For many people, the holiday season is one of the most challenging times to be gluten-free. Food is everywhere, and there’s lots of temptation. And, of course, it’s necessary to reinvent lots of old family traditions.I’ve highlighted some of my favorite tips for staying SANE and gluten-free here from Simply Gluten-Free Magazine.
So…onto the food, right? Some of us aren’t all about mixing 5 different gluten-free flours and whipping out the xantham gum. I’ve collected a list of NATURALLY gluten-free desserts over the years—tried and true recipes that aren’t specialty cooking, but just happen to be marvelously gluten-free.
Remember, these foods are only GF if you use GF ingredients. And as always, check labels to avoid surprises. A surprising number of chocolates contain traces of gluten, including Lindt, Ghiradelli, Godiva and many of the Trader Joe’s options. I’ve got lists of chocolates listed gluten-free here and here.
There’s a range of allergy-friendly, grain-free, low sugar and completely decadent options, but there are enough options to choose from that you can surely find something that works for your lifestyle/food restrictions 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 beware)
- 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,<–this version is dairy free (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)
- Truffles (EF)
- Watermelon (DF, SF, EF, NF)
dairy free (DF), egg free (EF) and soy free (SF), NF (nut free) *=check labels
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.
Oh, right, and there’s holiday food, too. I’ve got a G-Free Turkey and Ham list.
More recipes from around the web:
- A roundup of gluten-free favorites on Gluten-free Homemaker
- The Dec issue of Simply Gluten-Free is online and has many beautiful recipes
- 25 Christmas cookies from Only Taste Matters
- 20 Gluten-Free recipes from The Kitchn
- Jules Shepard is again hosting a g-free cookie swap, where you can get a ton of ideas, or enter to win prizes. Or you can just ogle the pictures. 😉
- Just saw a roundup of 50 gluten-free & grain free holiday desserts from Gormande
- Iris of the Daily Dietribe has a list of 30 g-free cookies
- G-Free Kid has a PDF of holiday favorites
- Some Paleo Christmas treats from Paleo Parents
- 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
Wishing you a peaceful season!
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! 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. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.