I cannot think of another processed food that has become more embedded in the minds of children than Pepperidge Farms’ Goldfish Crackers. While they are not only just naturally entertaining in design (brilliant marketing if you ask me), they are the perfect size for kindergarten age fingers to expertly handle while they learn to count, group, and add. And of course the real “reward” is that you get to eat them when the math lesson is over! (Although personally, I think raisins, carrot sticks and/or apple slices would make even better counting devices!).
This goldfish phenomenon was my first “crisis” moment as the mother of a gluten-free child, the “clouds-parting-angels-singing-sun-shining” moment when I knew what my mission for this blog would be. Little did I know at the time that my attempt to recreate this seemingly innocuous little morsel of cheese-flavored gluten would be the start of a two-and-half year odyssey to document my successes (and failures) in my endeavor to provide my kids with as “normal” a life as possible.
Plants or Zombies?
And then “the powers that be” decided to have a little fun with me by kicking it up a notch in the challenge category. A real life Plants vs. Zombies game if you will. Have you ever played that game? If you haven’t, don’t start, it will suck mind numbing hours from your day. If you have, then you will understand when I say that for me, the past 18 months have been something akin to “A huge wave of zombies are approaching.”
Dairy zombies, egg zombies and corn zombies (a.k.a. allergies) if you’d like specifics.
Birth of a Glutadoodle
This was when I cracked and the “glutadoodle” (gluten + wackadoodle) in me was born. I was not about to give up my Goldfish!
You can make dairy-free, gluten-free Goldfish with vegan cheese, Daiya works well as far as making the dough but there is not much cheese flavor in the crackers. You can bump up the tang a bit by subbing the milk called for in the recipe with a dairy-free buttermilk but what can I say, there really isn’t a true flavor substitute for real cheese. And yes, cheese is still a slightly sore subject for me.
So that’s when I decided to take a cue from Pepperidge Farms and develop my own extensive line of gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and corn-free Goldfish varieties!
To make chocolate goldfish, I use the same dough recipe that I use for making gluten-free “Oreos.”
Graham Cracker Goldfish
I also make gluten-free Goldfish grahams using a recipe from Living Without magazine (sorry, no picture of the little fishies), but here is a photo of the gluten-free graham crackers:
Learn more about making your own Soy-Free, Vegan Butter.
Learn more about making homemade corn-free and egg-free marshmallows.
Learn more about making gluten-free, corn-free and egg-free pasta.
Learn more about making gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, MSG-free, soy-free and nut-free Ranch dressing.
Think Different (then go to therapy)
See, this is what I meant when I said to “think different.” I discovered somewhere along the way that my kids didn’t care about the cheesy Goldfish, they cared about the Goldfish shape!
Hey, hey, I think I’m starting to get the hang of this parenting thing!
And so I give you the original Gluten Free Goldfish Cracker Recipe, the first step I took into madness and ecstasy, failure upon failure followed by a resounding success.
I have received many questions over the years since it was originally posted, but the top two requests have been how to make the crackers corn-free and also if I could do a photo tutorial. So today, we are going to demystify the almighty gluten free Goldfish cracker and Roben Ryberg has graciously given me permission to share her rice-flour version of the original recipe (with a few of my added tweaks)!
But first, you’ll need one of these…
Goldfish Mini Cookie Cutter
You can find the goldfish cookie cutter that I use at CopperGifts.com.
Goldfish Crackers: Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free
I made these crackers for my newly gluten free sister and her son and I’m happy to report that once again, they were a resounding success. Thanks Roben!
If dairy is allowed in your diet, I strongly urge you to use organic dairy products from grass-fed cows whenever possible.
Now bake’ em up and pop ‘em in yo mouth!
Now come forth young Goldfish Padawans
And may the “fish” be with you!
Yeah, I really need more estrogen in my life…
This post was brought to you by Gluten-Free 101.
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