Valentine’s Day is coming up so I thought it would be fun to make gluten free heart-shaped crackers. Before making these crackers I had never used red lentils but I’d heard about them and thought they might produce a cracker in honor of Valentine’s Day that was some shade of red. Well, it turns out red lentils are not red at all, but more orange in color. I thought I could fix this by adding some beets and was encouraged when the dough mixed up to a beautiful deep, ruby-red color – perfect for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately the crackers lose that beautiful deep red color when baked. I was going to rework the recipe to omit the beets but they give the crackers an earthy quality that would be lacking without them and, more importantly, everyone that tried the crackers said they were delicious as is and that I shouldn’t change a thing.
Using red lentil flour enhances the nutritional value of these crackers. I compared the nutrition facts of Red Lentil, Beet, and Flax Crackers to those of a popular brand of gluten free brown rice crackers that I sometimes buy and they have 2x the amount of protein and over 3x the dietary fiber per serving!
When you’re ready to roll out the dough, do so between two sheets of plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Don’t try to roll out the entire ball of dough at once. Instead pinch off pieces of dough that are a tad smaller than the size of a golf ball. This will make the rolling and cutting more managable. The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the dough rolled out thin enough. If the dough is not rolled thin enough the crackers will be thick and tough instead of thin and crisp. This is the rolling pin I use and I swear by it. It rolls out perfectly even cookies and pie crusts, and makes super thin and crispy crackers. An alternative is to use rolling pin rings, but I don’t think they work quite as well. Rolling pin rings are plastic or silicone rings that fit onto the ends of your rolling pin and help you roll out dough evenly and to a specified thickness.
These hearty, gluten free crackers are absolutely delicious with humus or white bean dip.
Red lentil flour is not widely available in grocery stores but you can find it online or you can buy red lentils, which ARE widely available, and make you own flour using the dry grains container of a Vitamix or a grain mill. I use a Vitamix to grind my lentils and store the flour in a mason jar in the refrigerator.
The ground flax is clearly visible in the baked crackers and adds to their wholesomeness. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
- 2 cups red lentil flour
- 1 - 8¼ ounce can of beets (see note below)
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted (see note below)
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the red lentil flour with the ground flaxseed, salt, and pepper and set aside. Dump the contents of the can of beets into a blender and process until fully pureed. Add this to the lentil flour mixture along with the melted coconut oil. Mix well.
- Gather the dough into a ball, knead it a few times, and then wrap it in plastic wrap. When you’re ready to roll out the crackers pinch off 2 ½ ounces of the dough (roughly the size of a golf ball) and roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap until it is very thin, approximately ⅛th to 1/16th of an inch thick. Using a 3 inch heart shaped cookie cutter, stamp out the crackers and place them on the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough. (Keep the dough well wrapped in between rolling so it doesn’t dry out.)
- Bake for 12-16 minutes on the bottom racks of the oven, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time, until the crackers are just starting to brown around the edges.
*3 ounces of unmelted coconut oil yields about ⅓ cup when melted.
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