Cheez Itz (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Here's a recipe that I've been making for a few years now, but never shared. These are my raw vegan substitute for Cheez-Itz crackers. Before I went vegan, I was truly addicted to Cheez-Itz. I could easily finish a box in one sitting, that's how hooked I was. When they came out with the Tabasco flavor, I bought them all the time ... because what could be better than salt, cheese, and spice with that crunch? After I gave up cheese, I no longer bought them, which wasn't really a big deal. It was just something that I would miss from time to time. Eventually as veganism got more popular one company came out with a vegan knock-off. I tried it a couple times, but wasn't really impressed. It was lacking in the cheesiness I once loved. When I went raw, I did some experimenting and came up with these crackers, which surprisingly tasted so much like that flavor I used to love. I made them all the time at first and now just make them when I get that urge. Now I'm sharing them with you so you can enjoy them too! 

 

 

Cheez-Itz (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Ready in 24+ hours

Servings 120 or so crackers

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp flax meal (ground flax seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

To make them spicy:

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder

    Preparation

    1. Place the zucchini, red bell pepper, and lime juice in your food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until the mixture is well combined.
    2. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, flax meal, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Blend again until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 
    3. Grab a dehydrator tray and place a teflex sheet on top. Pour the mixture on top and smooth it out until it covers the entire tray in one big square. 
    4. Place the tray in your dehydrator at 118 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 hours. After the five hours, remove it and place another tray upside down on top and flip it over onto the other tray. Carefully peel the teflex sheet off of the crackers. If the cracker mixture is dehydrated enough and not too wet, then slice it into the size crackers you would like. I did about 12 slices one way and then 10 slices the other to create crackers that are the size of the traditional Cheez-Its. To make them look super legit, use a chopstick to put holes in the center of each cracker. Sprinkle sea salt on top of all the crackers lightly.
    5. Place the tray back into the dehydrator for another 20 hours or so. I kept mine in for over 24 hours, but that's because I wanted to make sure that they were extra crispy and dry. You can taste test it as you go to determine the level of dryness you want. 
    6. Store the crackers in an airtight container. They should keep for about a week. If they start to get moist, place them back in your dehydrator. They probably won't last that long though because they are so yummy!


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