Graham crackers were made in England in the 1800s before being imported to America where they quickly became popular. Invented by a minister named Sylvester Graham, they were originally meant to be a health food made of flour, brand, and wheat germ.
Although this doesn’t sound particularly appealing today, it was the start of the cookie’s journey to becoming one of the most popular snacks amongst kids (and big kids) today.
The flavors of the modern graham crackers are slightly sweet and have a somewhat spicy punch to them. Their popularity has encouraged many brands to make their mark on the cookies by changing flavors, shapes, and even including fillings. This article will go over what graham crackers are made of and whether or not they can be eaten by vegans.
The Origin Of The Graham Cracker
As we mentioned above, the graham cracker was invented by a minister named Sylvester. They were created as part of Sylvester’s radical vegetarian diet plan that suggested human diets should consist of fruits, vegetables, bland starches, and limited forms of dairy.
Following this diet plan was thought to repress lustful behavior. Sylvester firmly believed that sexual activity of any kind was sinful and could lead to serious illnesses such as spinal issues, insanity, and even cause blindness.
Interestingly, one of Graham’s loyal followers was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Along with his brother Will, they accidentally invented the cornflake. Will thought to add sugar to the flakes which caused a rift between the brothers and led Will to go on to form Kellogg’s corporation on his own.
What Are Graham Crackers Made Of?
The recipe to make graham crackers has largely remained unchanged since their invention. However, the modern version of these crackers is much sweeter and cookie-like than the original ‘health food’. The main ingredients in graham crackers are:
- Graham flour
- Browns sugar
Honey isn’t always used to make the cracker, it is often just used as a flavoring product. Graham flour may not be an ingredient that you are familiar with. This coarsely ground wheat flour is what gives the cookie such a nutty taste and contributes to the texture.
Depending on the brand of graham crackers you buy, there might be some sneaky non-vegan ingredients in them. Milk, honey, and butter are all animal byproducts that are not suitable for vegan diets.
Many of the big brands such as Honey Maid and grocery stores own versions of the cookies and commonly include honey in their products.
Some brands may not contain animal products themselves but are made in factories that contain things like butter and milk meaning they cannot guarantee the crackers will be vegan.
What Are Graham Crackers Used For?
Most people might just assume graham crackers can be used for s’mores, pies, and cheesecakes. However, there are many other ways to enjoy them. Some people love to dunk them in milk, others just eat them on their own.
Graham crackers are great to use in vegan baking and can also be used in savory dishes. Common examples include cheese and tomato pie or a herb-infused crust for meat or tray bakes to add a crunchy texture.
So, Are Graham Crackers Vegan?
To be on the safe side, never automatically assume that graham crackers are vegan. Many of the big brands you find in grocery stores contain honey, milk, or eggs. These are added to improve the texture and flavor of the crackers.
There are a number of brands that do make vegan graham crackers and they aren’t difficult to find. We just want to be clear so you don’t pick up anything you see labeled as ‘graham crackers’.
Vegan Graham Cracker Brands
- Nabisco Original Grahams
- Once Again Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Sandwiches
- Keebler Original
- Kellogg’s Grahams Original
- Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Crackers
The Best Vegan Graham Cracker Recipes
When you’ve got your hands on some vegan graham crackers, you can make some awesome desserts and treats with them. We’ve got plenty of inspiration to get you going here:
- Vegan Graham Cracker Blondies
- Vegan Graham Crackers
- Unbelievably Vegan S’mores Cake
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cup
- Easy Graham Cracker Crust Recipe
Graham crackers are sweet and crispy cookies that are often used to make desserts and pie crusts. Although many brands naturally produce vegan-friendly cookies, others make theirs with honey, milk, or butter. Always read the label on the packaging to find out if the food is definitely vegan.