A beloved favorite of children young and old, Graham Crackers are a tasty, travel-friendly treat to enjoy all year long! But why were graham crackers invented? We're diving in to find out, plus more.
They're tasty, travel-friendly, and have a very long shelf life. Graham crackers are simply delicious!
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Admit it; you've snuck a few sheets of graham crackers when your parents weren't looking.
They have such an amazing crunch.
And stick to you while finishing up homework or running around on errands.
But as tempting as these golden desserts are to devour, they weren't meant for gratification.
At least not originally anyway.
WHY WERE GRAHAM CRACKERS INVENTED?
Graham crackers were initially created as a homage or tribute to purism from gluttony, pleasure, and the lust for power.
Sylvester Graham is credited as the inventor of the graham cracker, and his religious upbringing- and later ministry- catered towards a plant-based lifestyle focused on improving poor health.
His work in preventative medicine and abstinence from the seven (7) deadly sins led to Grahamism, a food movement inspired by his teachings of vegetarian diets and graham crackers.
After his death, it was discovered that he was not adhering to his own rules of a plant-based lifestyle, utilizing meats and alcoholic elixirs to cure his ailments.
This led to a tossing of his teachings and ultimately a dismantling of his campaign.
However, graham crackers lived on and eventually were commercialized into the sugary delight we all know and love today.
WHAT ARE GRAHAM CRACKERS?
Graham crackers are small, rectangular crackers made from graham flour. Graham flour is a type of whole-wheat flour with a high protein make-up and is allegedly one of the purest forms of whole-grain flour around.
HOW ARE GRAHAM CRACKERS MADE?
In today's baking, graham crackers are made by mixing cinnamon spice, eggs, sugar, graham flour, whole wheat flour, salt, milk, and baking powder, and baking soda until it forms a dough. The dough is later placed in the refrigerator to stiffen and flattened with a rolling pin and cut into squares before baking.
Some choose to prepare graham crackers using graham flour alone, like the teachings of its inspirator Sylvester Graham. Others choose to incorporate whole wheat flour or other flour alongside it for a fancier touch.
Although Sylvester Graham's graham cracker does not have a surviving recipe, purists state that graham flour, salt, cinnamon, honey, and unsalted butter were mainly the ingredients used during his time.
HOW TO USE GRAHAM CRACKERS?
Today, we have over 100 different ways to use graham crackers!
Thankful for its creation, we bakers have used graham crackers as crusts, toppings, crumbles, and for the beloved s'more treat.
Graham crackers also became our go-to base for our beloved (and wickedly good) No-Bake Almond Cheesecake.
Graham crackers can also be used in cinnamon rolls, French toast, cookies, brownies, milkshakes, and even eaten by themselves (which are my favorite for late-night snacking).
HOW TO TELL IF GRAHAM CRACKERS HAVE GONE BAD?
If we think of graham crackers as just that- crackers- then we know that they will go bad at some point.
Those opened graham crackers left in the pantry for years may look appetizing, but after grabbing one, you can instantly tell they've lost their crunchiness.
And should you dare to bite into one, you'll notice that they have become soft and stale.
Opened graham crackers should be discarded after two (2) months of sitting in the pantry. Anything after this point is asking for a tummy ache.
Unopened graham crackers may last up to 1 year in the pantry or refrigerator and still retain their crunch and taste.
CAN YOU FREEZE GRAHAM CRACKERS?
Graham crackers can be placed in the freezer as long as they are in an air-tight container.
My go-to method for ensuring freshness is to place the goods inside a freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible, and then putting them inside an air-tight container or jar.
If you know that you'll be going in and out of the bag to retrieve a few of the frozen ones, then I suggest individually wrapping the crackers. This way, only the ones you've chosen to eat will be exposed to air and keeps the others fresh for a more extended period.
ARE GRAHAM CRACKERS VEGAN?
Many commercial brands of graham crackers have milk, soy, wheat, or butter in their ingredients, so if you are looking for a vegan version, I would suggest going to a health food store or make your own.
You can easily find a graham cracker recipe online and later substitute the wheat, milk, eggs, and butter for plant-based alternatives.
In this way, your graham crackers will become vegan graham crackers.