I can’t quite believe that it’s December, and yet here we are. For many people, the holiday season is one of the most challenging times to be gluten-free. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite tips for staying SANE and gluten-free here, in the new Simply Gluten-Free Magazine.
And yet there are so many more great recipes out there.
But for many people, it s easier to make some desserts that happen to be gluten free, rather than gluten free adaptations of “normal” foods. Foods that are naturally gluten-free avoid the expensive specialty flours. Personally, I am not a fan of spending a lot for specialty flours when I’m sharing with many non-GF folks. This avoids the inevitable complaints of friends or family who won’t even try GF foods just because they’ve decided they won’t like it. There are a lot of treats which just happen to be GF, or mostly GF. You can find recipes in normal cookbooks, or maybe you have family recipes and didn’t realize they were safe! Here’s a list of treats from people at my classes I’ve marked the desserts that are naturally or easily made dairy free (DF), egg free (EF) and soy free (SF), NF (nut free)because many people are dealing with several issues. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. There are many more out there, but these are just to get your thoughts going. Remember, these foods are only GF if you use GF ingredients. And as always, check labels to avoid surprises.
Some of these are healthy, some not, but there are enough options to choose from that you can surely find something that works for your lifestyle that you and your family can enjoy together.
- Baked apples
- Candied orange peel (DF, EF, SF, NF)
- Caramelized bananas or Bananas Foster
- Candy canes! Dipped in (dairy free) chocolate or plain (DF, EF, NF)
- Chocolate bark (DF, EF)
- Chocolate mousse (NF)
- Christmas pudding/plum pudding
- Crème brulee (NF)
- Cheesecake-use any gf cookie crumbs for the crust, or do a crustless cheesecake (NF)
- Chocolates: make your own with a mold or buy
- Chocolate covered: strawberries, cherries, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, etc. (can be DF or NF)
- Clementines (DF, EF, NF)
- Clementine cake (DF)
- Custard (NF)
- Dessert soufflé
- Dried fruit (DF, EF, NF)
- Divinity (DF, NF)
- Flourless tortes
- Fondue, using chocolate and a variety of fruit and GF cookies (DF*, EF, NF)
- Fruit crisp (any gf flour or quinoa flakes for topping) (DF, EF)
- Fruit and whipped cream (EF, SF, NF)
- Fudge (EF)
- Hard candies (DF*, NF*)
- Hot chocolate (EF, NF)
- Ice cream/frozen yogurt (check labels!)
- Jello (DF, EF, NF)
- Mango with sticky rice (DF, EF, NF)
- Marshmallows (DF, NF)
- Meringue cookies (DF, SF, NF)
- Marzipan (some say glucose derived from wheat, so do check labels as always)
- Nut or seed brittle (DF*, EF)
- Panna Cotta (EF)
- Pavlova (meringue cake) (DF)
- Peanut butter cookies (DF) or a nut free, sunbutter cookies
- Poached pears (DF, EF, SF, NF)
- Popcorn clusters or caramel corn (EF)
- Popcorn cake (EF)
- Pralines (EF)
- Pumpkin seeds (DF, EF, SF, NF)
- Pudding pie with almond or cookie crumble crust
- Rice pudding ( EF, NF)
- Rice krispie bars using puffed rice (EF)
- Roasted chestnuts. (DF, EF, SF) Not quite dessert, but an amazingly seasonal yummy snack.
- Sorbet (DF, EF)
- Toffee (EF)
- Torte (here’s my chocolate hazelnut torte)
- Truffles (EF)
- Watermelon (DF, SF, EF, NF)
Not that these are healthy by any stretch of the imagination, BUT Martha Stewart has a slideshow and recipes of 40 holiday candies, all of which (at a quick glance) are GF. Of course, you need to make sure the chocolate is GF, be mindful of cross contamination, etc. but this is an easy way to keep traditions without venturing into specialty flours and unfamiliar territory.
- Sandy really hit close to home, both literally (near where I grew up) and figuratively. I put together a list of food must-haves to have on hand, because it’s better to be prepared than scramble for gluten-free foods.
- It’s soup season. Here’s a guide to finding soups without BPA, a chemical linked with a variety of health concerns.
- The Washington Post highlighted Chia, Nutrition’s New Pet Project and included some of my thoughts on this gluten-free nutritious seed.
- The new issue of Simply Gluten-Free is online and has many beautiful recipes
- Jules Shepard is again hosting a g-free cookie swap, where you can get ideas and prizes
- Iris of the Daily Dietribe has a list of 30 g-free cookies
- G-Free Kid has a PDF of holiday favorites
- Gluten Free Girl and the Chef has a great selection of cookies
- A gargantuan Home for the Holidays from GFE and many others
- The delicious Ms. Shirley Braden of GFE has an all desserts blog, All Gluten-Free Desserts with many options perfect for the holidays
- Simply Sugar and Gluten Free Christmas recipes
- 25 days of Christmas from Gluten Free Easily 2010
- Celiac Family’s Favorites
- Gluten Free Merry Christmas from the Whole Gang
- Gluten and Dairy free Holiday tips from Gluten Free Goddess
- Christmas Cookie Roundup (from my cookie exchange)
- Christmas cookie roundup from Ginger Lemon Girl & I’d also recommend her GF 101 Cooking e-book!
- A roundup from Elana’s Pantry
If you’re not hungry yet, I don’t know what to say!
As always, wishing you and yours a joyful, peaceful and yummy holiday season.
Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist and Certified WellCoach in Fairfax & Alexandria, VA. Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. Email her or call 571-271-8742.