Honey Maple Grahams

DSC_0302Today was such a beautiful spring day, out here in Southern California, and I was elated because it is my day off. Days off just mean so much more when you can enjoy them outside in the sun. I was able to attend my favorite early morning yoga class and had a long walk on the beach trail with my mom and pup. I came home pretty hungry and began pondering that ever incessant question “What should I eat?”. After finding a few healthy snacks nearby, I felt satiated and sat down to read my book. It was then that I realized I sort of, maybe, kind of, wanted another little snack but, this time, with a little sugar. I decided this gorgeous day was calling for something special; homemade graham crackers. Graham crackers were one of my favorite snacks growing up with just the right amount of sweetness and a touch of honey they were always satisfying. I have been wanting to make some for a while now, but was yearning to make them with a healthy spin, of course. I found Smitten Kitchen’s recipe of her homemade grahams and tweaked it to fit in with what we like over here, at our honeyed home. Instead of using almost an entire stick of butter, I decided on conducting a slight experiment with these infamous crackers, and substituting for room temperature coconut oil. Coconut oil at room temperature (or any temp below 75ºF) is in a solid form, like butter.

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Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has so many incredible health benefits. It has a reputation of stimulating the thyroid therefore increasing metabolism, it is super high in caprylic acid which helps fight off disease causing bacteria, it has shown to lower cholesterol and increase weight loss, and can reduce the risk heart disease. Not to mention, the wonderful benefits coconut oil gives to the skin; helping to speed up healing on flesh wounds and deeply moisturize. Coconut oil is a staple in my pantry and I am always looking for new ways to incorporate this heart-supporting organic miracle compound in my food!

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Graham crackers are normally made with graham flour. Graham flour is a type of whole wheat flour and is composed of all parts of the wheat grain ground separately from each other. If you do not have graham flour, substitute for whole wheat and all will be well and good. I enjoy these honeyed grahams by themselves, sandwiched with homemade nutella, or, on special occasions, as a s’more. I adore the slight sweetness, the crunch, and most of all the fact that they are vegan! Healthy and homemade…a job well done.

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Honey Maple Grahams {Vegan} 

Makes about 40 crackers
(Prep time: 10 minutes, Chill time: 2.5 hours- overnight, Bake time: 15 minutes)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Graham Crackers 
 

2 cups graham flour (or whole wheat flour)

1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour

1 cup Muscovado (or packed cup brown sugar)

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp sea salt

6 TBSP extra virgin coconut oil, at room temperature (in it’s solid form)

1 TBSP ice cold water

5 TBSP organic unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 TBSP pure vanilla extract

2 TBSP organic maple syrup

1/3 cup clover honey (use agave if vegan)

For optional topping:

3 TBSP turbinado sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In the bowl of the food processor, pulse rolled oats for about 2-3 minutes until oat flour is formed. Add in the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and Muscovado sugar and pulse a few times until combined. Add the room temperature (solid) coconut oil and the ice cold water and pulse until a coarse meal is formed. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients into the food processor and combine until a thick and sticky dough forms. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on the counter top and lightly dust with flour. Scoop the dough onto the middle of the plastic wrap and pat the dough into a rectangle about an inch in thickness. Cover with plastic wrap and place on a baking sheet and put into the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. While the dough is chilling, prepare the topping and mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

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2. When dough has chilled, remove from the fridge, and cut the dough in half. Place half the dough back in the fridge while working with the other half. Flour the surface of the counter very well and roll out half of the dough into about an 1/8 inch thin rectangle (don’t be afraid to use extra flour here because the dough is very sticky). Cut the edges off and cut into 16 perfect squares. Place the squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Sprinkle the crackers with topping and place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Repeat this with the other half of the dough. Gather all the the edges and scraps, chill until firm, re-roll, and cut.

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3. Preheat the oven to 350º. Once the cut cracker dough has chilled in the freezer, poke the crackers with a fork or the blunt end of a wooden skewer to decorate them. Bake crackers for 15-18 minutes on the middle rack one sheet at a time. They should be dark golden brown and firm to the touch. Serving suggestion: spread with homemade nutella or almond butter and sandwich together or dip into your favorite milk.

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