One of the first gluten-free crackers I discovered was the Almond Nut-Thins from Blue Diamond. Made with almond and rice flours, these crunchy crackers are perfect with just about anything from cheese to hummus. Oh, and there is one flavor made from pecan flour!
Of course, you don’t have to be gluten free to love these crackers. Every time I serve them at a party, guests keep reaching for more. The Nut-Thin bowl is almost always the first one that empties.
Blue Diamond has done an excellent job of balancing flavors in these crackers. Nuts can add a ton of flavor very quickly, so it’s important to get that nutty flavor into the cracker while not allowing it to overpower the experience (or to be so intense that cheese, fruits, meats, and dips have to compete with the intense flavor).
Blue Diamond has expanded this line considerably since I bought my first box of crackers. In addition to the almond and pecan, they make crackers with a “hint of sea salt”, smokehouse, cheddar cheese, ranch, and pepper jack flavors. The almond or pecan flours also increase the protein value of the crackers, always a bonus.
But wait!, there’s more. Artisan Nut-Thins include ingredients like flax seed, sesame seed, chia, and more. Again, you get a good boost of protein plus benefits from the whole seeds baked into the crackers. And, depending on the flavor you buy, 13 to 16 crackers — which is a lot of crackers! — is only 130 calories (or less).
The crackers are made in a certified gluten-free facility, and Blue Diamond, a sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, clearly states on its website that it pays close attention to how its products are made and the the state of the manufacturing facilities that make them.
As with any gluten-free product, the shelf life of a opened box of Nut-Thins is relatively short — about two weeks before they lose their freshness. Honestly, if you have any Nut-Thins left over that long…well, invite me over!
Have you tried Nut-Thins? What do you think?
Tip of Week
For a super-easy, super-fun appetizer, toss some grapes with salt, pepper, and olive and roast at 425 degrees for ten minutes; stir and roast another five minutes or so. Mix drained ricotta with a bit of lemon zest, and spread on a cracker. Top each cracker with a roasted grape or two. Yummy!
- Meal of the Week
One of my favorite things about my book club is how we tend to inadvertently come up with food themes. Of course, we try to match the food to the book, but not every book comes with a…clear culinary point of view.
Sometimes we’re all desserts, sometimes all main courses, sometimes sides, sometimes cheese, and, yes, sometimes all appetizers. Let’s call them small plates to make them seem trendier. Since we tend to gather around the kitchen island, no matter who is hosting, these finger foods are perfect for nibbling while we drink wine and discuss the book (or anything else under the sun).
- Roasted Grape and Ricotta Crackers (seriously, these are so addictive!)
- Tapenade and Goat Cheese Endive Boats (in place of a crostini)
- Whole Nuts and Olives (warm the nuts to bring out even more flavor!)
- Pickled Veggies, like green beans (doing a quick pickle takes almost no time at all, but adds tons of flavor)
- Smoked Salmon-Stuffed Mushroom Caps (these bite-sized mushrooms are filled with a mix of salmon, herbs, lemon zest, and a bit cream cheese or sour cream, baked at 350 for about 15 minutes)