Cheddar Cheese Straws – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Skip the puff pastry and make low carb cheese straws from scratch with almond flour! These delicious crisp cheesy sticks make a perfect healthy gluten-free snack or appetizer. And recovering from injury with the Cabot FitTeam.

Low Carb Gluten Free Cheese Straws

This has been a tough winter for me. Aside from the bitter chill and the veritable mountains of snow, the numerous days home with my kids going stir crazy and the utter dreariness of it all, I was also out of the running game for a full 8 weeks. Granted, with all the snow and ice covering every available surface, running would have been a challenge. So if any time is a good time to be injured, this winter was it. But it was frustrating to find my fitness activities severely curtailed and to have little control over it. It was simply a minor stress fracture in my right food, but both running and CrossFit were out for me. I tried to do some activities that wouldn’t stress my foot further, but I found it really tough to be so limited.

I would love to tell you that I hit the stationary bicycle or the pool and worked out like a madwoman to keep up my fitness level, but that would be a bald-faced lie. Except for running, I am not very motivated on my own, which is why CrossFit is such a good fit for me. I did try to do some mini workouts at home, and I walked quite a bit (that aircast is amazing, the way it protects your foot!), but there’s no question that my fitness level suffered. I actually lost weight during this time, and I know some of it is muscle mass.

Grain-Free Cheddar Cheese Straws Recipe

Once my foot was healed enough for a few runs, I got out there again. At first they were run/walk combos to test things out, but soon I was able to run 3 miles without a break. I felt like it wouldn’t be long before I’d be back in top running form. But fate decided it wasn’t quite ready for me to get back into it, and I came down with one of the worst colds I’ve had in ages. A  revolting amount of phlegm took up residence in my bronchial tubes and I could barely breathe for coughing. Running was again not an option for another two weeks.

But in some ways, I find all of this rather freeing. I am back to running, but almost as if I am a true beginner again. I am far slower than I was in the fall and I know it will take time to work up both my speed and my mileage. And as someone who used to be more than a little pace-obsessed, it’s a treat to just run for the sake of running. Right now, it’s just about becoming fully functional again and it allows me to just enjoy the run for what it is.

Low Carb Cheddar Cheese Straws

I am very fortunate to be a part of the Cabot FitTeam again, this time for the Vermont City Marathon and Relay on May 23rd in Burlington. I am part of a relay team and at first I really wanted to run two of the legs, which would add up to 11+ miles. But when I was dealing with this cold, it finally hit me that it wasn’t the smart choice. The smart choice was to take a single leg and train properly for it, to reduce my risk of further injury. And making that decision took a huge load from my shoulders. Fitness takes work and dedication, no question. But it should also be enjoyable – if it’s not, you aren’t going to stick with it. We should all be so lucky to find an exercise regime that we love. I love running and I plan to love it for a long, long time!

These cheddar cheese straws were a long time in the making. The first time I attempted them, I rolled the dough out really thinly and tried to twist them up the way you can with puff pastry. The dough kept ripping on me so I ended up rolling them up into little cheesy spirals. They weren’t quite what I wanted but the flavour was out of this world so I knew I needed to keep working at it. This last time, I rolled the dough out into long sticks, as if I was working with playdoh. Then I pressed the shredded cheese into each stick, rolling them again to get it to adhere. They were just what I hoped they would be, crisp and full of sharp cheddar flavour! I highly recommend Cabot White Oak Aged Cheddar if you can find it. But really, any Cabot sharp cheddar will do.

Gluten Free Cheese Straws with almond flour

Cheddar Cheese Straws and the Cabot FitTeam

Yield: 24 straws

Serving Size: 2 straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws and the Cabot FitTeam

Skip the puff pastry and make low carb cheese straws at home with almond flour. They make a great healthy, gluten-free appetizer or snack!

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp butter, well chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2-4 tbsp ice water
  • 4 oz finely shredded sharp cheddar

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum, garlic powder and salt. Pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Sprinkle butter over almond flour mixture and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs.
  3. With processor running on low, add water through feeding tube 1 tablespoon at a time until dough clumps together.
  4. Form into a flat disc and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 300F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms into a cigar shape. Continue to roll gently on a piece of parchment or a silicon baking mat into a long thin stick, less than half an inch thick and 7 or 8 inches long (if it breaks at any point, you can easily press it back together).
  7. Sprinkle with a few teaspoons of grated cheddar, gently pressing the cheese into the stick to adhere. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough and cheese.
  9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until firm and cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely (they won't be crisp until they are fully cooled).

Notes

Serves 12. Each serving has 3 g NET CARBS.

163 Calories; 14g Fat (74.6% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 23mg Cholesterol; 159mg Sodium.

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Comments

  1. This truly may be the holy grail of cheese/low carb recipes. I would eat these until you pulled me away from the table :)

    • Carolyn says:

      I am really excited about this recipe! I had to try it several times before I made it work but they are fun and not that hard to make either!

  2. Ashley G says:

    These look SO awesome! I wonder if the dough would press through a cookie press? Like some cheese straws are made? Either way, I’m totally making these as soon as I get some arrowroot powder! :D Thank you!

  3. Is there something I can use instead of arrowroot powder… my husband react terribly to it. Thanks, Ruth

  4. Carolyn, I am so proud of you for listening ot your body through this healing process. I know how hard that must be for you to take it slow and easy. I would be bursting too! Smart choice to only do one of the legs. Priorities!!! You are an inspiration! These cheese sticks? Amazing! Really. I am going to the co-op to get the ingredients I need asap!

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks, hon. Being so limited has been really tough on me, especially since I can be quite competitive on the running. But it is VERY freeing to just run because I can run again, now. I don’t pay attention to pace, I am just trying to get back into it and it’s quite lovely!

  5. I’m glad to hear you’re finally feeling better. :-)

    I have part of a bag of almond flour I was trying to figure out what to do with and I think you’ve helped me figure it out!

  6. Leslie W says:

    Just in case there are any left (ha!) what is the best way to store them & how long will they keep? Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Do you think you could mix these in a Ninja blender or some other option?

    • I don’t have a ninja so I can’t really say. I suspect it wouldn’t work and a better option is to cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter…the old fashioned way of making pastry!

  8. I wish I could say I get it – but I don’t. This winter just sucked hard core! I didn’t have any bad injuries though, so we can just blame my lack of movement on laziness. ><

    These cheese straws look totally nibble worthy. :D

  9. oh! swoon….!

  10. Carolyn, this gives me a great idea! You know those cinnamon straws you can buy at
    Starbucks? I bet these would be really easy to convert to cinnamon straws! I guess just
    leave out the cheese and garlic, and then cover with cinnamon and Swerve, maybe?
    Love these, thanks so much
    Leigh

    • Sure, that would be tasty! I would recommend putting a tablespoon or two of swerve in the actual pastry as well. I have some other plans for this recipe too. :)

  11. So fun Carolyn! Would be great for a party.

  12. This looks so delicious! And I love that they’re gluten free/low carb! Sounds like a great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  13. So cute – this will make the perfect addition for my GF/Vegan Sunday Brunch!

  14. These look fabulous! I’m new to the food blogging community and just discovered your site. It’s great to find a low carb yet delicious alternative for snacking! Thank you!

  15. Barb Sacco says:

    Carolyn, I’ve been looking long and hard for a recipe for GF chips of some sort to use with salsa or guacamole, both of which I make from scratch. Would these work for chips if I rolled out the dough thin and cut out triangles?

    And the cinnamon sticks sound wonderful with a cup of Bulletproof coffee! Yum!

  16. These are wonderful! But really labor intensive. I found that instead of rolling it out, like a clay snake, that if I pinched it out and then rolled it to round it out after the pinching that it went much faster. Next time though, I think I’ll make a long tube of it, refrigerate it then, and slice it into crackers, either sprinkling the cheese on top or incorporating it into the dough. Then I’ll bake it. So flaky, crisp and cheesy, even when warm out of the oven. Love this recipe! Thanks, Carolyn!

    • I found it rather therapeutic to stand there, rolling it out, but I understand that it can take a bit of time! :) Glad you liked them!

  17. This recipe was a huge hit at my house. I did have trouble getting the cheese to stick to the dough so I gave up and just incorporated about a teaspoon or two of the grated cheese inside each tablespoon of dough before I rolled it out. This went much quicker for me. The result was still nice and crispy and stayed that way, exposed to the air as you suggested, until they were sadly all gone. Now I am getting requests to make more soon. Love, love, love your recipes!

  18. I have a question can I substitute corn starch for the arrowroot and What is the purpose of the xantham gum and can I leave it out or substitute it for something else?

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes, you can sub cornstarch. Xanthan is pretty important in getting the dough to hold together, though. You could do guar gum.

  19. Awesome recipe! Do you think they would freeze ok?

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