G-Free Holidays ’20

Contamination/news/lots of recipes

Oatmeal with apples

Before we get into seasonal goodness, I’d like to highlight a wonderful video from Gluten-free Watchdog which is well worth your time! If you aren’t already a member, I also  encourage you to join. Below are highlights of the video, but I absolutely recommend you to watch it in full for many of the details around gluten testing:

Of 4% of foods tested are out of compliance—which means 96% are compliant.


The problematic foods are often grain-based foods–

  • 79% problem foods are grains
  • Of the problem foods, 45% are oat products

For oat products, choose only purity protocol oats. These are going to be the safest options.

Careful of lentils—they often have cross contamination. Look for ones that are purity protocol. New brands are out there, such as Avena foods, and keep your eyes open for new ones.

New problem—facial misbranding.

Marshmallows, naturally gluten-free. See below for recipes

Facial misbranding=products marked GF, but aren’t.

This is why we need to always read products carefully.

If there are problems, they must be reported to the FDA!

Again, the full link is here: https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/lessons-learned-from-16-years-of-testing-food-for-gluten/

More news:

Kate Scarlata has a great overview of where oats fit for a GFD

A wonderful upcoming webinar on mental health on a gluten-free diet on Dec 17th (free!)

Crohn’s and Colitis foundation has devoted their whole issue to diet and IBD this month. I’d recommend reading the whole thing, actually, if it’s a topic of interest. But if time is limited, I think the 2nd (Kelly Issokson’s) encapsulates the current understanding particularly well.

Strawberry meringue tart
Strawberry meringue tart

Holidays are here:

On an entirely different note, I always share holiday recipes. Here’s a list of naturally gluten-free recipes, which includes many of our favorites.

A new one I’ll be adding to the list—Strawberry meringue tarts.

And here’s a list of low FODMAP holiday recipes. Remember, they are only low FODMAP if you’re eating the recommended maximum portions.

Strawberry Meringue Tarts

AKA Kitchen therapy

I don’t know about you, but when I am stressed, I retreat to my kitchen. I have had enough of COVID. I am not a fan of cold weather. So I needed a mental health afternoon. Normally I play with strawberries most during June when we have them in the garden, but this is what was calling to me, and I adapted a few of our standard recipes and is what happened.

Strawberry meringue tart

These are adorable, gluten and dairy-free, lactose-free and as a bonus, they are low FODMAP. They do not transport or keep very well—but they should disappear quickly, so that point should be entirely moot.


Makes 6, 4-inch tarts

Tart crust
1 1/4 cups GF all purpose flour (I’ve used Jules GF and also King Arthur measure for measure)

2 TBSP almond flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. very cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Strawberry Meringue Tart inside
Strawberries inside!

Pulse dry ingredients with butter, then add yolk, vanilla and cold water. Chill dough for at least an hour in wax paper, can be done left in the fridge overnight as well.

Roll out on wax paper, press into tart pans. Prick with a fork in several places. Bake at 375

8 min covered, using pie weights (anything metal and sturdy works). Then bake for another 7 minutes. It may need 1-2 minutes more, until it is a *light* golden brown.


  • 4 cups =2 cups pureed strawberries + 2 cups sliced (separated)
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Puree 2 cups strawberries. Whisk water and cornstarch, add in strawberry puree. Heat on medium, whisking well, until boiling. Boil for 1 minute, whisking the whole time. Remove from heat. Allow to cool.

Place the other sliced strawberries in the tart shells, pour the strawberry filling evenly on top.


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Bring egg whites to room temp. Whip the egg whites and the cream of tartar until soft peaks form, ~5 min on high speed. Add sugar 1 TBSP at a time until you have stiff peaks, ~ 2 min more, then add vanilla. Pipe out in circles onto the tarts.

Bake for 12 minutes at 350 in the middle of the oven, or until the tops are nicely browning.

Enjoy right away. This is the easiest step.