Homemade Graham Crackers (Low Carb and Gluten Free) and Environmentally Responsible Companies

Yum

I like to think of myself as pretty green, but I am fully aware that there is a lot of room for improvement. I certainly do the basics, like recycling, composting and conserving energy and water, and I am committed to trying to do more whenever I can. I even purchased cloth diapers for my third child, and we use them a good portion of the time. Where I struggle is reconciling environmental responsiblity with my natural frugality. It’s a constant battle within me – do I purchase the more expensive item because it is better for the environment, or do I let the miser in me win out? Sometimes one wins, sometimes the other, it really depends a lot on what I am purchasing and my mental state at the time.

I’ve given this issue a lot of thought lately, as I’ve been contacted by a number of companies to review their products, and a few of them have a more environmental bent. The first was Hefty Basics, wanting to know if I would try out their new line of unbleached, compostable paper plates. I really hesitated on that one, because let’s face it, the most environmentally-friendly paper plate is no paper plate at all. As a general rule, I don’t use them but I will admit that they are useful on occasion. And they really would have come in handy last year during the Boston-area Boil Water Order. You may have heard about this on the news. A huge watermain broke and 38 local communities were orderd to not use the water from the taps, for fear of contamination. Instead, we had to boil water for cooking, drinking, brushing our teeth and washing our dishes. For four days. Boy, that was fun!

So I agreed to try them out, and as paper plates go, these are quite good. They are firm and sturdy, and can be used several times over if they aren’t too dirty (that’s the miser in me talking!). As for them being compostable, it’s not exactly the right time of year for that here in New England. The few that we used are in our composter, but I won’t know until the spring whether they really bio-degrade or not. I will be sure to let you know. Hefty Basics is committed to planting 10,000 trees for every 10 “Likes” they get on Facebook, so head on over to the Hefty Basics facebook page and let’s get planting! I also happen to have three coupons to try out this new product for free, and will send them to the first three commenters who express interest. US addresses only.

The second company was one I had never heard of – Singing Dog Vanilla. Interesting name, certainly, so I looked them up. They are part of several brands owned by Kestrel Growth Brands, and they asked if they could post one of my recipes in exchange for some vanilla and cinnamon. They did not request that I review their products for my readers, which is a very smart marketing ploy indeed. Because of course I am going to, since I like both the products and everything the company stands for. The vanilla is certified organic and Fair Trade, in addition to being sugar and gluten free. The Red Ape Cinnamon is also organic, and 5% of all profits are doneated to protecting orangutan habitats. Did you know that I studied primates in grad school? Well I did, and I have a huge soft spot for the solitary orangutan, whose habitat is being destroyed on a daily basis. How could I not get behind a company like that? Additionally, a little note that accompanied the products indicated that the packing peanuts were made of cornstarch and were water-soluble. Intrigued, I took one and popped it into a glass of water, and watched it dissolve before my eyes. Now that’s being environmentally responsible! I will definitely consider purchasing their products in the future and would urge my readers to consider it as well.

To test out the vanilla and the cinnamon, I tried them out in a recipe I’ve been thinking of for a while – low carb graham crackers. Graham crackers have always been one of my favourite snacks, especially spread with peanut butter or nutella. I don’t know if I can truly my creation these “graham” crackers, since they aren’t made with graham flour or any wheat flour at all. This is yet another variation on the almond flour crackers I’ve made, this time with some sweetener, cinnamon and vanilla.

The Results: True graham crackers or not, these are really good. They are not overly sweet, but they have that biscuit-like flavour. They are kid-approved too. While they were baking, one child came running down the stairs asking for french toast, as that’s what they smelled like to her. I had to shoo her away so I could save enough for pictures. And when the pictures were over, I spread some with homemade peanut butter and had a little low carb feast! Oh graham crackers, how I have missed you!

Homemade Graham Crackers

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal (or another 1/2 cup almond flour)
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (Swerve Sweetener)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp dark molasses (optional but helps colour and flavour)
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300F.

In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, flax seed meal, erythritol, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Add in butter, egg, molasses and vanilla and stir until a cohesive dough forms.

On a large cookie sheet, roll out into a rough rectangle between sheets of parchment paper to desired thickness. Can be made very thin, but make sure that it is of even thickness all over so the edges won’t burn before the middle crisps up.

Remove top layer of parchment. With a sharp knife, score into desired size of cracker.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until just beginning to brown and firm up. Remove crackers and let cool 30 minutes, then break up along score marks. Lower oven temperature to 200F and return crackers to bake another 20 to 30 minutes, until crisp.

Makes 20 2-inch squares. Each graham cracker has 4.35 g of carbs and 2.61 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 1.74 g.

Food energy: 94kcal
Total fat: 7.57g
Calories from fat: 68
Cholesterol: 3mg
Carbohydrate: 4.35g
Total dietary fiber: 2.61g
Protein: 3.05g

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Comments

  1. Lick My Spoon says

    Looking good….i make an indian version wit cumin but it's deep fried!!!! eek!! Yours looks much healthier but still yummy!

  2. Three-Cookies says

    "the most environmentally-friendly paper plate is no paper plate at all"

    Not sure, it depends. Surely energy goes into production and distribution of paper plates but the production system is very efficient. If we use normal plates and wash them, energy is used for washing – production and distribution of detergent, scourers, dishwashing machine, water etc etc. It is possible that paper plates could be more environmentally friendly, it depends. I discussed this previously in my blog: http://three-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/01/monday-january-17-2011.html

  3. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says

    So much to comment on… paper plates – in no way are they environmentally friendly in my eyes. Unless they truly do compost well but how many people really do that? I thought about it but personally know no one that does.
    I've never heard of the vanilla or cinnamon brands before. I think their packaging is genius as long as it's not causing a negative impact in the manufacturing process.
    I try to do my best to buy organic when I can but honestly – when you've got little mouths to feed and the money is tight – sometimes you just buy what's cheapest. let's be real… if organic is double the price I'm not going to get it.

  4. Leanne @Healthful Pursuit says

    I love, love, love that these are gluten free?! I've been toying around with a new bar recipe and was going to try and tackle the gluten free graham cracker [I refuse to pay $8 for the GF store bought ones] Thank you for showing me it CAN be done!!

  5. BakingWithoutaBox says

    Oh these crackers look good. Can I have some with a glass of milk? Right now? I'd have been with the kid you had to put on hold til after photos. Marvelous work again Carolyn.

  6. Abigail says

    Great for those crusts that call for graham crackers, too – I think I'll make 2 batches: one for crust crumbs and one for eating with homemade sugar-free marshmallows!

  7. The Mom Chef says

    Those Hefty plates sounds good for our family, especially Dudette. If you don't have three requests yet, I'd love to try them out. We do try to stick to regular plates and use the paper only when we have to (and yes, we reuse when we can).

    I love the graham crackers too. Gorgeous. Cinnamon on graham crackers is so, so good.

  8. Cara says

    mmm. The real question is, do you have low-carb marshmallows and chocolate bars to go with them? That's my favorite way to eat grahame crackers!

  9. Chef Dennis says

    those graham crackers are beautiful, that is one thing I never thought of making, well that and marshmallows! But they do look delicious.
    As for paper plates, I am not a fan, but would rather have paper than foam any day.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Dennis

  10. Lauren at KeepItSweet says

    I enjoyed reading your throughts on enviromentally friendly products! It is hard to always do the best thing for the environment, especially when it comes to cost. Oh, and this recipe looks terrific!

  11. sara @ CaffeIna says

    Oh i hear you! I don't understand why to be "green" I need to be spending 3 times more. I believe that often it's not that more expensive but they take advantage of us. I struggle with the same thoughts you do too.
    As per the crackers…I have been willing to try to make them myself 'cause I really don't like the store bought ones. I will have to try soon

  12. Sandra says

    You are little creative busy bee..looks fabulous and so delicious, plus it is healthy and homemade..you can;t get better than that!!!

  13. Ang says

    Sometimes you have to do the best you can and not beat yourself up about the things you missed. (Speaking for myself anyway) I'm trying to incorporate better foods, and better quality for myself and my family. These Graham crackers look so wonderful. I can actually see the texture difference.

  14. Emma says

    Good post Carolyn! Good on you for using cloth nappies also.

    Lovely biscuits. I think I'll make these because we don't have graham crackers here in Oz and I've always wondered what they're like!

  15. Brandi {1 of 2} says

    I'll try the Hefty plates if you still have a coupon. I also really want to try these crackers. They look fabulous!!

  16. sophiesfoodiefiles says

    MMMMMM,..these home made gf crackers look so tasty & fabulous even!

    You are recently on a baking high!! Go on, girl!

  17. The Small Boston Kitchen says

    Homemade graham crackers…I like! These would be great with some peanut butter on them, talk about a great little snack! YUM!

  18. Pretend Chef says

    I'm all for trying out new products and would love to try them out! My itty bitty goes crazy over graham crackers and they have become a "special" treat in our home because he will request them all day long. I would love to give these a try. I wonder if I'd be able to crush them up and use them for a pie crust. On a side note… primates make me giddy. I will check out Red Ape Cinnamon and purchase something to help support their cause!

  19. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says

    Your graham crackers look just like the real thing, but sound so healthy, I'll have to try them.
    I'm the same when it comes to environmentally friendly; I do what I can, but if the cost too high I have a hard time.

  20. christine says

    I know what you mean about the cheap vs. environmentally friendly mental dilemma. Don't consider yourself a miser, though. I think that tagging things with the words "green" or natural is sometimes nothing more than a marketing scheme to get us idealists to spend more money.

    The grahams look amazing. I agree with Stephchows about the almond meal making them sound better than the originals.

  21. Dawn says

    These look great — I'll have to try them! (PB and graham crackers is one of my faves, too.)

    Just wanted to mention that those cornstarch packing peanuts are like the Magic Nuudles or other brands of colored cornstarch building blocks, so your kids can have some fun with them if you haven't composted them already. All they need is a wet rag to moisten the blocks (so they stick together) and maybe a few butter knives to cut them into shapes.

  22. Elisabeth says

    Carolyn-I am so impressed! Never have I imagined that anyone could actually make home made graham crackers…and you did!
    Wow!…Yummy!

  23. A little bit of everything says

    lately i've been giving a lot of thought making graham crackers at home, you just read my mind with this recipe. thanks for sharing Carolyn.
    hope you'll have a wonderful day

  24. Sommer J says

    Paper plates are handy occasionally, but the most I got from this post is compost- hehe. I need to try to do it more often. We recycle (it's the law here) but not compost. Will read up about that, and will also look for the paper plates while at the grocery.

    The graham crackers looks fab! Also love your daughter's reaction- too cute!

  25. Claudie says

    I don't really care what kind of crackers those are — I only care to have one (ok, two)! :) They look really good!

  26. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says

    Water soluble packing peanuts, what a great idea! I always like to support environmentally conscious efforts like that. Amazing looking graham crackers, they are so golden and beautiful.

  27. Feast on the Cheap says

    I never considered making homemade Grahams, but these look terrific! Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up 😉

  28. Cake Duchess says

    These graham crackers look gorgeous Carolyn. They are a treat from my childhood. How cute that the smell was mistaken for French toast;) I will comment on giveaway when am on my regular computer and can RT on Twitter!!:)

  29. Vibey @ Yumbo McGillicutty says

    Really thought-provoking blog (at least, it made me think!) and those Graham crackers, low carb or not, look the bomb.

  30. susan says

    there is really nothing better than a homemade graham cracker. i love your story behind these. great review, carolyn!

  31. Bryn says

    I just made these and they turned out great! Great flavor and nice and crispy. Thank you! I substituted extra almond meal for the flax meal, and a Splenda/Stevia mix for the erythritol.

    Next we'll try to find a good sugar free marshmallow recipe to go along with these. We're so excited to find your site!

  32. Lisa C says

    I just made these and they turned out great! Great flavor and nice and crispy. Thank you! I substituted more almond meal for the flax meal, and a Splenda/Stevia mix for the erythritol.

    Next we'll look for a good sugar free marshmallow recipe to go with these. We're so excited to find your site!

  33. Lisa C says

    (Sorry if you're getting this multiple times. Google login is giving me problems.)

    I just made these and they turned out great! Great flavor and nice and crispy. Thank you! I substituted more almond meal for the flax meal, and a Splenda/Stevia mix for the erythritol.

    Next we'll look for a good sugar free marshmallow recipe to go along with these. We're so excited to find your site!

  34. Laura says

    Yay! So excited to see a recipe for graham crackers. I have been wondering if there was a way to make a low carb version of them. Will definitely put this in my rotation.

  35. Bonnie C says

    Looking for some special things for a camping trip I found your recipes and spent today wihipping a few things up. These are SOOOO delicious! They have not even the slightest low anything taste! They taste like gourmet graham crackers. I made the coconut macaroons too and they were also supremely special! I can’t wait to get busy on more of your recipes!

  36. aubrey thompson says

    HI! JUst made these and they are great! just perfect to slather some peanut butter for a quick breakfast or snack! I did had to add about 1/8 cup of more erythitol because I like mine sweet:) Thanks for the great recipe!!

  37. Crystal says

    If I were to make these using real sugar (or possibly even maple syrup) would I use the same amount? I don’t like to use any sugar substitutes because they usually give me a headache.

  38. says

    You have many wonderful recipes. This one is especially good substitute for graham crackers. I break them up and use them as “cereal” topped with unsweetened almond milk. I love your creations!

  39. Susannah says

    Are these graham crackers really crispy? I’m looking for a softish graham cracker to use for making a low-carb copycat version of the Ciao Bella Key Lime Graham gelato squares (key lime custard cooling in fridge right now…) Do you think I could cook them for a shorter time to make them softer? Any thoughts? Thank you!

      • Susannah says

        Thank you! You are so nice to always respond to comments — and so quickly! Your website has been a lifesaver for keeping me on my low-carb diet. After a few weeks of eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and meat plus two veggies for dinner, I always get burnt out and give up. Your recipes are getting me excited about cooking and eating again!

  40. Lolette Stephenson says

    I cant thank you enough for this recipe !! My husband and I have been low carbing for 2 months and your website has become my “go to” source for delicious recipes!! I really missed graham cracker crust with our occasional cheesecake and Thanksgiving is not far away and I was sad about no graham cracker crust and…welll….you are my hero!! Do you need a best friend ? Huge smile

  41. Jennifer says

    Just made these. I did not use the erythritol or the molasses and instead used 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup. They turned out amazing! We can’t thank you enough for giving us a recipe for graham crackers we can eat! This will be great to use as a crust for pies and cheesecake as well.

  42. Aimee Adams says

    I would like a free coupon if you still have one! LOVE your recipes!! Thank you for the time, effort, and money you put into these to perfect the recipe so we can have wonderful healthy food!!!!!!!!

  43. Pam says

    Have you tried making the grahams with honey? I haven’t read good things about the erythritol, because of the way it’s processed. I’m using honey in place of any sweetener, as recommended by Doc.

  44. Carolyn says

    Can I use regular sugar instead of the sweetener? Was also going to use a butter replacement, earth balance soy free instead. Will that work?

  45. Rosalyn says

    One word – AMAZING!!! 😊 JUST MADE THESE….SO EASY AND DELICIOUS
    ..I cannot wait to try chocolate …pumpkin spice. ..or maybe peanut butter with pb2…your recipes are fantastic!

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