These chia seed crackers are light and crispy with a slightly nutty flavor. They are also sturdy enough to scoop up the thickest dip. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.
Chia seeds are one of the most popular binders. They are a type of hydrophilic binder, which means that they gel upon contact with water-based liquids. When surrounded in liquid for as little as 15 minutes, each chia seed develops a jelly-like coating and can expand up to 10 times its normal size. These swollen chia seeds (aka chia gel) are often used as a binding agent in baked goods.
Compared to other hydrophilic binders - flax seeds and psyllium - chia seeds have a moderately strong binding effect. They are almost 3 times stronger than flax seeds and 3 times weaker than psyllium. This means that if you decide to substitute the chia seeds for flax or psyllium in the chia seed crackers recipe, you will need to adjust the amount of the binder.
Tips for Making Chia Seed Crackers
One of the things I appreciate about seed crackers is the short and simple ingredient list.
- Almond flour: nut flours are very popular in seed crackers. Almond flour particularly crisps up really nicely and provides a slightly sweet flavor. To keep the chia seed crackers nut-free, sunflower seed flour is an excellent alternative.
- Chia seeds: you can use either black or white chia seeds (other than the color, they are pretty much the same). The flavor of chia seeds is very subtle and mild, making them quite inconspicuous in both savory and sweet dishes. In raw form, the texture is crunchy, but in gel form, when the chia seeds have absorbed liquid, they become soft and slightly chewy.
- Hemp hearts: unlike most seeds, hemp hearts have a uniquely soft texture. Their flavor is slightly nutty, like a cross between a sunflower seed and a pine nut. If you don't have hemp hearts on hand, you can substitute them for white sesame seeds.
- Salt: don't skip the salt. It gives the chia seeds crackers a wonderful savory flavor.
How to Make Chia Seed Crackers
- Soak the chia seeds. Add the chia seeds to a small bowl and cover them with water. It is really important to soak the chia seeds beforehand. As the chia seeds absorb all the water, they will lose their crunch and become gelatinous.
- Make the dough. Add the hemp heart, almond flour, and salt into the bowl with the soaked chia seeds, and mix until well combined. All the seeds will sort of clump together.
- Roll out the dough. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Place the center of your rolling pin on the center of the disk. Press firmly into the dough, rolling towards yourself and away from you. Repeat until the dough is about ⅛ inch/3 mm thin. Rolling the dough evenly is particularly important. If the dough is thicker in some places and thinner in others, the crackers will bake unevenly, and some may burn or not quite crisp up.
- Score the dough. Remove the top layer of parchment paper. Using a knife, cut the dough into desired shapes. I cut the chia seed crackers into squares, but it's up to you. You can also use cookie cutters for more interesting shapes.
- Bake. Carefully transfer the dough (with the bottom sheet of parchment paper) onto a large baking sheet and bake it at 275°F/135°C until crispy and golden brown, about 80 minutes, flipping halfway through baking. If one side of the crackers is more golden than the other, rotate the baking sheet for the best chance of all the crackers baking evenly. I usually only do this once, halfway through baking time.
- Cool. Transfer the cracker onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely before breaking it along the scored lines. Baked goods with nut or seed flours continue to crisp and firm up as they cool.
Chia Seed Crackers Variations
One of the advantages of making your own crackers is that you can customize them in any way you like - swap the hemp hearts for sesame seeds, almond flour for sunflower seed flour, salt for Everything Bagel Seasoning (a mix of flakes sea salt, dehydrated minced onion, dehydrated minced garlic, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds)...
You can also add herbs, spices, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, or any other flavoring ingredient you like. I have to say; I love these recipes where the main flavoring element is so versatile, you could take it in just about any direction you desire.
How to Store Chia Seed Crackers
- Room temperature: transfer the crackers into an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 1 week.
- Refrigerating: transfer the crackers into an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 month.
- Freezing: transfer the crackers into an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
If the crackers soften while storing (they shouldn’t if you keep them in an airtight container), toast them in the oven on a baking sheet at 225°F/107°C for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through baking. After cooling, the crackers will become crispy again.
More Seed Cracker Recipes
I have plenty of seed cracker recipes on the blog:
- Flaxseed crackers: these crackers are perhaps the most popular on the blog. They are made entirely from flaxseed meal, so other than being slightly nutty, they are also very neutral in flavor. Flax seeds are a weak binder, but since there are no ingredients to bind (other than the flax seeds themselves), the crackers are quite sturdy.
- Nut & seed crackers: my absolute favorite seed crackers. Nutty, crunchy, and because the main binder is psyllium - a strong binder - the crackers are also very sturdy.
- Seed crackers: quite the opposite from the nut & seed crackers, these crackers are light and quite delicate because the only binder is flax seeds.
- Flackers: crackers made entirely from whole flax seeds. They are nutty and incredibly crunchy – similar to sesame brittle but without the sweetness.
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
Chia Seed Crackers
- Preheat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 275°F/135°C.
- Soak the chia seeds. Add the chia seeds and water to a small bowl. Stir and let rest until the chia seeds swell and become gelatinous, about 10 minutes.
- Prepare the dough. Add the almond flour, hemp heart, and salt into the bowl with the chia seeds, and mix until well combined. You should end up with a soft ball of dough.
- Roll out the dough. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Place the center of your rolling pin on the center of the disk. Press firmly into the dough, rolling towards yourself and away from you. Repeat until the dough is about ⅛ inch/3 mm thin.
- Score the dough. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Using a knife, cut the dough into desired shapes.
- Bake. Transfer the dough (with the bottom sheet of parchment paper) onto a large baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden brown, about 80 minutes, flipping halfway through baking**. If one side of the crackers is more golden than the other, rotate the baking sheet.
- Cool. Transfer the cracker onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Once cool, break the cracker along the scored lines.
- Store. Leftover chia seed crackers keep well in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 1 week (or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month). For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.