Whole Wheat Graham Crackers

29 Aug

These are AWESOME!! I got the recipe from the Whole Foods website, but I’ve experimented with some things. You can definitely change the flavorings and sweeteners. I like using agave nectar instead of the honey, you can also use maple syrup or brown rice syrup (I’ve personally never used this, but I assume it would work?). We’re going for non-processed things here… and now I will get into why I came across this recipe.

I wanted to start making my own graham crackers a year or so ago because all of the packaged ones have partially hydrogenated oils! I was infuriated… seriously, I was. What are they? They are made by man by bubbling hydrogen gas into vegetable oil (unsaturated oil) to make it more sturdy. It can resist more processing so it’s easier to get into packaged foods than unhydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils are found in the ingredient list, but show up as trans fats on the nutrition label.

Why avoid them? Not only do they increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) they reduce your good cholesterol (HDL). AKA they are assholes. And what on earth does your body do with trans fats? Well since it isn’t natural it doesn’t know how to use them so it takes a considerably longer time to digest them… soooo they just chill out in your body, particularly in your arteries and around your organs, which are the worst places for them to be. You can find out more information about trans fats here, but I just wanted to add my two cents. And I’m not done:)

There’s a lot of information and warnings about trans fats these days, but I’d like to shine some light on a piece of information I’m not sure many of you know (or maybe you do and if so… yay!). The FDA has regulations over nutrition labeling and trans fat has become such a big deal they made regulations on labeling. However, companies can say that their food is trans fat free and has 0g of trans fat per serving even if they have up to .5g of trans fat. Ummm WTF! Come on. So, for example let’s look at creamer; most people like it, it’s sweet and virtually fat-free. However, it has partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list so it must have trans fat yet they can label it as free of trans fat. When you think about it the serving size for creamers are 1-2 tbsp depending on the brand. People use at least that much if not more so they can be getting up to 2+g of trans fat when they think they’re getting none at all! So when you think you’re doing something good for yourself, PSYCH! You’re not (fyi: creamers aren’t made from real dairy, but act like it. Natural?…).

Anyways… so these graham crackers are so delicious. It’s harder than you think to get them crispy all the way through unless you cook them longer and get them darker than I care for. I just embrace the chewiness in the middle, makes it more like a flat cookie!

Btw, if you want to just skip all my ranting about partially hydrogenated oils feel free.. I just thought I’d share 🙂 But without further banter I give you amazing whole wheat graham crackers!

Makes 2 dozen (24)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg whites, divided (or 1 egg white and some milk, you’ll see)
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar (I just used light brown, but whatever you have will do)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons raw or turbinado sugar (or granulated)

*Like I said you can experiment with your sweeteners (maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup…) and even reduce the sugar (go for reducing the brown sugar first). I also didn’t have raw or turbinado sugar so I just used granulated, still yummy.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or use parchment paper.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and use your fingers to combine it resulting in a fine meal. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg white, brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until a sticky dough forms. If your dough isn’t coming together you can add some milk or water, but only in small amounts.

     

Take half of the dough and place it on a floured working surface. Roll it out as thin as you would like. I try for the whole cutting board length in a rectangle. Keep the surface floured so the dough doesn’t stick. Carefully cut into 12 rectangular graham crackers and place on your baking sheet. Using the extra egg white (whisked slightly or milk) brush the tops with it and then add half the sugar. Do the same with the remaining dough. Don’t worry if your crackers don’t have perfect edges, mine never do and I’m not going to waste dough by cutting off the imperfections.

  

  

Bake these goodies for 12-14 minutes until they are brown and fragrant. Set them aside to completely cool because this is when they really harden. Keep them in an airtight container.

These are great for snacks, maybe used for a cheesecake crust, crumbled over ice cream, spread with peanut butter or nutella (topped with bananas too!), dipped in hot cocoa or caramel sauce… possibilities are endless. Oooo you can even wrap up the nicest looking ones and give them as a heart-warming gift!

   *I had some with my homemade chocolate ice cream! Eeeek.. delicious.

These go fast so I hope you enjoy them!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per graham cracker:

Calories: 60   Fat: 1g (.5g saturated)   Fiber: 1g   Protein: 1g   Sodium: 80mg

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