I’ve been in denial about this whole “November” thing. And this whole dark-at-5pm-thing. Ouch. The fall season is passing before my eyes. Suddenly, the nights feel super long and I’m going a bit stir crazy. Instead of resisting it, I’ve taken up evening hot yoga a few times a week. It just feels so good to have a deep stretch this time of the year and it’s a great reason to get off the couch at night. My sleep has felt a bit more restorative, so that’s always a plus too!
If there’s any ingredient that makes me set aside my November denial and embrace the cool weather, it’s blackstrap molasses. It’s been a long time since I did any baking with it and it always feels special when I dig it out from the back of the cupboard. A powerhouse sweetener filled with iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, and more, it also lends a seasonal baking flair to baked goods. Plus, your entire kitchen fills with that delicious aroma of the holidays. It’s really something magical.
Today, I’m sharing another reader request recipe. Jessie recently wrote in saying:
“Hi Angela, I have a special favor to ask you. As a Vancouver girl, I am DYING to make your vegan Nanaimo bars but I can’t find gluten free and vegan graham crumbs to swap for the regular ones. I can’t eat any gluten. Any ideas?”
Jessie is right, I do have a handful of recipes that call for graham cracker crumbs. A few of them:
- Classic Nanaimo Bars
- PB & Jelly Nanaimo Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Mini Peanut Butter Cups in a Jar
It’s true that there aren’t many vegan and gluten-free crackers on the market. At least, I haven’t been able to find any in my local grocery stores. And if there are any, do they even taste good? So, I took matters into my own hands and came up with a go-to graham cracker for the holidays! And dare I say, they are respectable enough for a mid-morning snack. Dipped in a little Lightened Up Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter…wow, just wow. I can’t get enough.
After several trials, I’m happy to report that these crackers are authentic and crispy, made with wholesome flours, and are free of gums and strange ingredients commonly found in gluten-free baked goods. They have such a wonderful crumb to them. And when I say crispy, I really do mean crispy! These are not soft, doughy graham cracker imposters here…no way.
You know how store-bought gluten-free baked goods can have that funky taste and texture thing going on? Well, it is possible to do gluten-free and vegan right. It’s just a matter of using the right combination of flours and other ingredients. A strong will (read: stubbornness) and patience (read: sweet tooth) never hurts either. Luckily, I have both. And now my freezer is stocked with grahams for many weeks to come.
Crispy, authentic graham crackers made gluten-free and vegan! Now you can make them in the comfort of your own home. When rolling the dough, I suggest using a non-stick baking mat and a non-stick rolling pin, if you have them. It really makes rolling a breeze. If you don't have those, not to worry; a floured counter and rolling pin will do just fine. I used gluten-free all-purpose flour to flour the mat and pin. It's normal for the dough to crack slightly when rolling, so if this happens simply mend the crack with your fingers and forge on! Don't worry about getting them perfect. When the crackers come out of the oven they will be a bit soft, but within 15 minutes on the cooling rack they will firm up into crispy delights! I know I'm going to get questions about a nut-free recipe, and I don't have one to share yet, but I will try my best to come up with one. In the meantime, check out the Vegan Graham Crackers recipe from 2010 (you can sub the almond milk for a nut-free milk to make it nut-free).
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melt before using) or grapeseed oil
- 3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon ground flax
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond flour (not almond meal)
- 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats, processed into a flour
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, processed into a flour
- 5 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 2 tablespoons Sucanat (or other granulated sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.
- Add the buckwheat groats and rolled oats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a fine flour forms.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well with a spoon until it comes together and there are no dry patches of flour left.
- Form the dough into 2-3 balls and place one at a time on a lightly floured non-stick mat. Lightly flour a rolling pin (if necessary) and begin rolling out the dough until you have a rectangle that is about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will crack a bit, but this is totally normal.
- Cut the crackers into the shapes of your choice using cookie cutters, a pizza slicer/pastry slicer, or a knife to cut the shapes you want. I used a 2-inch square cutter with a beveled edge. Place each piece onto the baking sheet, leaving 1/2-inch between each. Poke a few fork holes into each cracker. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven and carefully flip each cracker with a spatula. Rotate the pan and return to the oven for 6-7 minutes longer, until golden. Carefully, transfer crackers to a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
- Store crackers in a glass jar or container on the counter or wrap up and freeze for later.
Notes: 1) 1 batch of graham crackers will make about 3 cups graham cracker crumbs. To make the crumbs, add the crackers into a food processor and process until a fine crumb forms. 2) I haven't tested these crackers with almond meal yet, so I suggest using almond flour for best results. You can find almond flour in the natural food section of most grocery stores or you can make it yourself by blending whole blanched almonds until a flour forms. Sift before using. 3) If you aren't looking for a gluten-free graham cracker, see my vegan graham cracker recipe and my PB & J graham cracker sandwiches. 4) If you prefer a less crispy cracker, bake for a few minutes less time.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
By the way, a huge thank you for your lovely comments on my Canadian cover reveal post! I’m so touched by your excitement. Thanks to your pre-orders, The Oh She Glows Cookbook has been dancing around the #1 spot in the vegan cookbook category on Amazon.ca this weekend. Big, big smiles. Thanks again for all your support!