Healthy Goldfish Crackers Recipe

Nothing says toddler snack time like goldfish crackers. Next to Cheerios, these crackers are found in car seats, strollers and snack cups all across North America. And I get it. They’re easy, inexpensive, and kids are crazy about them.

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!

But let’s not fool ourselves. Goldfish aren’t exactly nutrient dense.

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!So when my daughter discovered (and fell in love!) with these cute little crackers in her Sunday school class at church, I was pretty bummed.

Just as I did with my natural gummy bear recipe, I knew there had to be a way to make a healthy goldfish recipe.

Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish Crackers ingredient list

Unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), folic acid], cheddar cheese [(pasteurized cultured milk, salt, enzymes), annatto], vegetable oils (sunflower, canola and/or soybean), contains 2 percent or less of: salt, yeast, sugar, spices, autolyzed yeast, leavening (monocalcium phosphate, ammonium bicarbonate, baking soda) and onion powder.

Enriched flour is one of my pet peeves. It really isn’t necessary to give our kids synthetic forms of vitamins unless they’re malnourished or in very poor health (and even then, it’s questionable how beneficial they are).

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!

Could I create a healthy goldfish cracker recipe?

While I don’t like my kids snacking too often since it interferes with their mealtime appetites, I decided to accept the culinary challenge.

When you really break it down, the goldfish recipe consists of:

  • Flour (there are more healthy types)
  • Cheese (real cheese can be nutritious)
  • and some kind of fat (we know there are healthy fats out there!)

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!

Yes, I could!

I stumbled upon this recipe from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts and started tinkering in the kitchen to create a goldfish recipe that would make my daughter happy.

I decided to use cassava flour. This is a new Paleo darling that acts just like regular wheat or white flour in recipes (unlike almond and/or coconut). It’s also grain-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, which is great for those food allergies or compromised gut function.

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!Of course, there are plenty of organic, even grass-fed, cheeses that fit the bill. I like using a cheddar cheese to recreate the flavor of Goldfish. You can even use Sharp Cheddar for a stronger bite. Cheese is high in calcium, vitamin D, and good fat for growing kids.

Speaking of fat, I use organic butter since it bakes so well and is stable at room temperature. You could probably use refined coconut oil (that doesn’t have the coconut flavor) as an alternative. Despite what you may have of heard about saturated fats, these foods have nourished humankind for thousands of years. Breastmilk and colostrum, nature’s perfect and most nutrient-dense first food for baby, is over 50% saturated fat! So this is a great food for kids. Pastured butter is also high in butyric acid, which support the digestive tract and microbiome. Butter is also rich in vitamins A, D, and even K2.

How could I get that bright yellow color? Turmeric!

With the above mentioned ingredients, my goldfish recipe dough was more of a tannish color. So how could I match the bright yellow of traditional goldfish?

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!I added turmeric and, bingo, my crackers were starting to look like the real thing! What a happy coincidence, since turmeric is such an amazing superfood (check out our golden milk recipe to see why we love it). This ancient spice is one of the most studied in the world for its many health benefits. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is outstanding for reducing overall inflammation in the body. Turmeric is also extremely high in antioxidants, which support the body and ward off disease and premature aging. *Keep in mind that it does give the crackers a flavor. I would recommend only using 1 TB total if your child doesn’t like a curry-like taste.

DIY Goldfish Mold

Finally, I had Michael, aka Papa Natural, cut out a goldfish shape from an aluminum La Croix can to finish the look.

Alternatively, you could just cut the dough into square crackers a la Cheez Its :), which would be much easier and less time consuming.

DIY mold for homemade goldfish cracker recipe

Healthy Goldfish Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cassava flour (where to buy). (You could also use any whole grain flour.)
  • 8 ounces organic cheddar cheese
  • 4 TB organic butter
  • 5 TB of water
  • 1 TB of olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. of sea salt (where to buy)
  • 2 TB of turmeric (optional)* Use only 1 TB if you want the health benefits of turmeric but don’t want a strong flavor.
  • A toothpick (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grate cheddar cheese and put into food processor
  2. Cut up butter into small cubes and add to food processor
  3. Add flour, salt, turmeric, and olive oil
  4. Blend in food processor until a dough starts to form
  5. Slowly add in 5 TB of water and continue to blend
  6. Scoop out your dough and put in covered dish
  7. Let dough chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes

Once this is done, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take out your dough and pat out flat to about 1/8 inch thick. You can use a roller pin, but I found it stuck too much and was easier with hands. (In subsequent batches, I used a kombucha bottle as a roller pin and it worked great!)

Cut into squares or use your DIY goldfish mold. Use toothpick to add eyes and smiles to your crackers (optional). Put shaped crackers onto baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Additional Notes:

This recipe makes about 100 goldfish. I usually like to double and make a bigger amount, as they go fast! Store sealed in cool, dry place. Eat within 7 days.

There you have it – a healthy (and sure, high maintenance) snack for kids

Here's a healthy homemade goldfish cracker recipe made with cassava flour and, yes, turmeric! Tastier than conventional goldfish, and kids love them!Who knew kids would love turmeric so much? Even my son’s friend, who was used to the real thing, told me these were “delicious.” His mom even texted me, saying that he kept asking about these crackers. So there you have it! Kid-approved, healthy goldfish!

How about you?

Do your kids like goldfish crackers? What healthy snacks do you like to give your kids? Share with us in the comments below!

 

43 Comments

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  1. Hey there! I just stumbled across this recipe after trying a different one from Pinterest. I’m excited to try it! But I don’t have cassava flour. I have frozen yuca chunks and green banana flour. Do you think if I boil and cool the yuca I could just add that into the recipe? (I’ve made tortillas like that). Or, do you think using 3/4 cup green banana flour would work better? (I know I know all these substitution questions are annoying ?) thank you for any tips! Excited to try these!

  2. My girls can not tolerate cows milk. We get raw goat cheese that seems to have a similar consistency to a dry cheddar. Do you think that would work? My oldest daughter is 4 and in preschool and has never had a cracker as we eat mostly paleo. I think at some point I would like to make her these since she sees all the kids at school eating them and has expressed interest. I was thinking of using ghee in place of the butter. Any thoughts?

    • I was thinking the same thing! I would do ghee but not sure what to do about dairy. I haven’t tried goats milk though…

  3. Did mine not turn out because i used tapioca flour instead of cassava flour? I thought they were the same thing??

    • No, they aren’t. While they both are from the cassava root, tapioca flour removes the dietary fiber so it doesn’t absorb the fat in the same way. Use cassava flour only in order for this recipe to work.

  4. I halved the turmeric because it’s not something we eat a large amount of and I was glad I did because, while we could still taste it a little it did not overpower. I cut mine with a round cookie cutter about the size of a Ritz cracked and poked holes in the top with a fork just once per cracker. They turned out great. Today was my first time using cassava flour, first I made pop tarts and now these. The texture is really good for gluten free. The thing that has always kept me away is the high carb count in cassava but with the cheese in these it makes a better mix of fats, carbs and protein. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Thanks for sharing. I’ve updated the recipe with a turmeric “warning” . So glad you liked!

  5. I just found this recipe and made a batch. They taste great but they’re a bit too cheesy/fatty. Do you think it’s because I used oat flour? Also, I used 8 ounces of cheese by weight. Was that too much? Thanks!

    • Yes, I do think it could be the oat flour. Cassava flour is very high in dietary fiber and absorbs the fat from the cheese very well.

  6. Did you weigh 8oz or measure in a cup the cheese ?

    • I just used a packet of cheese that was 8 ounces as this is a common way it’s sold.

  7. My kid is allergic to cheese. Do you have any ideas to use instead of cheese?
    I thought maybe a homemade ranch seasoning or even garlic seasoning?

  8. What’s TB mean???

  9. Hey mama! I’m so glad I found you. I just finished making your goldfish crackers and they are delish. I can totally relate to the church snacks, I got so frustrated at the amount of crap they are feeding the kids during snack time that I decided to take over the snack buying. I found apple chips and make fruit roll ups and dried bananas. I look forward to sharing these with the kids as well.
    Thank you!!

  10. Genevieve,

    I found your website a few months ago and I have really enjoyed your blog posts and your videos. I’m wondering how do you keep your kiddos diet limited in artificial and processed foods now that your oldest is in school. Specifically how do you do this without making the kids feel like they are missing out on the oreo/goldfish, etc. that other peers are enjoying? I would love to watch a video or read a blog post about how you manage this balance.

    • From time to time, our kids will get a treat at school. But my son has been known to ask the teacher, “Is this a healthy treat?” And if they say know, he’ll decline. That’s a child raised on real food for ya!

  11. Hello 🙂 I write to you from Poland 🙂 I realy like your website:) and I really like this receipt. I have a question.. Cassava flour is not very popular in Poland, so I don’t know ii every cassava flour is good? Or is it has to be organic? I hope you know what I mean.. My english Is not perfect 😀

    • I made it with whole wheat flour and they turned out good if you have that available. I like the King Author brand.

      • To note, it was whole grain, whole wheat*

  12. Made these today for my son who was also introduced to the original in his toddler class at church :/ . Came out great!! He loved them and the taste is similar to the processed goldfish. Will prob cut turmeric in half next time because the taste of it was a bit strong and it turns everything yellow including hands and clothes. To make rolling easier I did it between two sheets of parchment. No problem and no sticking. This is the first thing I’ve made with cassava flour and I’m very impressed.

  13. Will tapioca four work instead of cassava? Thanks G!

    • *flour

  14. Hi:)
    Maybe you know If IT will work with coconut flour?
    Thank you for a great fish 😉

  15. Love the little Fish cracker cutter. Would love to have him in my Cookie cutter collection.

  16. What temperature for the oven??????

  17. Ha! I was just wondering if you would put out an alternative recipe for goldfish crackers! Thank you thank you thank you mwah 🙂

  18. What temperature did you set the oven to? These look so cute! Good job, mama!

  19. You are amazing. Too funny, but I currently have that same fishing game scattered across my floor and also just happened to be sipping a La Croix water when I checked out this recipe. 🙂

  20. Love this idea!

    What temperature did you bake the crackers at?

  21. Will try these for the children. They love them! We are on the journey of healthy whole food eating. Will let you know how they turn out. Thanks!

  22. Love the homemade goldfish!! Do you need to refrigerate these snack given the cheese/butter? Thanks!

    • I didn’t since they are high in stable saturated fat.

  23. Oh man! Those gold fish crackers can be quite the challenge!

    • If you make them into squares, they take about 20 minutes to make 🙂

  24. Love this! Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

    We do whole grain wheat flour – do you think switching that for the cassava flour would require any other switches?

    • Whole grain flour would work with same ratios of cheese/butter, etc. Enjoy!

  25. If there’s any way to contact you please let me know! I need honest help and I respect you so much!

    • Yes, please email me at mama at mama natural dot com.

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