Crunchy Vegan Flax Crackers
Healthy Recipes Series
We are back with one more delicious recipe, one that tops the list in terms of patient requests. We make them every week, and they are usually savory (although could be made sweet), and consumed as a side, or with dips, spreads, or pates.
Can you guess what it is?
Crackers! In our case, the crunchy and healthy flax crackers! Or “flackers” for those more seasoned on raw vegan foods 😊
Flax Crackers, aka “Flackers”
Flackers are probably one of the easiest things we make in our kitchen, and once you have given them a try, you are going to realize that this is nothing but the truth. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare flax crackers (after soaking the flax), and then waiting for the dehydrator to do its magic! Moreover, for the basic flackers, you only really need two ingredients! That’s it! Flax seeds and water! Incredible!
But even more incredible is that today we are going to share with you not one, but five different recipes for flackers, so that you can choose the flavor profile that best suits you!
In terms of nutritional value, we will look into the flax seeds, and the other ingredients of seeded flackers: pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds.
Flax seeds were also highlighted on our Cauliflower Pizza recipe, and are a rich source of many nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Flax Seed 1,2
- Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) such as oleic acid. Is also one of the best plant sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are highly anti-inflammatory. One spoonful of flaxseed oil provides about 8 g of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil consists of approximately 55% ALA (α -linolenic acid).
- Helps regulate lipid profiles, by contributing to increase HDL (“good cholesterol”) and decrease LDL (“bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood.
- Contain lignans, a class of phytoestrogens considered to have antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.
- Excellent source of vitamin-E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol (around 20 grams per 100 grams of flaxseed; 133% RDA). Vitamin-E is a powerful antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- Vitamins from the B-complex, such thiamin (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), and folate (B-9), are also present in good amounts.
- Good source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Amazing source of dietary fiber, with about 68% RDA of fiber per 100 grams of flax seeds. The fiber content is composed of 20–40% soluble fiber (mucilage gums) and 60–80% insoluble fiber (cellulose and lignin)
Pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo)
Pumpkin seeds are great sources of energy and fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and powerful antioxidants.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds3,4
- Exceptional source of energy, especially from protein and fat.
- Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) like oleic acid, which contributes to a healthy blood lipid profile.
- Great source of plant protein (30 grams of protein per 100 grams of seeds) and the amino acids tryptophan and glutamate. Tryptophan plays an important role in sleep and glutamate is used for the synthesis of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a natural chemical produced by the brain, that contributes to reducing fear, anxiety, and stress, producing a calming effect
- Excellent source of Vitamin E (approximately 237% of RDA), a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, that protects from free radical damage.
- Good source of certain B-complex vitamins, such as thiamin (B-1) and niacin (B-3), which play a crucial role in cellular metabolism.
- Rich source of several minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, copper, potassium, iron, selenium, and zinc.
Sunflower seeds are versatile and rich in phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds5,6,7
- Great energy source, mainly from healthy fats, excellent content of protein and essential amino acids, and rich in dietary fiber.
- Rich in fatty acids, especially the poly-unsaturated linoleic acid (50%) and the mono-unsaturated oleic acid. These fatty acids contribute to a healthy blood lipid profile and prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Contain beneficial phenolic compounds with antioxidant action, such as chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, and caffeic acids.
- Excellent source of the also powerful antioxidant vitamin E (35.17 g per 100 grams of kernels; 234% RDA).
- Super rich in B-vitamins, especially thiamin, B1 (123% RDA) and pyridoxine, B6 (103% RDA). Thiamine plays a vital role in nutrient metabolism by helping convert nutrients into energy. Pyridoxine is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters.
- Also contains high amounts of other B-complex vitamins, namely folate (B9), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and pantothenic acid (B5).
- Amazing source of several minerals, like potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Many of these minerals play essential roles in diverse biological functions, and consuming sunflower seeds can be a great way of achieving daily needs and preventing deficiency.
Sesame seeds are a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, all health-promoting.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds8,9
- Rich in healthy fats, like mono-unsaturated fatty acids, namely oleic acid, and protein, containing about 18g of protein per 100g of seeds. A diet rich in healthy fats contributes to a balanced blood lipid profile, essential for heart health and making new, healthy cells.
- Sesame seeds contain beneficial bioactive compounds such as sesamol, sesaminol, furyl-methanthiol, guaiacol, phenylethanethiol and furaneol, vinyl guacol, and decadienal, some of these components exhibit potent antioxidant effects.
- Very good source of vitamins from the B-complex vitamins such as thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), niacin (B3), folate (B9), and riboflavin (B2).
- Also a good source of minerals like copper, iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Seeded flackers are an excellent option, since nuts and seeds are one of the raw vegan diet’s best sources of both healthy fats and protein, along with different and valuable bioactive compounds. Make the flackers a staple in your menu, and try to have a batch always ready, in case you have the munchies 😊 they provide you the crunchy sensation many of us often crave.
Here is the basic recipe for the flackers, and four suggestions of different flavors for you to make delicious flackers every week!
- Makes: 1 tray • Prep time: 5 minutes • Total time: 20-24 hours
- 1 cup flax seed
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup tomato, blended
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Dash of black pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill (or 1 Tbsp dried)
- 3 Tbsp fresh chives (or 2 Tbsp dried)
- 1 glove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Dash of cumin
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients of your choice together and let sit for 1-3 hours to soak, stirring occasionally.
Once the flax has absorbed the water, spread the mixture ¼-inch thick on a Teflex sheet. Score into squares with a butter knife and dehydrate at 110 °F for 20-24 hours, or until completely dry. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.
*For the tomato-basil flackers, subtract 1 cup of water from the basic recipe, as this will be replaced by 1 cup tomato purée.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, flaxseed. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169414/nutrients, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Flax Seed Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/flax-seed.html, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170556/nutrients, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin-seeds.html, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dried. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170562/nutrients, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Sunflower Seeds Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sunflower-seeds.html, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- Healthline. B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-complex, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170150/nutrients, accessed Apr 07, 2023.
- Nutrition and You. Sesame Seeds Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sesame-seeds.html , accessed Apr 07, 2023.
Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica. Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.
Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection. She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.