Gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people adopting them for health or lifestyle reasons. For those avoiding gluten, finding suitable replacements for foods containing wheat, barley and rye can be challenging. One such food is graham crackers, a staple snack in many households.
What are graham crackers?
Graham crackers are a type of whole wheat cracker made with graham flour. Traditional graham crackers contain wheat flour, which means they are not suitable for gluten-free diets. Graham flour is a type of whole wheat flour made from coarsely ground whole wheat kernels. It contains the bran and germ of the wheat, making it more nutritious than refined white flour. Graham crackers have a sweet, honey-like flavor and a crunchy texture. They can be enjoyed on their own as a snack or used to make pie crusts, s’mores and other desserts.
Why choose gluten-free graham crackers?
For those avoiding gluten, substituting regular graham crackers with a gluten-free version allows them to continue enjoying the tasty crackers without adverse health effects. Reasons someone may require gluten-free graham crackers include:
- Celiac disease – Those with this autoimmune disorder cannot tolerate any gluten as it damages the small intestine.
- Non-celiac gluten sensitivity – Some experience symptoms like bloating, headaches and fatigue when eating gluten.
- Wheat allergy – Wheat is a common allergen and graham crackers contain wheat.
- Health reasons – Some find eliminating gluten improves health problems like digestive issues.
- Lifestyle choice – The gluten-free diet has grown in popularity and many follow it to feel better.
Gluten-free graham crackers allow those avoiding gluten to take part in activities where graham crackers are used, like making s’mores at campfires. They also provide a tasty gluten-free alternative to traditional graham crackers that can be enjoyed as an anytime snack.
Where to find gluten-free graham crackers
Gluten-free graham crackers are becoming easier to find as demand increases. Here are some places you can find gluten-free graham crackers:
Many mainstream grocery stores now have dedicated gluten-free sections where you can find gluten-free graham crackers. Brands like Kinnikinnick, Enjoy Life and Glutino are commonly stocked. Check the baking or snack aisles for these gluten-free options. Larger stores may have a greater variety of brands available.
Health food stores
Health food stores like Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market have large selections of natural and gluten-free products. Check for gluten-free graham crackers near the bakery section or with other gluten-free baking items. Smaller local health food stores may also offer gluten-free graham cracker options.
A wide selection of gluten-free graham crackers can be found through online stores like Amazon and gluten-free specialty sites. Purchasing online gives you access to niche brands you may not find locally. See the table below for some reputable online stores selling gluten-free graham crackers.
|Carries mainstream and specialty gluten-free graham cracker brands. Filter search by ‘gluten-free’ to see options.
|Specialty online store with category just for gluten-free graham crackers.
|Gluten Free Palace
|Wide range of popular and lesser-known gluten-free brands.
|Health food store with many dietary needs categories including gluten-free.
Direct from manufacturers
Many companies producing gluten-free graham crackers sell direct to consumers through their websites. This allows you to order online and have the products shipped directly to your door. See below for some popular gluten-free graham cracker brands offering online sales:
- Kinnikinnick – Offers plain and flavored gluten-free graham cracker options. Sales available in the US and Canada.
- Schar – Leading gluten-free brand based in Italy with worldwide shipping.
- Mi-Del – US-based company producing gluten-free cookies and crackers.
- Enjoy Life – Allergy-friendly food company shipping gluten-free products worldwide.
Purchasing directly can give access to bulk cases of gluten-free graham crackers at discounted prices. Make sure to compare costs with other retailers first.
Many cities now have dedicated gluten-free bakeries producing their own gluten-free baked goods. These small specialty bakeries may offer gluten-free versions of graham crackers baked fresh on-site. Their products are usually made in smaller batches with simple high-quality ingredients. Gluten-free items from such bakeries are typically more expensive than commercially packaged brands, but provide delicious homemade taste.
What to look for when purchasing
When searching for gluten-free graham crackers, keep the following tips in mind:
- Check for gluten-free certification – Look for trusted labels like the Certified Gluten-Free logo.
- Read ingredient lists – Product should not contain wheat, barley, rye or malt.
- Watch out for cross-contamination – Opt for brands that have dedicated gluten-free facilities.
- Consider added sugars – Some gluten-free brands add extra sugars.
- Think about flavor and texture – Try different brands to find your favorite taste and crunch.
- Compare prices – Gluten-free versions usually cost more than regular.
Sticking to reputable gluten-free brands and labels certified gluten-free assure products are safe for gluten-free diets. Trialing a few different options helps determine your preferred flavor and texture profile. Those new to gluten-free graham crackers may want to start with a trusted brand like Kinnikinnick.
Homemade gluten-free graham crackers
For the ultimate in flavor and ingredients, you can also make gluten-free graham crackers at home. This allows you to control exactly what goes into the graham crackers. Here is a simple homemade recipe to try:
- 2 1⁄2 cups finely ground gluten-free flour blend
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
- In large bowl, whisk together flour blend, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- Add honey, melted butter and 3 tablespoons milk. Mix until dough forms.
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll into rectangle shape about 1⁄4-inch thick.
- Use knife or pizza cutter to cut dough into rectangular crackers.
- Arrange crackers on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops lightly with extra milk.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool before serving.
Get creative by adding your own twist to the recipe with ingredients like vanilla extract, lemon zest or nuts. Homemade lets you craft the perfect gluten-free graham cracker for your dietary needs.
Are they healthier than regular graham crackers?
Gluten-free graham crackers are an obvious better choice for anyone with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy. But for those without specific gluten-related health issues, are gluten-free graham crackers healthier than regular graham crackers?
Here is a comparison of some key nutritional differences:
|Regular graham crackers
|Gluten-free graham crackers
|~110 calories per 28g serving
|~130-170 calories per 28g serving
|Contains fiber from whole wheat flour
|Usually less fiber depending on flour blend
|~5-8g per serving
|~8-12g per serving due to added sugars
|~115-170mg per serving
|~115-250mg per serving
|~2-3g per serving
|~1-2g per serving
The nutritional profile can vary widely by brand, but in general gluten-free graham crackers tend to be higher in calories, added sugars and sodium compared to regular graham crackers. They typically contain less fiber and protein as well. However, those following a gluten-free diet may benefit from the overall positive effects that come from eliminating gluten.
One of the biggest differences between regular and gluten-free graham crackers is cost. Gluten-free specialty products almost always come with a higher price tag. Here is an approximate cost comparison:
|Regular graham crackers (1 box)
|$2 to $3
|Gluten-free graham crackers (5-6 oz bag)
|$4 to $6
The exact prices can vary depending on brand, size and retailer, but expect to pay about twice as much for gluten-free graham crackers compared to regular. Purchasing online or direct from manufacturers may offer better deals on bulk cases. For substantial savings, making your own gluten-free graham crackers is an option if you have the time and inclination.
Are there additional recipe options?
In addition to enjoying gluten-free graham crackers straight from the package as a snack, there are many delicious ways to use them in recipes. Here are some recipe ideas to try:
- Pie crust – Use as the crunchy base for pies and cheesecakes.
- S’mores – For the classic campfire treat sandwiching marshmallow and chocolate.
- Parfaits – Crumble and layer with yogurt, fruit and granola.
- Ice cream topping – Crush and sprinkle over ice cream for added texture.
- Cookies – Blend into cookie batter for extra flavor and crunch.
- Yogurt bowls – Top yogurt, fruit and nuts.
- Overnight oats – Mix into overnight oats for added crunch.
- Pancake or waffle topping – Enjoy like syrup over baked goods.
- French toast coating – Crush and coat slices of bread before frying.
- Fruit dippers – Use alongside fresh fruit slices for dipping.
- Trail mix – Toss crushed into homemade trail mix.
- Ice cream cones – Scoop ice cream into gluten free graham cracker cone.
- Puppy Chow – Incorporate crushed into classic puppy chow/mud buddies.
Let your creativity run wild finding new ways to enjoy the gluten-free graham crackers in all types of dishes. They make a great crunchy and flavorful addition to both sweet and savory foods.
Finding gluten-free graham crackers is easier nowadays with availability at mainstream grocers, health food stores, online retailers and specialty bakeries. Leading brands like Kinnikinnick, Schar, Mi-Del and Enjoy Life offer widely available options made in dedicated gluten-free facilities. Be sure to compare prices as gluten-free graham crackers come at a premium cost. For ultimate freshness and ingredient control, make your own gluten-free graham crackers at home. While not necessarily healthier overall, gluten-free graham crackers provide a tasty way for those requiring a gluten-free diet to enjoy the familiar graham cracker flavor in treats, snacks and recipes.