I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page a few days ago, asking people what they do for self-care. I received a very interesting and wide variety of responses: working out, taking baths, cooking, coloring, laughing, petting animals… but only ONE person out of twenty mentioned sleep. I think sufficient sleep is vital to self-care, but parents with kiddos, people with demanding jobs, college students, night-owls, and others might just not even see it as an option.
I love sleep. If I can get 7-8 hours a night, I am generally much happier and better functioning the next day. I’m also a total morning person. Early-ish to bed (11 pm), early to rise (6:30 or 7 am) is generally my jam. I’m the kind of person who opens her eyes and immediately can jump out of bed, make breakfast, and clean the kitchen, all while singing and chatting away and annoying my non-morning-person husband. I used to love coffee in the morning, but I’m not huge on it anymore and only drink it once a month, maybe. Chai tea with almond milk is a totally different story, though.
I struggle with insomnia a few nights a month, where I can’t fall asleep until 2-3 am, or I wake up a lot and have trouble getting back to sleep (it’s weird because other nights, I sleep 9 hours without waking up). That’s usually when I get all my blog post ideas (when I can’t sleep), because there is NOTHING to do for those four or five hours but think. (: I was also thinking about how interesting it is that there are countless different ways to sleep… on your side, on your back, on your stomach. When you have insomnia, you toss and turn and probably try them all. I usually end up flipping my head to the opposite end of the bed, so my feet are by husband’s face. Ha! Something about that seems to help.
But I also think about the way I sleep, and I know it’s incredibly weird. I think I have to draw a sketch of it, because I’m not sure I can accurately explain it. I have slept like this for as long as I remember, and I need to know if there are any other weirdos like me who have a really strange favorite way to sleep. Hold on, I’m going to get paper… my drawing skills are very lacking, so hang with me… it’s probably going to be a stick figure. (The only thing I really know how to draw is a horse, because I was obsessed with them growing up and rode as a hobby (English)).
HAHAH okay I did a little better than stick figure, but not by much. I have to have my leg out to the side and bent at a 90 degree angle and basically touching my elbow, with the opposite arm under the pillow. But my hips are both square and touching the bed and I’m kind of bent into a C shape (not accurately portrayed in the above masterpiece)… I’m not on my side. IT’S JUST SO WEIRD and I can’t imagine sleeping any other way. Sometimes I get crazy and turn my head the other direction. It’s like a yoga move.
Anyway, I’ve tried all kinds of things for insomnia – magnesium baths, working out earlier in the day instead of at night, sleepy tea (WHICH by the way, some of them do the opposite and make my heart race and make me anxious), meditations, diffusing oils, and lots of things I’m forgetting.
So I was lying in bed, dreaming about homemade Chex Mix, which is my favorite favorite treat in the entire world, which led me to think about Cheez-Its and how there aren’t any gluten-free version of them, and how I should make some. Plus, I knew my husband would like them. Just the other week, he was talking about when he was younger and he told his mom one time that he liked the White Cheddar variety and she bought them almost every week for him for lunches from then on. (:
Yesterday, husband and I went to Trader Joe’s to grab a few groceries, and when I got home, I realized I had everything I needed to attempt a gluten-free Cheez-It. I hope saying all these copyright and trademarked things doesn’t get me in trouble somehow. Haha. I’m not trying to advertise for them.
AND YOU GUYS. They turned out so well. They’re not exactly the same as Cheez-It taste or texture, of course, but they’re definitely cheesy and crunchy and delicious. My husband is obsessed with these and I barely got to eat any before he scarfed them all down. But I guess we’re even because I was actually eating some of the dough before I cooked them. It’s okay … there’s no raw egg. (: They’re SO easy to make and only require 5 ingredients. In fact, this recipe inspired my new category – Seven Ingredients or Less. As husband pointed out, sometimes I like to make really complex, complicated recipes. Personally, I think it’s mainly because I try to add like 8 veggies to any entree, just to get those nutrients. But I know sometimes we all want something easy with minimal ingredients. Be on the lookout for the Seven Ingredients or Less tag… you can find it at the bottom of my home page (or the teal bar on your left if you’re on a desktop) and click it any time to see what other minimal ingredient recipes I come up with in the future. (:
I tried these with various other types of gluten free flours, and almond flour was the best by far.
I’m excited to make all kinds of variations of this recipe with different cheeses and herbs and spices. What homemade “Cheez-It” variety would you like to see? I’m thinking something with white cheddar and something else with rosemary? Hmm!
You Will Need:
-8oz sharp cheddar cheese
-1c almond flour
-1/2t sea salt
-1/4t garlic powder
-1T cold water
1. Shred your cheese and cube your butter. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, your cheese should say the total pounds or ounces on the package… you can take your best guess at 8 oz (half a pound) from there.
2. Place all ingredients in your food processor, except the water.
3. Pulse until you get a gritty, sandy texture.
4. Add the water and continue pulsing until a dough forms. (If it’s not forming and still dry, add a tiny bit more water at a time – 1/2t, until it forms).
5. Place the dough on parchment paper, and place another sheet of parchment on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it’s 1/4 in – 1/2 in thick.
6. Refrigerate for 25 minutes. This will allow you to cut the dough into shapes much more easily. Preheat your oven to 350.
7. Using a clean bottle cap (I used the cap of an empty coconut aminos bottle) or very small cookie cutter, cut the dough into 1.5 inch circles, transferring them onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Roll out the remaining dough again and cut until you’ve finished with all the dough. *You CAN cook these without cutting them into circles. Just leave the dough as you have it, rolled out. About 10 minutes after you put them in the oven, take them out and slice them into squares, then put them back in the oven until they’re finished and crispy. I tried this and it was fairly messy and the crackers did not look at nice or cook as consistently; it took considerably less time, though.
8. Make sure to spread the circles out A LOT because they expand quite a bit – about twice their size – when they bake. You might consider using two baking sheets.
9. Bake for 15-25 minutes – this all depends on how thinly you rolled your dough. They should be crunchy and just beginning to brown on the edges.
That salad you see (spring mix, kale, and ranch) was my lunch, along with a few of these crackers… which was a horrible idea because I’m pretty hypoglycemic. By the time 4:30 rolled around, I was NOT doing well and had to shovel in an RX bar and a chicken sausage haha.
I have so many things I want to hear from you! What helps you with insomnia? Where are all my people who have a weird way of sleeping? And what kind of “Cheez-It” flavor variations would you want to see?
Can’t wait to hear from you!