The short answer is that while some vegan graham crackers exist, most graham crackers are not vegan friendly.
Let’s look at a few popular brands to find out.
Ingredients in Most Graham Crackers
Here are the ingredients for Amazon’s brand of graham crackers:
Enriched flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, high oleic canola and/or soybean oil, honey, contains 2% or less of: leavening (baking soda, calcium phosphate), salt, natural flavor, soy lecithin, sodium sulfite.
While it’s nice that the lecithin comes from soy, there are still a few issues.
- Honey is the obvious one that’s not a vegan food, so that rules out these graham crackers.
- The sugar they contain is possibly not vegan either. Plain “sugar” is often processed with bone char, and it’s a safe bet that most junk food/candy companies use this type of non-vegan sugar.
- Natural flavors can contain either plant or animal ingredients, so they may or may not be vegan.
Obviously ingredients differ among brands, so let’s look at another one.
Are Nabisco Graham Crackers Vegan?
Let’s move on to Nabisco’s graham crackers. Here’s what’s in them:
Unbleached Enriched Flour, Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Sugar, Canola Oil, Molasses, Palm Oil, Leavening (Baking Soda And/Or Calcium Phosphate), Salt.
There’s actually no honey, which is great, but there is still sugar, which means they may or may not be vegan.
There’s also palm oil, which is a controversial ingredient. Palm oil is technically vegan, but many vegans don’t eat palm oil for ethical reasons.
We could repeat this for more brands, but most have honey and sugar, and the few that don’t (like Nabisco) often have other questionable ingredients.
There are some certified vegan graham crackers out there, but they’re hard to find.
Most graham crackers contain honey, which makes them not vegan. However, if you’re okay on taking a chance on if the sugar used is vegan, and are okay with palm oil, there are a few brands that could be vegan.
Can You Make Vegan Graham Crackers?
If you really want graham crackers, making your own is the best way to get your hands on a vegan one.
Considering honey and oils are so easy to substitute for vegan ingredients, it’s easy to make really good crackers yourself.
Here’s a recipe from Heather Cristo that just uses brown sugar and agave, and here’s an alternative if that doesn’t look good to you.