Last year, my grandma ended up in the hospital in critical condition. She’s doing better now (thank goodness!), but because of the results of her lab tests and the doctors’ grave prognoses, we immediately flew to Arizona to see her as soon as we heard the news.
Always an extrovert, Grandma noticeably perked up when we walked into the room, and at least one of us stayed beside her, chatting with her when she woke up from her naps and speaking to the doctors and nurses that consistently popped in to check on her, from sunrise until well after the stars came out at night. Within just a few hours, most of us had the hospital floor plan memorized… Or at least the nearest restrooms!
Although we briefly went grocery shopping on our first night to grab a few things for breakfasts and lunches, we didn’t know how long we’d be in town, so we didn’t buy quite enough snacks to last our entire trip. As a result, we often stopped by the vending machines and snack station in the hospital when our stomachs started growling in between meals.
The intensive care staff must have grown used to families doing the same thing because they always kept their snack station shelves crammed full of food, along with gigantic dispensers of black coffee, decaf coffee, and hot water for tea. They even stocked a mini fridge with juice and sodas, and they encouraged us to take as much as we needed whenever we wanted.
By the second day, we knew all the snack station’s offerings: bags of black and green tea, packets of sweeteners, packages of saltines and mini graham crackers, single-serving tubs of peanut butter and jam, Cup O’Noodles, cups of chocolate pudding… And plastic forks, spoons, and knives for enjoying them.
Because of the chilly winter weather, most of us brewed multiple small styrofoam cups of tea to slowly sip as we sat next to Grandma’s hospital bed. Then with our sweet and salty preferences, we usually reached for the peanut butter, saltines, and graham crackers when we needed a snack.
Most of us loved the smaller size of the graham crackers in those packets compared to the standard large sheets that you’d find at the grocery store… But we all agreed that those particular off-brand honey graham crackers tasted fairly bland. At least a schmear of peanut butter helped!
Since my parents recently visited my grandparents and shared updates on how they were doing, those hospital memories floated through my mind after our phone call… And I started wondering if I could bake my own graham crackers at home — ones that tasted lots better than those off-brand ones we ate last year.
The result? These amazing Healthy Homemade Mini Cinnamon Graham Crackers! They’re bursting with rich and cozy spice flavor, and they have the perfect amount of sweetness to balance it out. They don’t taste one bit bland — SO much better than those other ones!
These healthy homemade cinnamon graham crackers are also really simple to make! You just need 1 bowl and 4 ingredients (plus salt and water!)… But no eggs, butter, dairy, refined flour or sugar. And each serving is 100 calories!
WHAT ARE GRAHAM CRACKERS?
What are graham crackers? I’m so glad you asked! For those of you who don’t live in the US or haven’t grown up eating s’mores…
Graham crackers are thin, usually rectangular snack crackers made from graham flour. They often come in flavors like honey, cinnamon, and chocolate (I actually have a healthy homemade mini chocolate graham crackers recipe here!), and they typically have a sweetness level somewhere between plain crackers and cookies.
Throughout my childhood, we ate plenty of graham crackers for snacks… And we always used them to make s’mores when we went camping during the summers! Graham crackers are also commonly used to make crusts for cheesecakes — just grind them up into crumbs, add some melted butter to hold them together, and press that into the pan. (Much faster and easier than a traditional pie crust!)
WHAT’S GRAHAM FLOUR?
But what’s graham flour, might you ask? Well…
Graham flour is named after Sylvester Graham! He devised a special method for grinding wheat into flour. His method included keeping the wheat kernel’s outer bran layer, germ, and endosperm during the grinding process… Whereas all-purpose flour only includes the endosperm.
In other words… Graham flour is just a special type of whole wheat flour! It’s usually a bit coarser than most commercial whole wheat flours due to minor differences in their grinding and milling processes. However, just like whole wheat flour, graham flour includes lot of micronutrients (like extra fiber!) from the wheat kernel’s outer bran and germ, so graham flour and whole wheat flour have very similar health benefits!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY HOMEMADE MINI CINNAMON GRAHAM CRACKERS
Let’s go over how to make these healthy homemade mini cinnamon graham crackers! To make this recipe as easy as possible, you just need one bowl. (I’ve been totally obsessed with one-bowl recipes lately… I love having fewer dishes to wash!)
Because I’ve almost never seen graham flour in my local grocery stores, you’ll actually use white whole wheat flour to make these healthy homemade mini cinnamon graham crackers! Remember, as we covered above, graham flour is just a special type of whole wheat flour… And white whole wheat flour has almost the exact same flavor, just a finer texture, which I think makes these homemade graham crackers taste much closer to the store-bought ones!
And no… White whole wheat flour is not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour! Instead, it’s made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!), but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… And that lets the sweet cinnamon flavor of your healthy homemade cinnamon graham crackers really shine!
Speaking of cinnamon… The type of cinnamon you use makes a BIG difference in the flavor! I buy my cinnamon online here (← it’s super affordable!), and it’s the only kind I now use in my baking. I’m obsessed! My favorite cinnamon variety has a stronger, richer, sweeter flavor than the “regular” cinnamon that you find at most grocery stores. This gives your healthy homemade cinnamon graham crackers an even better flavor!
Tip: If you’re not using the same cinnamon variety as I do, then you can slightly increase the amount of cinnamon to get a stronger flavor!
After whisking in a pinch of salt, make a well in the center of your bowl. Then pour in pure maple syrup, water, and a teensy bit of oil. Just about any type of oil will work! You only need 1 teaspoon, and that really helps keep your healthy homemade mini cinnamon graham crackers low calorie and low fat!
Unlike most store-bought graham crackers that depend on refined granulated sugar for sweetness (in addition to a small amount of honey!), you’ll skip that and just use maple syrup instead. You want the kind that comes directly from maple trees — not pancake or sugar-free syrup! It usually comes in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this!).
Hint: By using maple syrup instead of honey, your healthy homemade mini cinnamon graham crackers are vegan!
Once you’ve mixed everything together, it’s time to roll out the dough! I use a silicone baking mat and a silicone rolling pin (← that’s the one I own, just in black!) to do this. Their nonstick silicone surfaces mean I don’t have to flour the rolling pin or my countertop!
You want to roll the dough to be very thin. Thick dough = chewy crackers… But thin dough = crunchy crackers!
It should take some time, effort, and maybe even some muscle to do this since the dough tends to be stiff, but I promise these healthy homemade cinnamon graham crackers are worth it!
After cutting the dough into squares, prick each square with a fork. This helps air escape while your healthy homemade cinnamon graham crackers bake, so the centers don’t puff up like pita bread!
But before you slide your baking sheet into the oven, separate each of the squares so none of the crackers are touching. This ensures they bake evenly, so all of your healthy homemade cinnamon graham crackers turn out perfectly crunchy!
Then after a quick trip to the oven, let them cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheet for maximum crunchiness, and…
Enjoy your deliciously crunchy snack crackers! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy homemade mini cinnamon graham crackers!
Healthy Homemade Mini Cinnamon Graham Crackers
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup, water, and coconut oil (in that order!). Stir until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. (It will take some extra effort at the end!)
- Transfer the dough to a silicone baking mat (see Notes!), and roll it to be 1/16” thick with a silicone rolling pin. Slice the dough into 1” squares using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Prick the center of each square with a fork. Carefully separate the squares and arrange them so they aren’t touching each other (to ensure even baking).
- Bake the crackers at 350°F for 13-15 minutes or until crunchy. Cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Homemade Mini Chocolate Graham Crackers
♡ Healthy Homemade Chocolate Teddy Grahams
♡ Healthy Homemade Wheat Thins
♡ Healthy Quinoa Crackers
♡ Healthy Everything Bagel Quinoa Crackers
♡ Healthy Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Energy Bites
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy snack recipes!