I knew vaguely for some reason that graham crackers were meant to be a "healthy" food. Iím not sure if itís something I was told from my childhood or a belief held by society or what. This has always confused me because the modern graham cracker of today certainly doesnít look, feel or taste healthy. Theyíre loaded with sugar, use uber refined ingredients and are mass produced by the bajillion. Considering that most people eat (or at least associate) them as Símores, cheesecake crusts and piecrusts, the health label seems like another lie people tell themselves. No?
Well, apparently graham crackers are meant to be healthy. MEANT to. A health nut minister named Sylvester Graham invented graham crackers in 1829. He was an advocate of vegetarianism and swore that an unhealthy diet would lead to uncontrollable, carnal urges and sexual excess. He believed that physical lust was harmful for the body (as any good minister should) and caused consequences as dire as pulmonary consumption, spinal diseases, epilepsy and insanity. So, to Graham a high fiber, vegetarian diet was the key to purity and chastity, while meat and refined foods meant debauchery, destruction and non-stop sex. HmmÖ tough choice.
No. Not really.
Like most North Americans, I have yo-yoíd with my weight and my ideas of (read: dedication to) a healthy lifestyle. From a heavy set youth to starving myself to eating everything in my path to severely restricting my food intake, Iíve gone through the self-hate-through-food thing for a good portion of my life. So many of us have. Eating disorders are a fairly new phenomenon in the history of human kind. Born out of excess (something that didnít exist for anyone other than royalty until the middle class appeared) we binge, we purge, we starve and we judge our food.
The puritanical reactions to unhealthy lifestyles arenít really any healthier. As an ex-raw foodist, I remember convincing myself (many years ago) that certain foods were evil and that my pure insides would surely burn and melt if I consumed a piece of white bread or grain of refined sugar. I didnít realize until much later that these were thoughts of someone who hates food.
The whole thing is such an old, tired story full of clich s and Iím sick of it. I LOVE food. I LOVE cooking and I LOVE eating. I took a stand against the horrid cycle and found something that feels balanced and real. Here are my guidelines:
This has worked for me for several years. Iím in the best shape Iíve been in ages and I feel more balanced and happy with my relationship to food. Hail Mary.
These graham crackers were made using a somewhat similar recipe to Minister Grahamís original recipe. But as Iím not one to deny myself of a tasty idea, they also contain chocolate. A bit of balance goes a long way.
Step 1: Ingredients and Directions
Homemade Graham Crackers with White Chocolate Frosting