Vegan Banana Bread Animal Crackers

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on October 6, 2011

Yesterday I told you about all the cleansing foods I’ve been craving this week. I compared the bodies’ natural detox patterns to trees shedding their leaves in the fall, and we enjoyed a bowl of glorious green soup.

But I kinda left a small detail out of the story and it’s time I let it out of the bag.

I’ve been craving animal crackers.

Little crunchy, sweet, life-like animal crackers.

Dipped in nut butter, eaten plain, or topped with a couple pieces of dried fruit. *drool*

But, when this craving came on I was faced with a dilemma – either buy an $8.00 box of gluten-free animal crackers that contained corn and risk tummy aches, or come up with my own darn recipe.

Bet you can’t guess which option I chose…

Thumbs up for the animal cracker challenge!

While they’re not exactly cleansing, they are ridiculously better (and tastier :D) than the store-bought variety.

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Vegan Banana Bread Animal Crackers

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar reduced, Yeast free, Corn free

These animal crackers make a great take along snack for any age!

Yield: 130 animal crackers

Servings: 13 (10 crackers per serving)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup +3 tbsp sweet white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown teff flour *see note
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour/starch/powder
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 3/4 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar *see note
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Water (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Set aside
  3. In a larger bowl, combine wet ingredients and beat with a hand blender until well mixed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
  5. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a large ball. The dough should stick together and have a thickness of pie crust.
  6. Place the dough on a floured surface (I used extra rice flour) and roll out the dough until it’s 1/4-inch thick.
  7. Use animal shaped cut outs to make small animal crackers. I used these ones.
  8. Place each cut out on the prepared baking sheet leaving sliver in between each cracker.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on desired crispness. They are cracker-like at 15 minutes and slightly chewy at 12 minutes. My favorite was 15.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely to firm up.

note: you could probably use buckwheat or brown rice flour to replace the teff flour if it’s challenging to find.

note2: if palm sugar is difficult to get, try replacing with brown sugar or sucanat sugar.

calories: 126 | fat: 5g | saturated fat: 3.7g | carbohydrate: 18.5g | fiber: 1.9g | sugars: 5.3g | protein: 1.7g

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I tried to love each animal equally, but every time I ate an elephant I giggled.

Look at their little trunks!

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

omg these are soooo cute! adorable and delish all in one. Almost too cute to eat. Almost :)

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Aine @ Something to Chew Over

Aww these are so cute! I like the elephants best.

Nothing like a snack which makes you smile :)

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Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan

Cute!!!! I only have elephant cookie cutters….elephant crackers it is! These are so freakin adorable.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

I think I’d be picking all the elephants out to eat first as well! Question about the white rice flour – do you get yours at Bulk Barn? I am assuming that since it’s white, it’s probably not a whole grain flour. Are there any whole grain substitutes you could recommend?
Thanks Leanne!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I bought the sweet rice flour at Planet Organic (similar to whole foods). I believe you can get white rice flour at bulk barn but not sweet rice, although I could be wrong. I bought the bag ages ago and it’s just been sitting in the freezer just getting old. Gotta use it up! It’s acting as a starch in this recipe to help bind everything together, so you could try to use arrowroot, cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca flour in it’s place. If you’re concerned about the purity and health factor, I’d stick with tapioca or arrowroot. I believe arrowroot is a bit less processed than tapioca if memory serves me right.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Awesome, thanks! :)

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starjumper

EEEEP!!! those are SO CUTE!

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Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

ok, let me just get this out: AWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwWWWWWWWW!!!! HOW ADORABLE!!!!!

Glad I got that off my chest.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m glad too haha that was too perfect.

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Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well.

Yet another recipe that makes me want to run out and find coconut flour and sugar! Okay, so they don’t really have it anywhere near me so I won’t be running anywhere, but Amazon definitely has it! :)

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Beth @ Tasty Yummies

These are so adorable and I bet super tasty! I just recently started playing around with palm sugar and I love it.

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Cara

We must share similar minds because I have been thinking about animal cookies lately myself :) These are awesome and most definitely drool worthy, Leanne!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Great minds think alike!

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Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

How cute!! I love animal crackers :D

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Faith @ For the Health of It

Awww, where did you get the cutters?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

At Michael’s craft store!

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Gloria

Haha! So cute :) I can’t wait to make those!

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Angela (Oh She Glows)

So cute! I can see my nieces and nephews going wild for these too.

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Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan

These are adorable! And I bet they taste a million times better than the boxed version!

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

I haven’t had animal crackers in forever! I did used to love those boxes shaped like circus cars though.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’ve never heard of those boxes!

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Rachel

How cute! I have always wanted to make my own animal crackers. Whenever I see the huge tubs of them in Costco I want to eat them all! Little cookies are the best : )

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Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

So cute!!

I voted for you in the foodbuzz!!! Fingers crossed for you!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

Those are so cute! I crave animal crackers too since they aren’t too sweet. I need to make some. I don’t know why I’ve never done that before?

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Evan Thomas

I can’t even think of the last time I had animal crackers. These are adorable. And the flavor sounds great, too. I’m on a banana + cinnamon kick, too.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m so happy to hear it’s not just me that’s on a major banana kick right now. If it’s not pumpkin, it’s banana. I just can’t get enough!!

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(what runs) Lori

How freakin’ cute are these???? I LOVE them! And I need to make them asap!

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Brianna

So if i wanted to make these and wasn’t allergic to gluten, can I substitute all those flours with just regular whole wheat flour?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Brianna – I haven’t worked with gluten containing flours in a very, very long time so I’m not exactly sure how it would work. Because there is coconut flour in the recipe, if you did replace the flour, I would try it as an equal 1 to 1 swap and then plan to add a bit more.

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Josie

Those look fantastic! I’m putting arrowroot flour on my grocery list so I can make up a bunch of these to stick in my kid’s lunches…and maybe a few in mine, too!

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Andrea

Elephant animal crackers are always my favorite :)

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Amy

These are great! I am sure they are much better than those $8 animal crackers anyhow and they look like they were fun to make!

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Rhonda

I have spelt flour that I am going to try in place of the Teff…hope it works because these sound delicious!!

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Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

These are too cute for words!

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

Wow! Those are super cute and I can only assume super tasty. Thanks for a wonderful recipe and something that apparently harkens back to many of our childhoods.

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Richa@HobbyandMore

these are super cute and so healthful!!

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Joy

The animal crackers look great!

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char @ char on a mission

Do you think I could just alter these and use whole-wheat flour (in the same amount?) if that’s all I have on-hand? I’m going on a cruise with my family next month and I wanted to make these for my niece and nephew!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m not 100% sure… but I’d start with replacing it one to one and adding more flour if needed. The batter should be liquidy… like normal pancake batter. A cruise, how fun!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Oh my gosh, I thought you were replying to my pancake post! haha long morning I suppose. Yes, I’ve been told that you can replace the flour with whole wheat with no issues. Sorry about that, Char!

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vegobsessionchick

My daughter has been asking about animal crackers! I have never made them, but I am inspired to try now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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shannon

i just made these and they’re great! do you know how i could add some more protein to them next time i make them? i’m thinking hemp protein powder but i’m not sure how to add that in…do i omit something else??

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Glad you liked them, Shannon! You could try to replace some of the flour with hemp protein. I’ve never tried it, but would love to know how it works out for you!

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Hannah@mindrunningwild

These look great!! Would I be able to make them using one type of flour instead of three?

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Hannah@mindrunningwild

oh nevermind, it was answered. I’ll be making these as soon as my oven is not broken…

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Melaina

Hi Leanne, I’ve been waiting SO long to make these animal crackers (they are so cute!) and finally just found the small size animal cut-outs needed for these crackers! The thing is.. a recent visit to the doc once again eliminated coconut and almonds from my diet, at least for a little while. Since there is such a small amount of coconut flour in this recipe, what would you suggest I use as a replacement?

Thanks and can’t wait to finally enjoy animal crackers again! :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Melaina – glad you found the cut outs! They are super cute, aren’t they? I made cookies with them the other day and just died with excitement eating each little character. Can you have peanuts? If so, peanut flour would be a good replacement. If not, then I would double up on the flour and replace it with additional sweet rice flour. So instead of 2 tbsp coconut flour, try 1/4 cup extra sweet rice flour.

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Melaina

Peanuts are okay as long as I don’t eat them everyday so I will definitely give that a try, especially for a little protein boost! Thanks so much and love all your recipes! :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Would love to know how they work out for you, Melaina!

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