Think a vegan girl can’t enjoy a big ol’ bag of Cheez-Its?
This recipe, taken from ChefCloe.com, contains no cheese or animal products whatsoever. To get the cheesy taste and look, I used nutritional yeast (a flakey yeast full of protein, vitamins, and nutrients, including B-12) and turmeric powder (a pungent, yellow-orange Indian spice). With a kick of onion powder and freshly ground black pepper, these vegan Cheez-Its have ten times the flavor than the regular guys, without any of the hydrogenated oils (AKA trans fats, AKA heart poison, AKA insta-death). Plus, I’ve switched out Chef Chloe’s all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, so there’s some added nutrients in there, too. These Cheez-Its taste crispy, flaky, salty, and fatty—just like the non-vegan original. Or maybe even better.
So instead of wasting your dinner on a bag full of highly-processed squares of shitty cheese made from abused cows, now you can waste your dinner on slightly-nutritious squares made from natural products! It’s a win-win! *high-fives a happy cow*
Vegan Cheez-Its Crackers
Makes 30-40 crackers. ** denotes changes from the original recipe.
Note: The original recipe is all about making these into Goldfish, but like … who in her right mind buys a goldfish cookie cutter? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour**
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt**
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons vegan margarine (e.g. Earth Balance)
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- all-purpose flour, for rolling out the dough**
- coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top**
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Combine whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, turmeric, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor, you’re shit outta luck. Sorry!) Process until mixed.
- Add the margarine. Process until crumbly.
- Add the water. Process until the mix forms into a ball of dough, and separate the dough into two halves. It will be easier to roll out this way.
- Roll out one half of the dough to 1/8″ thickness on a lightly floured surface. If you don’t own a rolling pin, make do with whatever you have in your kitchen. If you’re anything like me, it looks a little bit like this…
- Using a knife (or a pizza cutter if that exists in your kitchen, ‘cuz it certainly doesn’t exist in mine), first cut the dough length-wise into 1-inch strips, then width-wise into 1-inch strips. You should have tons of cute, little Cheez-It-like squares!
- Poke holes in the center of each square with the end of a chopstick or, in my case, the end of the beater from an electric hand mixer. (It’s all about bein’ thrifty when you’re a poor college student. Don’t judge me.) Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of the squares.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spatula, place the squares 1-inch apart on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your squares. They should be golden-brown and crispy in the middle.
- Let cool completely and store them at room temperature in a plastic bag or tupperware container.
Hah, just kidding! Let them cool just long enough for you to pour them into a bowl and consume the entire batch as a makeshift dinner! I’m a college student and these are Cheez-Its, after all!
Photography © Rachel Marchant. Original recipe © ChefChloe.com.