The Truth About Graham Crackers

Graham crackers can be a quick and easy treat to grab between meals, helping tide you over until your next meal. As Entrepreneur tells us, graham crackers are often touted as healthy and wholegrain options to other snacks, albeit a bit boring and dull in nature.

They do have a long history, however, stretching all the way back into the 1800s. They were inspired by a man named Sylvester Graham, who was born in 1794 and was rather passionate about maintaining a healthy eating routine. What did his eating preferences look like? He was a proponent of vegetarian meals who insisted that a high-fiber diet with little dairy and complete abstinence from alcohol and tobacco was the right way to live (via Eat This, Not That!).

As The Atlantic reports, Graham went so far as to write that thousands of people "in civic life will, for years, and perhaps as long as they live, eat the most miserable trash that can be imagined, in the form of bread." (Umm, moving on.) The health advocate and Presbyterian minister, in a bid to give the world an alternative to white bread, came up with graham crackers, products he invented and baked. These wafers contained no sugar and were promoted by Graham as healthy. Over the years, these crackers evolved, particular in terms of taste and flavor. Basically, less bland and boring, and with more variety from which to choose.

They may not be vegan

Many of us probably consider graham crackers to be mostly healthy and a good fit for a health-conscious diet, right? Not necessarily. Much to Graham's disappointment, his original, bland, sugar-free crackers have changed over the years to include. Some graham crackers are now sweetened with honey; as Health Digest relates, other versions include flavorings and sweeteners that make them taste more like cookies. Uh-oh.

There's more information to consider. If you're strictly vegan, you cannot just blindly reach for a graham cracker, because honey isn't quite considered vegan since ... you know, it comes from bees. In fact, the animal welfare organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has suggested vegan alternative graham crackers that don't use honey in their recipes.

In case you're not keen on picking up these crackers from supermarket shelves, you could also choose to make them yourself — for instance, via a recipe from the Pies and Tacos website. That way, you can customize the ingredients in your graham crackers.