Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Feb

Sunflower Sesame Crackers with Shrimp Paté

Sunflower Sesame Crackers and Prawn PateIn last week’s exploration of Primal Snacks we delved into the world of non-potato chips. This week, it seemed fitting to explore non-cracker crackers. Although saying these Sunflower Sesame Crackers submitted by Girl Gone Primal (from Girl Gone Primal) aren’t real crackers just because they aren’t made from flour doesn’t really seem right. They look like crackers. They taste like crackers. Most importantly, they withstood the ultimate cracker test: dip-ability. You can dip Sunflower Sesame Crackers into any number of Primal dips and they won’t shatter into a pile of crumbs.

Most of the time, sliced raw vegetables are our favorite dipping device. But if you need variety every once in awhile, crackers made from seeds or nuts are a tasty alternative. The process is easy if you have a food processor. The only tricky part is rolling the dough, but if you aren’t obsessed with having uniformly shaped crackers this part is a breeze too.

As Girl Gone Primal suggests, adding herbs or spices to this cracker dough is an option, and adding salt is up to you, too. GGP uses equal parts sunflower and sesame seeds when she makes these crackers, but you can adjust the ratio to your own tastes. Sesame seeds have a distinct flavor that can be a bit too bitter for some people. If you’re one of these people, simply use less sesames and more sunflowers.

We’ve also included GGP’s recipe for Prawn Paté, which is delicious spread on top of these crispy crackers. Which reminds us, these crackers aren’t just for dipping. They also make a great base for appetizers. Stack them up with lox, cucumber slices, small slices of flank steak or whatever else you find in the fridge.

Sunflower Sesame Crackers


Sunflower Seeds and Sesame Seeds

  • 1 cup each of sunflower and sesame seeds
  • A little bit of water – about 1/4 cup


In a food processor (or by hand if you’re game), create a sort of flour from the sunflower seeds. It will take about 2-3 minutes for the seeds to break down and turn into a more flour-like consistency, although it will be thicker and heavier than regular flour.

Process Sunflower and Sesame Seeds

Add the sesame seeds and pulse a few times (or mix in by hand) and then slowly add water, stirring or pulsing until a thick paste forms that can be rolled out.

Sunflower and Sesame Seed Paste

Between two greased pieces of baking (parchment) paper, roll out the paste as thinly as you can. Remove the upper piece of parchment.

Sunflower and Sesame Seed Crackers

Lightly score the batter into squares with a sharp knife, and sprinkle with salt and pepper/herbs if you’d like.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes, Allow to cool thoroughly before gently breaking into squares as scored.

Prawn Paté


  • 1 /2 pound peeled, cooked prawns
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • several tablespoons salted butter, softened (optional)


Place all ingredients in a food processor, and combine thoroughly. Adding butter will give the pate a smoother, richer texture. If you don’t want to add butter, just use more lemon juice.

Chill and serve as is, or you can level off the top of the prawn mixture, melt more butter and pour it gently over the top. Chill for an hour before serving.

Sunflower Sesame Crackers and Prawn Pate

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Sounds good. Would this work with any other kinds of seeds or nuts?

    Treynor Tetik wrote on February 6th, 2010
    • these sound yummy – i don’t have enough sesame seeds on hand…maybe some tahini and ground sunflower seeds together to form a ‘dough’??

      barb wrote on February 6th, 2010
      • You can make them with just sunflower seeds, though I find the taste quite boring. I’ve also used combinations of almond flour, coconut flour, ground walnuts, and ground macadamia nuts – almost everything works to make a half-decent cracker if you’re willing to fiddle with the ratios, rolling out the mix to test and then popping it al back in the bowl if it’s a bit crumbly.

        Girl Gone Primal wrote on February 6th, 2010
  2. Shrimp pate – excellent.

    Organic Gabe wrote on February 6th, 2010
  3. Sometimes you just need a little something crunchy and salty. I will try these. My favorite is the Grain free Almond crackers on Cavemanfood. I use the basic recipe of Almond flour and egg white. Add dehydrated onion and oregano. Brush with olive oi, sprinkle with sea salt and parmesean.

    Jan wrote on February 6th, 2010
  4. Yummy. I love shrimps :)

    TomGreenwald wrote on February 6th, 2010
  5. Wow–the crackers sound so easy, and look yummy! Totally making those!!!

    FairyRae2 wrote on February 6th, 2010
  6. I’ve got to try these. Crackers are one of the the few things I still really miss since going Primal.

    Duncan wrote on February 6th, 2010
  7. I make these crackers with some different ingredients. Almond butter instead of sunflower seeds and a little bit of tahini to add some liquid-y oil. I season with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum.

    Marissa wrote on February 6th, 2010
    • That sounds expensive – the secondary goal for my creation of this recipe was to use fairly affordable ingredients. Also, clean-up is a breeze since the dough holds itself together rather than leaving oils clinging to the bowl and spoon.

      Girl Gone Primal wrote on February 6th, 2010
    • that sounds good tho; i might try it that way too

      DThalman wrote on February 6th, 2010
  8. Excellent looking recipe; I ought to try it once I get the chance!

    Brett wrote on February 6th, 2010
  9. This looks and sounds tasty!

    Time to print it off and add to my folder of Delicious Primal Recipes :)

    Great substitute for bread… adding some almond or cashew butter to these crackers sounds attractive to me.

    Todd wrote on February 6th, 2010
  10. Instead of using a sharp knife, try scoring these with a pizza cutter before baking. Much easier and doesn’t tear the paper you rolled them out on.

    gharkness wrote on February 6th, 2010
    • Scoring means imprinting a line 1mm or so into the dough, not cutting them all the way through to the base. This ensures the crackers are the shape that you want, cook evenly rather than browning the outer edges of each cracker, and are still easy to break into neat shapes when they’re done. :)

      Girl Gone Primal wrote on February 6th, 2010
  11. That sounds yum, must try it.
    My favourite dip is tinned tuna and cream cheese mixed together and a little bit of fresh parsley chopped in.

    Sue wrote on February 6th, 2010
  12. Looks good. Will try it this weekend. I like eating sesame seeds for the calcium and I’m always looking for good recipes.

    Best – Mike

    Mike wrote on February 6th, 2010
  13. i wonder if guacamole would taste ok on these, because i haven’t been eating it since i gave up tortilla chips and i miss it. these might be really good for the pack/trail too, with sardines on them.

    DThalman wrote on February 6th, 2010
    • Guacamole goes great on the salted version of these! I made a dip combining crab & avocado and it was a perfect accompaniment too, though I want to keep working on that recipe so it’s not published on my Primal Dips post (see the link in Mark’s opening paragraph).

      Girl Gone Primal wrote on February 6th, 2010
      • cool i’m going to try it! thanks!

        DThalman wrote on February 7th, 2010
  14. oh, i’m so glad to see a recipe for seed crackers that doesn’t involve a dehydrator! i didn’t realize i could make crackers without one…thank you! will be trying soon.

    jojo wrote on February 6th, 2010
  15. The cracker meal looks fantastic. I’ll have to bookmark this one. Cheers Mark.

    Richard Shelmerdine wrote on February 7th, 2010
  16. A reminder to not eat “Paleo foods” that look like Neolithic foods:

    So ya, Grok didn’t eat crackers or prawn pate.

    George wrote on February 7th, 2010
    • Grok also didn’t eat beef bourguignon or my family’s famous 5 spice chili. So what?

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 8th, 2010
  17. I tried these today to go with sausage, smoked salmon and guacamole that my wife made. Absolutely delicious but they mostly crumble apart. Not sure if they weren’t thin enough, or not cooked enough or what. I was concerned about burning if I left them in too long.
    They couldn’t be used to dip into the guacamole. I had to drop it on with a spoon and then eat the piece before it broke.

    Tom Lauerman wrote on February 7th, 2010
    • That’s an awful shame – they sound undercooked to me. Worker Bee omitted this part of the instruction, which obvious made no difference to her batch, but especially if your oven is a little on the temperamental side (as mine is) it may help to leave the crackers in the oven once they’re done, turn the oven off and open the door just a smidge, to help the crackers finish cooking through and dry out. Once they’ve cooled a bit, you can take them out and break them apart, etc.

      I’d love to hear how you go if you give them another shot!

      Girl Gone Primal wrote on February 9th, 2010
  18. This sounds YUMMY.

    BECKBEE wrote on February 8th, 2010
  19. Oooh yey crackers!

    Sounds much easier than the flaxseed cracker recipe I tried ones (which are good if you like tomatoflavour)

    Does anybody know the level of phytic acid in sesame seeds and sunflower seed (if any, I I know nuts have a great deal)

    Not that it mattered – I’d just soak them the day before first anyway, remembering to dry them up before making the dow – or it would be a soggy mess, lol. (voice of experience? unfortunately, yet luckily, yes. lol)

    Kari wrote on February 8th, 2010
  20. I use fried pork skins as crackers.

    jamesf3i wrote on February 9th, 2010
  21. Thanks “Girl Gone Primal” !

    I’ll have to try these next time I go grocerie shopping.

    Kari wrote on February 9th, 2010
  22. I made these today after finding the daily apple a couple of days ago. for the most part, i stuck to the recipe, added a little rosemary and pepper with a little crushed red pepper. tastes pretty good. thanks.

    isaac wrote on February 12th, 2010
  23. I’ve been primal for about 2 weeks now and I just made my 3rd batch of these crackers! Needless to say – love ’em! I have made a few changes though. Instead of just sunflower and sesame seeds, I add an equal part almond meal, I find that it makes a more pleasant flavor. I’ve also been adding salt to the flour, then brushing the rolled out dough with a mixture of (wheat free) tamari and olive oil, which allows them to brown nicely an imparts a little extra flavor. I find it’s really best to roll them out as thinly as possible – really work them out with a rolling pin! Otherwise the crackers just end up too chunky and not as crisp.

    I just now made the shrimp pate for the first time – I’d just been eating the crackers with dips like Baba Ghannouj and Hummus (I know, not strictly primal). I found that the crackers don’t hold up quite as well to the pate as they do to the other dips, since the pate is thicker…but a minor complaint, really. Also, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned, you can get a 1-lb bag of “medium size” frozen shrimp at Trader Joe’s for $5.99 which will make a double recipe of this pate. Not too shabby.

    Jeremy wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  24. These crackers are so yummy! I’m stunned I just made crackers, and it literally took 5 minutes. What’s more I’m stunned how much I have been enjoying cooking this past week since I’ve found/bought/started reading and living by PB, not to mention how good I’m already starting to feel. I’m stunned that I don’t miss carbs at all. I’m also stunned by how much amazing information is on this site, how cool the posters are here. Where have you people been all my life?

    Julie wrote on March 25th, 2010
  25. love this recipe! made it with pepitas and sunflower seeds which turned out really nice too. like someone recommended i used a pizza cutter to score the dough before baking with no problems whatsoever. this is definitely a keeper!

    megtuo wrote on August 6th, 2010
  26. This is such a simple recipe. I make a version of the crackers from Mark’s cookbook and it’s a staple in our house.

    Carrol wrote on August 31st, 2010
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    party crackers wrote on November 27th, 2011
  29. The shrimp pate was very delish. Instead of making the crackers I used it for the sushi roll that I read on another post, instead. Very good.
    Thanks for all the good recipes.

    Joey wrote on December 6th, 2011
  30. I used this recipe to do a Salmon Pate instead of shrimp…absolutely fabulous! No crackers, just veggies to spread on.

    Leannne wrote on November 2nd, 2012
  31. I’m going to have to play around with this. I love the concept of making such nutrient rich crackers for my toddler, but I just don’t like the taste. I think I might lower the amount of sesame seeds, as they seemed to make the cracker almost bitter. I used 2 tb italian seasoning, then after they were baked, in an effort to make them taste better, I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
    Thank you for the recipe!

    Penny wrote on May 27th, 2013

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