S’mores, cheesecakes, and pies – what do they all have in common? (Apart from the fact that they’re desserts)
Graham Crackers! (I know…I know, not all pies have graham cracker crusts, but many do)
Graham crackers are inarguably one of the most widely used crackers in the US. They are eaten on their own as a snack and used in a variety of desserts. Some creative cooks even use them in savories. No matter how you prefer to use graham crackers, if you’re a vegan, you have to first find the answer to the big question – are graham crackers vegan?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal answer to this question. It varies across brands and flavors!
Some brands offer vegan graham crackers while others do not. Also, not all the flavors of graham crackers are vegan-friendly. So, you have to check the ingredients list on the graham cracker pack you’re buying to figure out if it’s vegan-friendly or not (will there ever be a time when us vegans won’t have to do this tedious task? Hopefully!)
Want to avoid the hassle?
Keep reading to find a breakdown of vegan and non-vegan graham crackers brands. But, before we do that, it’s important to get one thing clear…
Did you know that graham crackers were invented for the followers of Sylvester Graham, called Grahamites? He was one of the leaders of the 19th century’s temperance movement and an ardent proponent of vegetarianism. Even though the graham crackers and a few other vegetarian products made for Grahamites were named after Sylvester Graham, he didn’t invent or benefited (financially) from any of them.Grahamites initiated one of the first vegetarian movements in the US.
What Can Make Graham Crackers Non-Vegan?
They’re just crackers, aren’t they?
This very notion can get many people, particularly the new converts, confused and make them consider all graham crackers fit for vegan consumption. However, as much as we wish for it, it’s not that simple.
Many companies use honey as the sweetener in their graham crackers. This is where things get tricky.
Is honey not vegan? You may ask.
Before, I give my opinion, let’s take a look at what PETA says about it:
So, while honey itself is not non-vegan, its commercial extraction process can harm the bees. Furthermore, as claimed by The Vegan Society of the UK, harvesting of honey can also harm bees’ health. While PETA doesn’t clearly state if honey is vegan or non-vegan, the Vegan Society outright classifies it as non-vegan-friendly.
Do All Vegans Avoid Honey?
Most vegans try to avoid honey, at least as much as they can, to play their part in minimizing animal exploitation and protecting the environment.
Which Companies Use Honey In Their Graham Crackers and Which Don’t? Vegan Graham Crackers and Non-Vegan Graham Crackers
Let’s get back to what us vegans have been doing all these years – check the ingredients of various companies’ graham crackers – to figure out which ones are vegan and which ones are not.
Are Keebler Graham Crackers Vegan?
Keebler Grahams Original are vegan. Here’s what they’re made of:
Let’s take a quick look at other Keebler’s Graham varieties and see which ones are vegan and which ones are not:
- Keebler Honey Grahams – Non-vegan – Contain honey
- Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbs – Non-vegan – Contain honey
- Keebler Elf Graham Original – Non-vegan – Contains honey (also contains palm oil, which is another controversial ingredient in the vegan world due to the harm production of palm oil causes to the environment – refer to my article Are M&M’s Vegan for a detailed discussion on palm oil).
- Keebler Elf Grahams Cinnamon – Non-vegan – Contain honey (also contains palm oil)
- Keebler Bug Bites Graham Crackers – Non vegan – Contain honey (also has palm oil)
- Keebler Gripz Grahams Cinnamon – typically classified as vegan because it doesn’t contain honey. However, it has palm oil. Hence, some vegans may prefer to avoid it
Are Nabisco Graham Crackers Vegan?
Nabisco’s Original Graham Crackers do not contain honey or any other controversial ingredient. They fully comply with dietary guidelines of veganism and hence, are vegan-friendly. They’re also on PETA’s list of vegan graham crackers. Many vegans also rate them as one of the best vegan graham crackers available on the market.
Are Nairn’s Graham Crackers Vegan?
Nairn’s is a Scottish brand that offers a wide range of oat snacks, including grahams. Even though their grahams contain sugar and palm oil, they label (two of) them as suitable for vegans. According to the company, they use sustainable palm fruit oil in their oat grahams.
Narin’s Original and Stem Ginger oat grahams are vegan-friendly. They are also gluten-free (additional advantage!!)
Narin’s Chocolate Chip oat grahams are not suitable for vegans; they are suitable for vegetarians.
Are Annie’s Graham Crackers Vegan?
All those newly turned vegans who love Annie’s organic graham crackers or prefer them because they are healthier (organic) need to give up on them now because they’re not vegan. They contain honey. Also, Annie’s official website states that they may also contain milk ingredients.
Even though Annie’s have several more varieties of grahams and many of them do not even contain honey, the company doesn’t itself doesn’t classify them as vegan-friendly. No graham crackers’ variety is listed in the vegan products section on Annie’s website.
Are Honey Maid Graham Crackers Vegan?
The name says it all!
None of Honey Maid’s graham crackers are vegan-friendly.
Are Trader Joe’s Graham Crackers Vegan?
Health conscious eaters and vegans often shop from trader Joe’s as the store offers a good variety of healthy, organic, and vegan foods. However, Trader Joe’s graham crackers unfortunately do not meet vegan’s dietary limitations (they do have a range of other vegan crackers options though).
So, Are Graham Crackers Vegan-Friendly?
Depends on the brand and flavor. Some brands offer vegan-friendly graham crackers while others do not. It’s important to mention that even the companies that offer vegan graham crackers also offer non-vegan options. So, you have to be careful while buying. Refer to the list given above (if you’re buying from these brands) or, as us vegans always do, check the ingredients list to make sure the graham crackers you’re buying do not contain any non-vegan (honey) or controversial ingredients (palm oil, if you avoid it).
As discussed above, even though honey itself is not a non-vegan product, most vegans avoid it due to the ethical issues with regards to the prevalent methods of beekeeping and harvesting honey.
Feeling creative? Try making your own graham crackers. Here’s a recipe for you; you’ll also get several amazing ideas about using graham crackers (in unusual ways).
Are Graham Crackers Vegetarian?
Most graham crackers are vegetarian. However, some do contain controversial ingredients (read natural flavors) and hence, are better to be avoided.
Read my article Is Starburst Vegan to find out if you can eat these soft, chewy candies or they’re off-limits too!