Due to my recent concerns about the growing number of people with food allergies and food intolerance, I got a little obsessed with creating and eating gluten free and dairy free dishes. I am not allergic or intolerant to any of these, but I would like to know if it would improve my health and well-being if I omitted them from my diet. I am not a die-hard bread and cake eater (anymore), but I love my granola in the mornings. And when it comes to dairy, I like yogurt a lot (I buy the 1kg buckets for the family), and I also like milk in my tea or coffee.

Now there is all sorts of vegan milk alternatives. Soy milk is good to have in porridge, etc. but unusable in tea or coffee. Today I tried rice milk for the first time. It is actually nice in taste and works well when added to tea. It surely needs further testing. If I’d only find a way around my yogurt consumption…

For a gluten free flour alternative, I bought some chickpea flour. I had bought it before, but abandoned it in my pantry, because I didn’t really know what to do with it. I have been a big fan of pulses for a long time. The nutritional values of legumes like chickpeas are well known: low GI, good source of proteins and dietary fiber. And gluten free.

Off I go to make some crackers out of my new flour. I added some garlic and and mustard seeds for seasoning, and they turned out amazing. The chickpea flour has an amazing taste supported by a generous hint of garlic and mustard seeds. I had some leftover hummus to dip, and thought it might be a bit to much chickpea in one go: chickpea crackers with chickpea dip? But it turned out a great combination. Any light dip will work well with these crackers: salsa or herbed yogurt (if you are not on a dairy-free diet) will fit the bill.
It is most important to roll out the crackers as thin as possible. If you leave them to thick, they won’t get crunchy, but this is what’s most important with the crackers. Like the name says…..

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup water
Yields 15-20

Preheat oven to 175C/375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine chickpea flour, salt, mustard seeds and garlic. Add oil and water and mix until dough is formed. Add more water if dough seems to dry, or more flour if it seems to wet. Form into a disc.
Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough evenly and as thin as possible, to 1/8 inch thickness. With a knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Poke each cracker with a fork to prevent puffing. Transfer onto baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges turn golden.


  1. I’ve also wondered if a gluten free diet would improve my health. I often feel exhausted and lethargic as my diet is so so high in carbs and ‘whites.’ Have you noticed any difference yourself. And where did you buy the rice milk? Crackers look fabulous….liek the ready-made versions!

  2. I just bought chickpea flour the other day, so I’ve been looking for recipes that use it! This is such an easy one, and the crackers look great! Dipping them in herbed yogurt sounds really good.

  3. @ Lick My Spoon
    I have only been cutting down, but not totally omitting gluten or dairy. Before you see results one should probably cut it out completely for a month or so.
    I bought the rice milk in Spinneys, it’s on the same shelf as the long-life cows milk.

  4. These crackers look wonderful. I just recently found out one of my kids is allergic to wheat, oats and other grains so I’m always looking for good gluten-free recipes. I bought some lentil flour which I think might work with your recipe.

  5. I, too, having been toying around with eliminating all dairy from my diet. Almond milk has been my go-to for the past two years, but I cannot seem to let go of the Greek yogurt, especially with the ease and convenience (and not to mention tastiness) of its protein. I have tried soy yogurts, but has anyone seen any soy “greek-like” yogurt? Plain soy yogurt is too pricey to purchase and strain myself.

    I have been trying to see how my body responds to a gluten free diary, and have been phasing it out just the past two weeks. I haven’t seen a huge change, but I look forward to seeing a difference one way or not in the next few weeks. These will have to be tried and perhaps become a new cracker staple for me!

  6. Gluten free diets do not improve your health in any way. Gluten is only harmful to the body if your body is intolerant to it because it damages the intestines, however if you are not allergic to gluten, omitting it will have no affect on your health. For example, someone with a peanut allergy could die from a peanut, but if you are not allergic to the peanut, it is perfectly safe to consume it and omitting it from your diet will not change your health status.

  7. Lovely ideas! My family is gluten/soy/egg/bean/dairy-free, which does present a bunch of challenges (and exciting opportunities for discovery and invention, too!). So I thought I’d give you some of my favourite tips:
    You can make any dairy-free “milk” very affordably in your blender: soak the nuts or seeds, and then blend with water! My favourite for putting in coffee or tea is pumpkin-seed milk. Homemade milks tend to separate, but you can prevent this with a tiny pinch of guar or xanthan gum.
    The cream at the top of a can of coconut milk is an excellent substitute for butter in recipes.
    For dairy-free cheese substitutes I mix soaked cashews with water, melted coconut oil, a bit of salt and nutritional yeast… and it thickens as you cook with it!
    Yogurt… I miss it, too! I am going to try to make coconut milk yogurt. We’ll see what happens!
    Also, if you add any fleshy (grated) veggie to bready or cakey baked goods, it will help keep it all moist and uncrumbly.
    Happy baking!

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