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Back from Camp … and GF Graham Crackers!

2012 July 22

We are so glad to have our camper back from Silver Birch Ranch this week.  It has been fun hearing all the camp events and stories of the week away… horseback riding (I was very surprised this was a chosen activity!), archery and shooting range, swimming in the lake and passing the “swim test”, tubing and kayaking, team games, “gaga” ball (from which our camper received a sprained wrist), and many more.  Then, of course, there was talk about the food, campfires, and camp songs…  it was truly a great time.  We felt blessed to have had such a wonderful team of people involved in the life of our camper!  From our youth pastor and his staff, the young man and father who volunteered to be the cabin counselors, to the food director at SBR who planned how to feed our child along the camp’s menu for the week… our family is so grateful for all of their efforts!

I did learn a few things as the mom of a camper who has significant food and environmental allergies:

  1. Spend plenty of time in prayer… before camp begins.  That was so helpful to have fully given the week over to God and His plans before it even began.  On top of that, I recruited several close friends and family members to pray with me during the week of camp.  I was so at peace with my camper being a way and it was directly related to all the prayer.  I am sure of that!
  2. Prepare ahead by calling and asking questions.  Sending allergy free food was a must.  So, the planning that went into figuring out what to send was very helpful.
  3. No need to send the allergy free “munch-y” snacks.  This is about the only thing that came back to me unopened!  After hearing about the canteen that offered snacks, I will forgo sending chips and snack bars next year.  There was plenty of that to choose from and much of it was allergy free.
  4. It was okay to “let go”…  camp was just one of many “letting go” experiences in the life of my child.  I will do it all over again next year!

Finally, where there are marshmallows and campfire… there are graham crackers.  I knew this ahead of time, so I made sure to pack my homemade gluten free graham crackers.  At campfire time, these were a welcome addition to the roasted marshmallows from what I was told!  I have been making these graham’s for a long time and one batch just never lasts long enough in our house.  When I have made them for farmers markets, these gluten free grahams are a sure sellout with customers saying how great they are.  There are good stand-in’s at the grocery today for those who have to avoid gluten.  But I encourage you to try making a batch from scratch… you will not be disappointed! 

GF Graham Crackers… 3 versions!

In the picture, you see three variations of my GF graham’s… to the left are the rice flour based grahams (they are lighter in color) that I have provided the recipe for below.  In the middle and to the right are GF graham crackers made with a dark Teff and Quinoa flour blend, making them grain free.  I will provide the recipe for these crackers in an article to follow!

GF Graham Crackers


  • 2 1/4 cups GF Flour Mix (specifically use the following mix:  2 cups Brown Rice Flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup millet flour, 3/4 cup tapioca starch flour, 3/4 cup sweet rice flour, and 2 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp + 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 oz. coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 Tbls cold water
  • 3 Tbls honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp GF vanilla
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix up the GF Flour Mix using the whisk attachment so that the flours are thoroughly mixed together.  Pour into a storage container and then portion out the 2 1/4 cups of GF Flour Mix for the recipe back into the mixing bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and whisk together.
  3. Change to the paddle attachment and add the melted coconut oil.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients resemble wet sand.
  4. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients with the mixer running on low speed.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until well combined.  The dough might come together in a ball.  If not, stop the mixer and make sure you can form a ball that stays together in your hand with the dough.  If not, mix in some more cold water until this happens.
  5. Remove the dough and separate into three or four equal balls, wrap in saran wrap, press down into a flattened disk and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight.
  6. While dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. When dough is chilled, remove one dough disk from the refrigerator and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  8. You can transfer this directly to the prepared baking sheet by lifting the parchment paper; or, using a pizza cutter and a ruler, cut the dough into equal rectangles.  Then transfer each rectangle to the prepared baking sheet by hand.
  9. Repeat with all the remaining chilled dough.  Then prick the crackers all over with a fork to keep them from puffing up too much when baking.
  10. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated 325 degree oven on the middle rack.  You can bake two sheets at a time as well.  Rotate the pan after 8 minutes, and bake an additional 8 minutes more.  You want the crackers to be golden brown.  They will harden as they cool, so remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack.

Note:  In these pictures, I went to great lengths to shape them into rectangles resembling those from a grocery store box… but you don’t have to do that.  Admittedly, it is a lot of work to get them to look like that!  So, you can save time and just bake them off as one giant cookie, cool to harden and then break into pieces.  They are just as good!

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