Crispy, crunchy, cracker-y crackers with a dose of green! Always looking for ways to squeeze the green things in? Whether you have little picky eaters that struggle with eating vegetables or you’re just looking for something unique and festive for your next afternoon snack or charcuterie board, this recipe for gluten-free crackers checks all those boxes. Adding powdered stinging nettles to your homemade gluten-free crackers is a simple way to include more health-supporting, mineral-rich wild foods into your every day.
Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to use all that stinging nettle powder?!
READY TO GET SNACKIN’? HERE YOU’LL FIND:
Why You Should Add Stinging Nettle to Your Crackers
The Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle
How To Make Gluten-Free Crackers
Tips & FAQs
Recipe for Gluten-Free Crackers with Stinging Nettle
Why You Should Add Stinging Nettle to Your Homemade Crackers
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. These crackers are clearly green. They’re not your every day crackers, but they could be! The addition of stinging nettle to this recipe for gluten-free crackers takes these crackers from delicious, but nutritionally boring to crunchy lil’ nutrient powerhouses.
It’s well-known that adding more greens to our daily diet can help to lower our risk for many of our modern day chronic inflammatory diseases. But if that’s not reason enough to add stinging nettle powder to your crackers, here’s a bit more about the health benefits of the incredibly nutritive and medicinal stinging nettle.
The Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle Leaf
For centuries, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has nourished the health and vitality of people all over the world. The benefits and uses of stinging nettle are abundant.
- Often called “nature’s vitamin,” nettle is a potent nutritive tonic rich in minerals and uniquely designed by nature to replenish your winter-weary cells with fresh nutrients. It starts to pop out of the ground in the springtime just when we couldn’t stand to eat another potato or winter squash.
- Nettle contains vitamins K, C, and A; protein; calcium; manganese; fiber; potassium; iron; selenium; chlorophyll; and many antioxidant, anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
- The Arthritis Foundation lists nettle leaf as a supplement for managing arthritis symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
- The treatment of seasonal allergies, enlarged prostate symptoms (although typically the root, not the leaf), and various inflammatory skin conditions are also common medicinal uses of nettle.
However, consuming stinging nettle may be contraindicated with the use of pharmaceutical diuretics, as well as during pregnancy. Always consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner before adding new medicinal plants to your diet.
How To Make Gluten-Free Crackers
This whole recipe can be done in just under an hour!
EQUIPMENT YOU’LL NEED:
- small mixing bowl
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- rolling pin
- knife or pizza cutter
- thin metal spatula
First, make the dough. This is a basic dough with only 7 ingredients, including the powdered stinging nettle. It’s a one-bowl kind of deal. All ingredients are combined together into a simple dough without much attention to ingredient temperatures or resting times. It comes together in 5 minutes or less. Easy, peasy, done!
Second, roll out the dough. Between 2 pieces of parchment paper, you’ll use a rolling pin to roll out the nettle cracker dough to ~1/8″ thick.
Third, cut the dough into squares. Using a knife or pizza cutter, you’ll cut the dough into squares or whatever cracker shape and size desired.
Lastly, bake until crispy! You’ll brush the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, & bake for ~15 minutes. That’s it!
Gluten-Free Cracker Tips & FAQs
Can you taste the stinging nettle? What does it taste like?
Yes! You can taste the stinging nettle in these crackers. It’s subtle, but noticeable. Nettle is often compared to spinach in taste. But while it might taste similar, nettle is higher in nutrients, including all amino acids (except for 2!)
I don’t have powdered stinging nettle. Can I use fresh nettle?
You definitely could create a recipe for gluten-free crackers using fresh stinging nettle, however in this case, it will necessitate an entirely different recipe. Using fresh nettle would alter the bulk and moisture content quite significantly. Therefore, fresh stinging nettles would not make a good substitute in this recipe for gluten-free crackers.
Can I make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the dough ahead of time. Although, this dough takes such little time to make that it’s not much of a time saver. However, if you do wish to make the dough ahead of time, follow these guidelines:
- For the day before, make the dough, flatten into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roll out the dough. Once ready, remove the dough and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes prior to rolling.
- You can also make this dough, wrap according to the instructions above and store in the freezer for 1-3 months. When ready to use, pull the dough out the night before, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then pull from the refrigerator ~20 minutes prior to rolling.
How long will these homemade gluten-free crackers keep?
After baking and with proper storage, these gluten-free crackers are best enjoyed within 3-5 days.
How do I store these crackers?
These crackers are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature. As long as they are kept in an airtight container and out of heat and direct sunlight, they should stay crispy and crunchy for up to 5 days. If you were unable to eat them within 3-5 days, you could try throwing them into the freezer (in an airtight container). However, I wouldn’t recommend refrigerating them.
LET’S GET SOMETHING FOR YOU TO DIP THESE CRACKERS IN! YOU MIGHT ENJOY THESE RECIPES:
Lemon Balm & Kale Pesto with Preserved Lemon
Lemon Mint Hummus
…or serve these crackers alongside Creamy Stinging Nettle Soup
Gluten-Free Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Course: SnacksCuisine: Gluten-Free, VeganDifficulty: Easy
Stinging Nettle Crackers
These gluten-free stinging nettle crackers are crunchy, salty with a hint of pepper, and full of all the vitamins and minerals of stinging nettle. Dip them into your favorite hummus or pesto, include them on your festive charcuterie boards, or pack them in your kid’s lunches. They make a great nutritious and healthy snack.
- Dry Ingredients
1 cup (136g) all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour.)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon stinging nettle powder*
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Wet Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
4-5 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Once thoroughly combined stir in olive oil and 1/4 cup of water. Continue to mix together until a ball of dough forms.
If dough is too dry to hold together in a ball, add more cold water one teaspoon at a time. Work each teaspoon of water in before adding more. It’s very easy to add too much and end up with a sticky ball of dough. (However, if this happens, just add more gluten-free all-purpose flour until you have a ball of dough that holds together and is not at all sticky.)
- Flatten the ball of dough onto a floured piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little more flour and put another piece of parchment on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out between the layers of parchment to about ~1/8″ thick.
- Remove the top layer of parchment paper and use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into ~1×1 inch squares (or whatever shape/size desired). Then use a thin metal spatula to transfer the squares to your parchment-lined baking sheet, arranging them so that they are not touching.
- Use a fork to poke 2 sets of holes in the top of each cracker, then brush with more olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for ~15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through. The crackers are done when they start to puff up and their edges lift away from the pan. You can double check the bottoms to make sure they’re a light golden brown. And be sure to pull them before they turn too brown or you’ll loose the nice green color.
- After you pull the crackers from the oven, leave them to cool completely on the sheet pan (~20 mins).
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-5 days.
- STINGING NETTLE POWDER: You can purchase stinging nettle powder from most herb suppliers. The nettle powder used in this recipe was purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs. However, you can also make your own. For fresh nettles, dry them and use a spice or coffee grinder (or even a blender) to process to a powder. Alternatively, you can purchase cut and sifted dried leaf (as you might use for tea) or even nettle tea bags, and process to a powder in your spice or coffee grinder.
DISCLAIMER: The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking any prescription medications.