °C for about 10 hours, or until it gets crunchy.
- Let the crackers cool down completely, and transfer them into a dry, air-tight container or a glass jar with a lid. Storing them like this will keep them crunchy for a long time.
*this amount of cracker batter was enough for 3 dehydrator shelves 30 cm × 30 cm
*if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also dry the crackers in the oven (with ventilation on if you have that option). They will not be in the raw food category anymore if the temperature is over 42 °C, but if it is not that important for you, the oven can be a good enough option. I would recommend a temperature below 100 °C for drying in the oven. It might take more time, but this way you will not completely destroy the seeds' oils and their nutritional properties.
*another option for drying the crackers without a dehydrator would be - the sun! This one is my favourite and I sometimes dry things like this in the summer. Just put the seed "batter" on a tray and leave it in the sun on an airy spot until it's dry and crispy.