Homemade Graham Crackers
Well, the last long weekend of summer is officially here. It's a bittersweet time as we soak up the last bits of long, sunny, summer days. Even though I'm no longer a student, I still feel that pang of anxiety as September approaches and as we begin to feel the subtle changes in the air. I never want the sunny carefree days to end; there's such a lovely sense of freedom that summer brings.
So, in honour of savouring our last bite of summer, I present you with a healthified version of the ultimate long weekend cookie, GRAHAM CRACKERS!
What makes these Grahams healthier?
Oat flour is used to replace commonly used wheat flour. Unlike other grains, the bran and germ remain intact in oats, even through the hulling process, which provides a concentrated source of their fibre and nutrients. Oats are proven to be a great source of minerals, as they are high in manganese, selenium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. Oats are also naturally gluten-free but can become contaminated when processed in facilities that also process wheat, so if gluten is an issue for you be sure to look for certified gluten-free oats.
These Graham Crackers are also naturally sweetened, using coconut sugar. Believe it or not, coconut sugar is more than just "empty calories", unlike common table sugar (refined cane sugar). Just like oats, many vitamins and minerals stay intact through the processing of coconut sugar; these include zinc, magnesium, calcium and copper (to name a few).
Thankfully, traditional Graham Crackers do contain Cinnamon, but these days we always have to watch out for fake and even the deceiving "natural" flavour. True Cinnamon (Ceylon Cinnamon) provides numerous health benefits. One being, its high content of Polyphenols, which are a potent form of antioxidants (they are also found in red wine, green tea and chocolate). These specific antioxidants are proven to be protective against heart disease as well as various cancers, especially of the gastrointestinal tract. Cinnamon is also known to reduce insulin resistance (which can lead to type 2 diabetes), allowing this important hormone to do its job; transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells (regulating blood sugar). On top of that, Cinnamaldehyde, an active component in cinnamon, is known to be anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, helping to fight various infections. It also has a warming effect, hence why it's commonly used in the autumn months, when the cooler weather drifts in, and our immune systems get a run for their money.
Indulging in a sweet treat doesn't have to mean throwing your health out the window. If we have the knowledge and resources, we can mindfully choose healthier options and thankfully, they are becoming more accessible as we collectively become more mindful of what we choose to put in our bodies.
Now, let's make some Healthy Homemade Graham Crackers!
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