You might be surprised to find out that it’s not just honey-flavored graham crackers which are not necessarily vegan.
Unfortunately, most graham crackers are not vegan. This is because graham crackers often contain honey, sugar, and/or palm oil. There are many different opinions on whether these ingredients can be considered vegan or not.
Of course, honey is made by bees and therefore is not vegan. On the other hand, you might think sugar is vegan, but cane sugar is often filtered using bone char. So often, sugar is not vegan. While beet and coconut sugar production don’t use bone char, when looking at the ingredients on the back of a package we cannot be sure where the sugar used came from. Beet sugar, coconut sugar, as well as unrefined and Certified U.S. Department of Agriculture organic sugar are therefore vegan sugars.
Just like sugar, plam oil is a very common ingredient in processed foods. Palm oil may technically be vegan, but it definitely is not a sustainable ingredient, as palm oil production is detrimental to rainforests. Palm oil plantations take up space where animals like orangutans should be thriving in their natural habitat.
Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself what fits your vegan lifestyle and what does not. It can be difficult to be 100 percent vegan all the time, and that is okay. Every effort you make has an impact, and that’s what matters.
These Graham Crackers Are Vegan
The good news is you can still make your s’mores and pie crusts without hurting the planet. There are several companies which make vegan graham crackers. The following are all egg- and dairy-free, so if that is your definition of veganism, then you are all set.
- Nairn Gluten-free Graham Crackers are made with sustainably sourced palm oil, brown sugar and oats. While they are not officially certified vegan by PETA or any other outside source, they advertise themselves as suitable for vegans on Amazon** on nairns.com, or on kroger.com.
- Nabisco Original Grahams do not contain honey or palm oil, but they do have sugar. Unfortunately, we can’t know whether the sugar is made using bone char or not. Find them at Walmart.
- Kinnikinnick S’moreables Gluten Free Graham Style Crackers are gluten free, soy free, vegan and kosher. They do contain palm oil, but they market themselves as vegan so the sugar contained in these graham crackers is produced without using animal products. Find them on kinnikinnick.com or on Amazon**.
- Kroger Original Graham Crackers also do not contain honey or palm oil. They do have sugar which could be produced using bone char. You can buy them directly at kroger.com.
- Keebler Original Grahams Crackers have both palm oil and sugar, but no honey. You can purchase them online at kroger.com.
- Teddy Grahams Cookies are a perfect “accidentally vegan” snack. Teddy Grahams contain sugar and palm oil, but no animal products. They have several vegan flavors including chocolate, chocolatey chip and cinnamon. They are bear shaped, making them fun for kids and adults. You can find them on Amazon** or at Walmart.
- Make your own graham crackers. If you’re up for it, this is actually the perfect way to get vegan graham crackers. This way, you control the ingredients and you can skip the palm oil, honey and cane sugar. We included a recipe for you below.
Recipe for Homemade Vegan Graham Crackers
- 1/2 vegan butter or shortening
- 2/3 cup organic and vegan brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup or nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Using a medium bowl or an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until it’s fluffy.
- Add agave and vanilla extract and combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients together.
- Slowly add about 1 cup flour mixture to your wet ingredients mixture.
- Add about half of your plant milk and keep mixing. Keep alternating between milk and dry ingredients, until you have combined all ingredients and a dough is formed.
- Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your cookie sheet.
- Once the dough is firm, roll it out to about 1/8 inch thickness.
- Cut the dough into squares or rectangles and place them on your cookie sheet, keeping them at least 1/2 inch apart.
- Use a fork to poke a few rows of holes about halfway into the top of each cracker.
- Bake your cookies for about 12 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown.
- Use a spatula to remove the cookies from the baking sheet, and let them cool on a wire rack.
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