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Beet and Cheddar Crackers for the Whole Fam

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Sweet D is 10 months old this week – she’s been eating solids for 4 months.  As you can imagine, being the foodie that I am, I was very excited about introducing her to the wide world of foods and flavors.  But it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  Eventually she got the hang of eating purees from a spoon, and quickly caught on to feeding herself dry foods like puffs.  But then things…slowed.  She was far too curious about texture to actually move something slimy or squishy from hand to mouth.   And at the same time, she was getting bored with purees; a firm swat at a spoon full of mango made that clear as it splatted on my dining room rug.  (Yes, I just invented “splatted.”)  I was getting frustrated and feeling pretty eager about increasing the amount of solid food in her daily diet. I wasn’t open to only feeding her puffs and Os, though.  Something had to change.

This weekend we turned a corner.  I went all in.  I stopped with the purees for a couple days and committed to only giving her food she could feed herself.  I let her pick up the banana from my hand rather than off the high chair tray, which seemed to be much easier for her. (Although it was a GIANT mess for both of us.)  I handed her a piece of scallion pancake while we were at a Chinese restaurant and watched her devour it.  The waitresses at this uber-authentic Sichuan restaurant were extremely impressed.  She ate better if she could feed herself; I just needed to help her make that work.

A few weeks ago I spotted this recipe on another food blog.  The crackers looked delicious… plus, they are full of ingredients that are good for Sweet D.  It seemed like the perfect snack to help her explore new flavors and work on her self-feeding all at once.

These crackers are cheesier than your high school boyfriend giving 15-year-old-you a heart-shaped necklace on Valentines Day. That’s pretty darn cheesy! The beets are really only for color – you can’t taste them at all but they are there adding a boost of nutrition as well.  (Bonus!)

This is also a great recipe to make with your kids!  As long as they are supervised using the food processor, this recipe requires no knives, has no raw-egg, and almost no steps that a toddler or young kiddo couldn’t do.  It is almost like an art project!

Beet and Cheddar Crackers

This recipe came from …In Sock Monkey Slippers and required almost no changes from me.

  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese – I used extra-sharp white cheddar. Use whatever your family likes.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into bits
  • 3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting – I used whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt – Omit the salt for little ones. It isn’t necessary and salt isn’t good for them anyway. Grown-ups might like it, though.  Your choice.
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) pureed beets – I used 3 cubes of pureed beets
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half – I used skim milk because that’s what we always have.
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds – I skipped this only because my super market was out.  It would add an extra boost of nutrition if you want to add it, though.

To make beet puree (this is one of Sweet D’s favorites so I always have some in the freezer): Heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Tightly wrap beets in foil (Don’t cut the ends off yet – that increase the chances that they’ll bleed) – drizzle with a little olive oil if you want before wrapping.  Put on a baking sheet just in case they leak.  Roast for about 45-60 minutes or until you can easily pierce the beets with a paring knife.  Once they are done and cooled, cut the ends off and the skin should be easy to remove with your hands.  Chop and puree. Easy peasy.  (If you’re concerned about the red beets staining, you can use golden beets.) I have more about beets on my blog if you’re interested.  Factoid that will save you a frantic call to the pediatrician: beet can make your pee turn pink.

Onto our crackers!

Crumbs

Heat your oven to 350.

Toss the cheese, butter, flour, salt and flax (if you’re using them) into the food processor.  Pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (See my photo above.)  It should only take a few good pulses.

Beets

Add the beet puree and milk.  Pulse for few seconds until the dough forms into a ball.  It should be like a big magenta ball of Play Dough.

Dough

Flour a large hard surface (cutting board or counter top will do) and roll out the dough.  Think about the thickness of like a Ritz cracker – you want it to be about that thick.  If you make it thinner, they will be more crispy and easy to break.  You might not want that if you’re making these for an infant.  If you make them thicker, they may take a bit longer to cook and could be hard to bite into for a toddler.  Consider your audience here!

Rolled out

Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut your crackers.  The only cookie cutters I own are a set of biscuit cutters… so mine are medium-biscuit-shaped.  I think next time I might try using my pizza cutter to make long strips.

You’ll need to re-gather and re-roll the dough a few times.  I managed to use every last bit.

Put the crackers on an ungreased cookie sheet.  If you have parchment paper or a silpat, use it.

The original recipe said to bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are hard on top.  Mine took more like 22 minutes and I think they could’ve gone a bit longer.  After 15 minutes, I put them back in for 3 minutes at a time until I thought they were ready.  They should feel like a cracker.

Once they are done, move to a cooling rack.

Seriously, y’all… these crackers are delicious enough for everyone in your house to enjoy.  They taste like Goldfish but they are a beautiful red color thanks to the beets.  And they are whole grain with a boost of lycopene, Vitamin C, and iron from the beets.  Your kids will never know…

Beet and Cheddar Crackers
 
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese – I used extra-sharp white cheddar. Use whatever your family likes.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into bits
  • ¾ cup flour, plus more for dusting – I used whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt – Omit the salt for little ones. It isn’t necessary and salt isn’t good for them anyway. Grown-ups might like it, though. Your choice.
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) pureed beets – I used 3 cubes of pureed beets
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half – I used skim milk because that’s what we always have.
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds – I skipped this only because my super market was out. It would add an extra boost of nutrition if you want to add it, though.
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Tightly wrap beets in foil (Don’t cut the ends off yet – that increase the chances that they’ll bleed) – drizzle with a little olive oil if you want before wrapping. Put on a baking sheet just in case they leak.
  2. Roast for about 45-60 minutes or until you can easily pierce the beets with a paring knife. Once they are done and cooled, cut the ends off and the skin should be easy to remove with your hands.
  3. Chop and puree. Easy peasy. (If you’re concerned about the red beets staining, you can use golden beets.) I have more about beets on my blog if you’re interested. Factoid that will save you a frantic call to the pediatrician: beet can make your pee turn pink.
  4. Onto our crackers!
  5. Heat your oven to 350.
  6. Toss the cheese, butter, flour, salt and flax (if you’re using them) into the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (See my photo above.) It should only take a few good pulses.
  7. Add the beet puree and milk. Pulse for few seconds until the dough forms into a ball. It should be like a big magenta ball of Play Dough.
  8. Flour a large hard surface (cutting board or counter top will do) and roll out the dough. Think about the thickness of like a Ritz cracker – you want it to be about that thick. If you make it thinner, they will be more crispy and easy to break. You might not want that if you’re making these for an infant. If you make them thicker, they may take a bit longer to cook and could be hard to bite into for a toddler. Consider your audience here!
  9. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut your crackers. The only cookie cutters I own are a set of biscuit cutters… so mine are medium-biscuit-shaped. I think next time I might try using my pizza cutter to make long strips.
  10. You’ll need to re-gather and re-roll the dough a few times. I managed to use every last bit.
  11. Put the crackers on an ungreased cookie sheet. If you have parchment paper or a silpat, use it.
  12. The original recipe said to bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are hard on top. Mine took more like 22 minutes and I think they could’ve gone a bit longer. After 15 minutes, I put them back in for 3 minutes at a time until I thought they were ready. They should feel like a cracker.
  13. Once they are done, move to a cooling rack.
Notes
Seriously, y’all… these crackers are delicious enough for everyone in your house to enjoy. They taste like Goldfish but they are a beautiful red color thanks to the beets. And they are whole grain with a boost of lycopene, Vitamin C, and iron from the beets. Your kids will never know…

 

Comments

  1. Are the dairy products ok for under 12 month?

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