Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it, too (as a part of a balanced diet, of course!). We’ve asked a few gluten-free bloggers and cookbook authors to share some gluten-free dessert ideas as well as a few tried-and-true tips for cooking and baking sans gluten.
Elana Amsterdam from Elana’s Pantry
Almond flour is my secret ingredient when it comes to gluten-free desserts. It’s highly nutritious and super easy to use, which makes it very appealing. Most importantly, almond flour is incredibly tasty and yields amazingly delicious baked goods. It’s also healthier than rice flour and wheat flour. With almond flour, there’s no need to feel restricted on a gluten-free diet.
Elana’s Tip: Try almond flour for great-tasting, easy, healthy baked desserts.
Try Elana’s recipe for Flourless Chocolate Banana Cake.
Emma Galloway from My Darling Lemon Thyme
As a former pastry chef, it will come as no surprise that I have a sweet tooth. I spent years working in kitchens surrounded by white wheat flour, refined white sugar, and butter–and while I loved my job, the desserts I make at home nowadays are more wholesome and nutritious than those from my former life.
What I really love are raw desserts. Not only are they naturally gluten and dairy-free, but they’re also made using natural sweeteners and healthy fats such as virgin coconut oil. While my family and I don’t sit down to dessert every night and we’re usually satisfied with a piece of fruit or a few medjool dates, I often keep raw treats in the freezer for after-dinner sweet cravings should I want something more.
Emma’s Tip: Try raw desserts for a change of pace.
Try Emma’s recipe for Little Raw Carrot Cakes with Orange Maple Cream.
Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple
We’ve all seen the homemade peanut butters in our local markets, but why not try a new nut? You can whip up a tasty dressing, marinade, dip, or sauce by making nut butters with pecans, macadamia nuts, or pistachios. These can easily be stored in the fridge for use throughout the week on toast, oatmeal, or wrapped in a tortilla with a banana, unsweetened coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Or simply enjoy spread atop freshly sliced pears and apples.
Amie’s Tip: Branch out and try a variety of nutritious nuts.
Try Amie’s recipe for Gluten-Free Vegan Almond Cookies.
Mary Fran Wiley from Franny Cakes
If you’re gluten-free, the most important thing to do is to focus on all the things you can have, and be willing to try new things. So many things are naturally gluten-free — like fruits, veggies, rice, and dairy, which are all easy to use and familiar. You might be surprised how many of your favorite recipes you can still indulge in, sometimes as is, or with a simple swap. With desserts, I start with what is familiar and already gluten-free. Fruit crisps are an easy, naturally gluten-free dessert.
When baking a cake or cookie, it’s incredibly helpful to have a kitchen scale to weigh all of your ingredients. Gluten-free baking is less forgiving than traditional baking, so the precision of a scale can make a huge difference in your success rate. (Also, try brownies–they’re always delicious, even when they fail!).
Mary Fran’s Tips: Start with familiar recipes and ingredients, and buy a kitchen scale if you’re going to bake gluten-free.
Try Mary Fran’s recipe for Gluten-free Mexican Spice Brownies.
Sabrina Modelle from The Tomato Tart
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you’re ditching something that has been a part of your life forever–like gluten. Since tossing gluten out, I’ve eaten some of the most scrumptious desserts imaginable. The trick has been learning the properties of different gluten-free flours and experimenting. Also, there are so many desserts that are naturally gluten-free, like chia pudding. With a little creativity, there’s no limit to what you can do.
Sabrina’s Tip: Get to know gluten-free flours.
Try Sabrina’s recipe for Grain-Free Lactose-Free Greek Yogurt Parfaits.
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