If you or someone close to you follows a gluten-free diet, then you know firsthand how frustrating it can be around the holidays. All of the wheat-laden desserts, pies and cookies, not to mention casseroles with bread crumbs, stuffings and gravies. Fortunately these days there are more food manufacturers creating gluten-free options for serving on their own or as a replacement ingredient. Good gluten free cooking demands comparable alternatives for traditional flour and breadcrumbs for a wide range of holiday favorites, so we’ve put together a list of simple, delicious ideas to help you keep on track for a happy, healthy gluten-free holiday. All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and Baking Mixes Gluten helps provide texture to baked goods, making them light and airy. Natural alternatives such as xantham and guar gums are often used to achieve similar results. Many gluten-free baking mixes contain these natural additives, and are designed for you to use in your favorite recipes as a replacement for flour. Check package labels and instructions for best results. Thickening Flour is commonly used to thicken pie fillings, sauces and gravy, and sometimes soups and stews. Here are some tasty alternatives:
- Arrowroot or cornstarch – perfect for pie fillings and gravies. Our gluten free Foolproof Turkey Gravy is thickened with cornstarch.
- Rice flour and pureed potatoes, or all-natural potato flakes from a box of instant mashed potatoes can also be used to thicken gravies and sauces.
- Thicken soups with mashed or pureed potatoes or beans such as white beans.
- Gluten-free oats can be used to thicken pureed creamy soups. Simply throw in a handful, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, puree and serve.
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs are available for purchase, or you can easily make your own by gently toasting your favorite gluten-free bread and then processing to crumbs.
- To bake or pan sauté, coat meats, tofu or tempeh with cornmeal, rice flour, ground nuts such as almonds or pecans, and a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, garlic and onion granules, dried herbs, salt and pepper for extra flavoring.
- Potato flakes from a package of all-natural mashed potato mix makes a great coating, too!
Stuffing Traditionally made from bread or cornbread, gluten-free options include cornbread made with gluten-free flour, homemade or from a ready-to-prepare package. Bread stuffing is best made using gluten-free bread and following a favorite recipe as directed.
- Our Gluten-Free Bread Stuffing is a wonderful rendition of traditional stuffing.
- This Gluten-Free Cornbread can be used in your favorite cornbread stuffing recipe.
Alternatives to the traditional stuffing include wild and brown rice stuffing, potato stuffing, or stuffing made from cubed winter squash. A gorgeous side-dish is winter squash stuffed with wild or brown rice, or gluten-free bread stuffing.
- This Quinoa Pilaf makes delicious stuffing.
- Here’s a colorful Wild Rice Stuffed Mini Pumpkins recipe.
- For a hearty wonderful stuffing, try this Brown Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Apricots.
Baking Baking cookies, breads, muffins, and pies? We have a plethora of gluten-free options available that substitute wonderfully for traditional flour, including brown and white rice flour, corn meal, coconut flour and ground almond flour.
- This Gluten-Free Fruitcake is made with dried fruits and pecans.
- For absolute joy and decadence, our version of a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze can’t be beat.
- If you are baking pies this season, here’s an All Nut Crumb Crust that’s perfect for pumpkin pie, chocolate pie and banana cream pie.
- Baking Flourless Brownies is fun and hardly anyone will know the secret ingredient.
- Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins are wonderful and these Gluten-Free Carrot Date Muffins are equally delicious.
- For breakfast, you might really enjoy this gluten-free variation of Irish Soda Bread.
These days eating gluten free doesn’t mean giving up holiday favorites! Here’s our gastronomic guide to fabulous gluten-free holiday recipes. Are you planning a gluten-free holiday? Got a favorite tip or trick? We’d love to know!