How to Make Your Own Low-Carb Crackers
Why I Started Creating Diabetic Recipes
I made some tasty low-carb crackers yesterday—one of my diabetic recipes. If you’re a frequent reader of my articles or my cooking website, you know that I’ve created a lot of diabetic-friendly, low-carb recipes that have helped me reverse diabetes.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last fall, but I was able to normalize my blood sugar readings and my A1C by changing my eating habits and engaging in some regular exercise. This major change in eating habits hasn’t been as painful as you might think, even though I love food. I attribute much of this to my culinary creativity, but some of it has been achieved through sheer desperation on my part.
I mean, as a foodie, I simply had to come up with some healthy substitutions that were flavorful. That’s how I ended up making many of my diabetic recipes, including these low-carb crackers.
Zero Net Carbs
This low-carb cracker recipe has zero net carbs. The crackers are hearty, satisfying, tasty, and healthy. They’re also pretty darn easy to make! The following is a fairly basic recipe. You can change the seasonings in order to make your own version of these. You might want to use Parmesan cheese, Cajun spices, or different herbs than the ones I used. Next time I make these, I’m adding sesame seeds.
- 2 cups flax meal
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons Splenda
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed cookie or baking sheet with heavy foil. Spray foil generously with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. I used my hands for this. Allow mixture to rest at room temp for five minutes.
- Thinly spread mixture onto cookie sheet with slightly wet hands. Press all the way to edges. Score into individual crackers with a sharp knife.
- Bake crackers for 27 minutes. At that point, turn off oven, but leave crackers in for another five minutes to get crisp. If they’re not as crispy as you’d like them to be, leave them in the warm oven a few more minutes. Remove crackers from oven and allow to cool. Break into individual pieces and store in an airtight container. Enjoy your creation as stand-alone snacks, or serve your crackers with sliced cheese, pepperoni, cream cheese, dips, or spreads.
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Basically, most low-carb recipes qualify as diabetic recipes. People with diabetes can’t handle a lot of carbohydrates because either their bodies don’t produce enough insulin, or because they’ve become insulin-resistant. In other words, the insulin just isn’t working like it should. When you consume carbohydrates—especially simple ones—your body goes to work breaking them down into sugars that can be used as energy. With diabetes, the system is overloaded with a big dump of carbs, resulting in an unhealthy spike in blood glucose.
Low-carb recipes are obviously lower in carbs, so they’re easier for diabetic bodies to handle. They don’t cause the rapid rise in blood sugar, nor do they result in the “low” that often follows the “high.” Eating the right foods can help folks with type 2 diabetes stabilize their blood sugar, and in some cases, they can reverse diabetes completely, as long as they stick religiously to the new healthy lifestyle. Without flax seed, I don’t think I would have ever been successful in reversing diabetes or in losing weight. Yep, I’ve lost seventy pounds in seven months, and I’m still losing!
Flax Seed and Flax Meal
Flax seed and flax meal—ground flax seed—have been real saviors for me. Before being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I’d never tried the stuff. Sure, I’d heard that it was a “super food,” but I didn’t really know a lot about it. I made it my business to find out, though. Flax seed is extremely healthy, as it contains lots of fiber and omega-3 fats, which are essential to cardiovascular health.
I began searching for low-carb recipes and diabetic recipes that included flax meal, and I found several that sounded good. I made several of the flax seed recipes at home, per the recipes’ instructions. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in most of them, so I began experimenting with my own ideas.
The big problem I had with flax seed and flax meal was the distinct taste of the flax itself. It can be somewhat overpowering, which I sought to remedy. Through trial and error, I found out that I have to somewhat mask the inherent taste of the flax seed by using more herbs, spices, and other seasonings than I would normally use.
Experimentation and Improvement
I also discovered that by adding Splenda, the flax seed taste was somewhat neutralized. Even when I’m using flax meal for a recipe that’s not supposed to be sweet, a little Splenda improved the flavor. As you can see above, I added a little Splenda to my low-carb crackers, even though the dominant flavor is savory instead of sweet.
Throughout my diabetic recipes journey, I found that my two biggest problem areas were low-carb snacks and breads. Sweets are a major hurdle for many diabetics, but it hasn’t been for me. I can easily find sugar-free candies, puddings, yogurt, ice cream, and cheesecake. My snacking preference is for salty foods—not so much for sweets. Unfortunately, low-carb snacks in the salty category aren’t so easy to come by. I’m referring here to potato chips, cheese curls, pretzels, popcorn, and crackers—my faves.
I first turned to low-carb snacks like pork rinds and nuts, a mixed bag of health. Pork rinds are usually carb-free snacks, but they’re high in fat and sodium. To tell you the truth, I got pretty “burnt out” on pork skins, anyway. Nuts are a much better option, but they don’t provide quite as much “health punch” as flax seed. Besides, nuts contain net carbs, and when you’re strict with your carb count, every gram counts.
Flax meal, on the other hand, contains NO net carbs! One serving has four grams of carbs, along with four grams of fiber, so the net carb count is zero.
I’ve purchased several different brands of low-carb crackers from supermarkets, and they were all tasty. My problem with these snacks wasn’t the flavor—it was the carb count. Even so-called low-carb crackers aren’t all that low in carbs. Sure, they might be better than regular crackers, but they still contain carbohydrates. Depending on the brand, the carb count can actually be pretty healthy. That’s because the main ingredient is usually wheat flour.
I try to stay away from wheat flour as much as possible. Instead, I turn to flax meal, soy flour, or a combination of both to serve in the place of wheat flour. As you might imagine, results vary. Flax meal doesn’t bake up all nice and fluffy like wheat flour does, but I decided this wouldn’t be a big issue in a low-carb cracker recipe, as crackers should be crunchy, anyway.