There are certain snack foods I just can’t keep in the house because I have limited self-control and will eat the entire package. CHEEZ-IT crackers are one of those foods. A couple of weeks ago they were on sale so I bought a box and within a couple of days, I had eaten every single cheesy small square. It always starts out with just a small handful and then without realizing it, the box is empty and I’m a bit disappointed in my lack of restraint, even though I enjoyed them at the time.
So when I had the TV on recently, listening to the TODAY show while I worked, and heard the phrase, “healthy version of CHEEZE-ITs,” I almost got whiplash as I turned my head to see what they were talking about. There was Joy Bauer, nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, with a homemade and healthier version of CHEEZ-ITs. The recipe only contained 3 ingredients, took about 30 minutes from start to finish, and looked really good so of course I had to try it.
Recipe by Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Joy Bauer Nutrition Centers & nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show.
*This is her spelling for this recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
- 6 ounces 2% reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (or Gruyère)
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup white-whole wheat flour
-The next time I make this, I’m going to add a pinch of cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
In a food processor, blend cheese and egg whites until smooth. Scrape the sides down with a spatula as needed. Add flour and pulse a bunch of times until it all comes together like dough.
Add the cheese-dough to the center of a large piece of parchment paper and cover with a second piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough into a thin layer between the two parchment papers using a formal roller or soup can. Place parchment paper with rolled out dough in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes to let dough firm up.
Remove the top parchment paper from dough and with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice dough into mini squares – it’s easiest to cut like a grid with about 10 lines downward and then 12 lines across. Transfer parchment paper to a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until crackers are deep orange and crispy. Transfer to a platter and dig in.
Makes about 120 squares; about 27 squares per serving.
I checked on these after about 10 minutes and all my “dough” had sealed back together and you couldn’t see any of my squares. But I just made new slices and it was just fine. Maybe I didn’t make the slices deep enough the first time?
We liked these a lot but my husband thought they needed a little extra something so next time I will add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the dough. You could add just a tiny bit of sea salt too, which of course would raise the sodium. But they did taste delicious as is.
Only 3 ingredients.
Egg yolk and cheese mixture.
Dough in between parchment sheets as I roll.
Fresh out of the oven.
Amount per Serving:
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 12.0g
- Total Fat: 8.0g
- Saturated Fat: 4.5g
- Cholesterol: 25mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 6.0g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.0g
- Total Sugar: 0.0g
- Sodium: 350mg