Mini cheddars, dairy free!

dairy-free mini cheddars

Savoury snacks which aren’t crisps can be hard to find on a restricted diet,  as so many are cheesy or nutty etc. And you can’t have crisps all the time. Mini cheddars are big (I should probably say popular as obviously they’re mini and not big!) in the UK and if you see people eating a savoury snack it’s most often crisps, nuts or mini cheddars – those bags of mini cheesy crackers are everywhere! They’re clearly out of the question for us (and looking at the pack that might be a good thing as they certainly aren’t in any way healthy) but my girls have often remarked that mini cheddars look tempting. Now that’s the kind of challenge I like!

So here is my dairy-free version of mini cheddars – cheerless cheddars if you like. They are pretty delicious, not as cheesy as the original but definitely with a cheesy savoury twang – perfect as a little salty nibble.

Mini cheddars – dairy-free!

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free, nut-free homemade mini cheddars

1 cup plus 1 tbsp plain flour

3 tbsps nutritional yeast

1 tsp English mustard powder

1/4-1/2 tsp salt

Large pinch of cayenne pepper

5 tbsp dairyfree margarine

2 tbsp cold water

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, yeast, spices and margarine. Add the water and continue to pulse until you have formed a soft but not sticky dough ( if it is sticky add a touch more flour)
  3. Roll out to 3 mm thick, stamp out small circles ( about 3 cm diameter) place onto a baking sheet and prick the centres with a fork to give the correct ‘ mini cheddar’ look making vegan mini cheddars
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown
  5. Cool on a wire rack

homemade dairy-free mini cheddars

Herby and smokey straws/breadsticks

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Breadsticks and savoury straws – such a handy savoury snack aren’t they? Particularly for children, they provide that little something to fill rumbly tummies without an extra dose of sugar or resorting to fried snacks like a bag of crisps. We, however, have great difficulty finding breadsticks which don’t have traces of sesame and most straws are laden with butter and/or cheese.

These fine crunchy sticks are the perfect vehicle for carrying dips from bowl to mouth and would fit either as a snack to accompany an elegant aperitif or a savoury addition to a children’s tea party.

Have I given enough reasons why you should make these herby straws? Well, if those reasons aren’t enough – the recipe is a doddle and you can add any flavouring you like. Lots of variations possible… more spice, different herbs, cheese if you aren’t avoiding it.

Herby and Smokey Straws (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 24

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp sweet smoked paprika (depending on how much you like that smoky flavour)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 100g dairy-free spread, such as Pure
  • 80-100ml water

– Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade/ Gas Mark 3/ 325 degrees Fahrenheit 
– Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment
– Either rub the spread into the flour, baking powder and flavourings/seasonings with your fingertips, or whizz all those ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
– Gradually add the water until you form a soft, but not sticky dough. You may not need all the water.
– Roll out to a thickness of about 3mm, they need to be fairly thin as you want really crisp and crunchy sticks
– Cut into straw shapes and place on the baking sheet
– Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through
– Cool on a wire rack
– These straws keep well for a few days.

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Salt and Vinegar Crackers

Those with limited diets have so few options for savoury snacks – for us nuts are out of the question, most savoury options are cheesy and you can definitely have too many crisps. These little salt and vinegar crackers are super-tangy and savoury, and equally moreish and tempting – a little something to bridge the gap until meal time. This recipe uses nutritional yeast, which although doesn’t sound very attractive is such a useful weapon for giving dishes some savoury depth.

Salt and Vinegar Crackers (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_7190makes about 30-60 (depending on size!)

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 5 tbsps dairy-free spread
  • rock salt to sprinkle
  • oat milk to brush

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade/gas mark 5
– In a food processor, pulse together all the ingredients except the balsamic until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (or rub the spread into the dry ingredients by hand)
– Add the balsamic vinegar to make a dough
– On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thick and cut out shapes with mini cookie cutters
– Place on an cookie sheet, rush tops with oat milk and sprinkle with rock salt
– Bake for 10-15 minutes until starting to turn golden
– Cool
– These will keep well for a few days in a sealed container

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