What can I substitute for graham crackers in s’mores?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for graham crackers in smores?. We will elaborate on different substitutes of Graham crackers along with their advantages and disadvantages.

What can I substitute for graham crackers in s’mores?

If you are short on graham crackers and are desperately looking for its substitutes, do not worry, here in this article we have prepared a list of substances that can be used as an alternative to graham crackers in s’mores.

  • Pretzels
  • Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps
  • Ritz crackers
  • Saltines
  • Pringles
  • Potato chips 

What are Graham crackers?

Graham crackers are sweet flavored crackers that are made by using graham flour. They can be utilized in various ways like you can eat them as a snack food. The flavor of Graham crackers is usually honey or cinnamon. They are used as an ingredient in various foods.

The Graham crackers were originally made with Graham flour, as well as the Graham bread. The Graham flour is a whole wheat flour, but more coarsely milled, created by a Presbytarian minister called Sylvester Graham. A temperance supporter, his wellness ideology inspired the creation of graham bread and graham crackers. Credited with creating the first fad diet, Graham believed consuming solely whole wheat grain products, with the fullest possible amount of bran and wheat germ, prevented acts of gluttony and debauchery (1).

Common substitutes for Graham crackers in s’mores

Pretzels

Pretzel is basically a baked pastry. This is prepared from a dough that has a knot shape. The dough is fermented with yeast and is thus similar to bread (3).

Among many seasons of Pretzels, salt is the most common one. Salt is known to have complementary properties as it complements soda or lye treatment. Soda treatment provides traditional skin and flavor to the pretzel. The lye is a 1 or 2% solution of sodium hydroxide (more rarely a 2% solution of sodium carbonate) at a temperature higher than 65°C. After passing through the lye bath, and before baking, it is normal to dust with a small amount of coarse crystal or flake salt (3).

Advantages: The caloric content of pretzels is lower as compared to some other snacks. Pretzels are high in fiber content. By eating Pretzels, daily intake of minerals can be fulfilled. 

These minerals are very effective to aid the strength of our immune system. As enriched flour is used to make pretzels, the amount of Vitamin B2 is also sufficient in Pretzels.

Disadvantages: Although pretzels provide multiple nutrients to our body, the amount of protein in pretzels is much lower, thus it requires a low protein flour for its manufacturing. The quantity of salt in pretzels is comparatively high as compared to other snacks (3). 

Sodium content present in pretzels can lead the body towards many worse situations like high blood pressure and heart related diseases.

Ritz crackers

Ritz crackers are one of the many brands of snack crackers. The shape of the original Ritz crackers is disc-like. Salt content is also low. Seven perforations and a fine shaped scalloped edge are present in Ritz crackers. Mondelez owns the brand of Ritz crackers. 

Ritz cracker belongs to the type biscuits that are variously salted, flavored and fat-sprayed after baking. Because they are made in a very wide range of shapes and sizes they can be regarded as savory snacks, nibbles or biscuits for cheese. These biscuits are characterized by very open textures and soft eating mouthfeel. This texture is created by the action of proteolytic enzymes on the gluten in the dough and the use of high levels of ammonium bicarbonate (3).

Advantages: Ritz crackers have a sufficient amount of fibers. This fiber is very essential for healthy elimination. The amount of required insulin is also decreased by using Ritz crackers as these slow down the absorption of sugar. Also Ritz crackers are a very economical choice as their cost is only 15 cents per serving.  

Disadvantages: A trans-fat present in Ritz crackers is very dangerous for our health. Due to this reason, it is banned in many countries. That trans-fat is partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil.  

The amount of dietary fiber present in Ritz crackers is almost negligible due to which it is not very fulfilling. Eating it in high amounts can lead to obesity.

Saltines

The main ingredients of saltine crackers are white flour, yeast, baking soda and a minute quantity of coarse salt. The texture of saltines is crispy. The surface of saltines crackers is dry as well as it has perforations over its surface. Premium, Plus, Nabisco, Sunshine and Keebler are some popular brands of saltine crackers.

These crackers are typical of the USA where they may be known as soda or premium crackers. They tend to be made and eaten in countries that do not have cream crackers. Typically, the crackers are squares but much smaller than cream crackers. They are made by the sponge and dough method and a significant amount of sodium bicarbonate is added at the dough stage which gives them a higher pH than cream crackers and hence the name ‘soda crackers’. As for cream crackers there has been some confusion in the naming of soda crackers and some ‘soda crackers’ are leavened with ammonium bicarbonate and oil sprayed like savory crackers (3).

Advantages: Diet containing saltines is recommended for patients suffering from cancer as it provides a lot of healthy nutrients. People who are sick due to diarrhea must prefer saltines as these have low fiber content and help to fight ailments. Saltines are made with the whole wheat grain so provide multiple minerals.

Disadvantages: Saltines consumption can lead to high blood pressure due to the high amount of sodium present in it. The risk of heart diseases also increases by the consumption of saltine crackers. Overeating of saltines can lead to sugar problems.

Potato chips

The alternative name of potato chips is crisp. Potato chips are basically a thin slice of potato. These thin slices are either deep-fried or baked so that they become crunchy. These can be served in various forms like as a snack, appetizer or side dish. 

Flavoring and some particular ingredients are used to make special types of potato chips. Otherwise to make basic potato chips, only cooking and salting is done.

Advantages: Moderate amount of potato chips is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure as low amounts of sodium are present in them. Muscle movement, learning, and memory can be enhanced by eating potato chips as potatoes contain choline.

However, these substitutes cannot offer the health benefits of the graham crackers, which are provided by its whole wheat flour. Whole grains are rich sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals including phenolics, carotenoids, vitamin E, lignans, b-glucan, inulin, resistant starch, sterols, and phytates. The consumption of whole grains and whole grain products has been associated with reduced risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and all-cause mortality. Studies show that the phenolic content of the bran/germ fraction was 15–18-fold higher when compared to the corresponding starchy endosperm samples. In whole grain wheat flour, the bran/germ fraction contributed 83% of total phenolic content, 79% of total flavonoid content, 78% of total zeaxanthin, 51% of total lutein, and 42% of total b-cryptoxanthin (4).. 

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “What can I substitute for graham crackers in smores?. We have also elaborated on different substitutes of Graham crackers along with their advantages and disadvantages.

References

  1. Caranna, A.L. Graham Bread, Temperance Reformers, and America’s First Fad Diet. 2020. University of Michigan 
  2. Okarter, Neal. Whole wheat phytochemicals and potential health benefit. 2010. Cornell University.
  3. Manley, Duncan. Biscuit, cracker and cookie recipes for the food industry. Elsevier, 2001.
  4. Liu, Rui Hai. Whole grain phytochemicals and health. J cereal sci, 2007, 46, 207-219.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.