Mother’s Day Gluten Free Recipe Roundup!

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re in need of Mother’s Day gluten free recipe ideas, you’ve come to the right place! Twenty-two tried and true gluten free recipe favorite give you plenty of ways to treat mom to something homemade, cheerful, safe and yummy — spoil her (and to my family: her = me!).

Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffin resized

Jumbo Lemon Poppyseed muffins for Mother’s Day – so cheerful and sweet, just like mom!

Gluten Free Mother's Day Recipes gfJules

 

The funny thing about Mother’s Day meals — and if you’re a mom, you know exactly what I’m going to say — mom always seems to have to get all the ingredients together and practically (or totally) make it for herself … or she gets taken out to eat. When you’re gluten free, both options become more complicated.

berenstain bearsI think back to a book that made me giggle every time I used to read it to my kids (suggestively perhaps) at this time of year: The Berenstain Bears and the Mama’s Day Surprise! Poor Mama Bear had to surreptitiously scramble around to make sure all the ingredients were in the house for Papa Bear and the cubs to make her favorite breakfast. Then she would lie in bed listening to all the commotion, dreading the kitchen she was going to have to clean up afterwards.

The big surprise in this case (spoiler alert!) was that this time they actually cleaned up without her! Ah, such blissful fantasy in children’s books … but I digress.

hoodwinked

“Be Prepared!”

Whether you’re the mama bear gathering necessary ingredients, or the papa bear, cub or other loving family member preparing breakfast for the mama in your life, these recipes will make things a bit easier. Simple, easy to prepare, delicious and of course, gluten free.

It’s not hard to make a wonderful breakfast in bed for your mama bear, just be prepared (reminds me of another children’s favorite, Hoodwinked … again, I digress).

Also check my GF Mother’s Day Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Breakfast Classics:

Gluten Free Pancakes (or gfJules Pancake & Waffle Mix)

Gluten Free Belgian Waffles (or gfJules Pancake & Waffle Mix)

gluten free Belgian Waffles - gfJules pancake waffle mix

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Cinnamon Rolls

EASY 52 Minute Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns

iced gluten free cinnamon buns in pan

Gluten Free Biscuits (and how-to video)

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins (or gfJules Muffin Mix)

 

gluten free blueberry muffin basket

Fresh blueberry muffins will make the whole house smell amazing on Mother’s Day morning!

 

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Gluten Free English Muffins

Gluten Free English Muffins

You never have to tell mom how easy it was to make these homemade gluten free English Muffins!

New Breakfast Favorites:

Gluten Free Scones

gluten free blueberry scones

Gluten free scones with any fresh berries or even chocolate chips are so quick and easy you can make them in time for breakfast in bed!

 

Gluten Free Crêpes

Gluten Free Danish

Gluten Free Streusel Coffee Cake Muffins

gluten free coffee cake muffin with pan

Gluten Free Pistachio Matcha Muffins

Gluten Free Jumbo Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Gluten Free Chai Tea Muffins

Gluten Free Banana-Lime Bread

 

gluten free fried doughnuts

Glazed, powdered, iced, sprinkled … whatever kind of donut is mom’s favorite, you can make it for her — gluten-free!

 

Gluten Free Doughnuts

Gluten Free French Toast Casserole (make ahead option!)

Gluten Free Toaster Pastries

gluten free pop tarts

A childhood favorite every mom still secretly loves: pop tarts!

Treat Mom to Chocolate for Breakfast

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Zucchini Bread (hint: if mom likes coffee, she’ll love this bread!)

Chocolate Zucchini Donuts

gluten-free-chocolate-zucchini-donut-stack

So what will you choose? How will you pamper mama this Mother’s Day?

If you do decide to pack the family in the car and head out to a restaurant, take a moment to review some of my suggestions for being cautious at restaurants. It is possible to get a great, safe meal, but once again … “Be Prepared! “

Gluten Free Cookie Baking Help

gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie tray

 

Of all the categories of gluten-free baking, it might come as a surprise to you that the one that seems to cause the most problems is not bread, but cookies! (Bread is a very close second, though!)

Particularly if the cookies must be both gluten-free and dairy-free … and (gasp) … what if they must be egg-free, too? Would it surprise you to learn that using Ener-G® Egg Replacer instead of eggs actually helps keep most gluten-free cookie recipes from spreading?!)

While most people tend to get a bit frustrated with their “free from” cookie baking results, if you keep these 13 tips (A Baker’s Dozen!) handy next time you’re baking cookies, you’ll be baking your way to moist, chewy success!

13 Top Gluten Free Cookie Baking Tips from gluten-free expert Jules Shepard | gfJules

13 Gluten Free Cookie Baking Tips

1- Cream the butter or shortening with the sugar with an electric mixer before doing anything else. This step will help whip up the butter or shortening and make it fluffier, while also breaking down the sugar a bit, so that it doesn’t melt as much (e.g. spread) when baking.

2- Bake with a combination of butter (or non-dairy butter alternative – i.e. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks — NOT spreads because they … spread!) and shortening, rather than just butter alone. The combination works to give more body to the dough to prevent spreading. To see more on the benefits of this combination, see my video!

3- Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper for every cookie recipe.  It prevents the cookies from sticking to the sheet (and then breaking apart when removed), doesn’t leave a greasy aftertaste on the bottoms of the cookies, and helps you spend less time in the kitchen doing clean-up duty when you’re done!

4- Chill your dough well before baking! (Particularly when dealing with rolled cookie doughs, although I happen to think it’s a good rule of thumb no matter what!)

5- Don’t put too many additions into any cookie recipe. For example, with chocolate chip cookies, adding too many chocolate chips will cause the cookies to spread, as there is not enough dough to bake up for support. This is one reason why I like using Enjoy Life® MINI chips (and they’re dairy, soy & nut-free, too!).

6- If your cookies still insist on spreading, add 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour to the remaining dough to help hold them together (also helps at high altitude!).

7- If your cookie dough is too dry and crumbly, just add back to the mixing bowl and stir in a couple tablespoons of your favorite milk. Add more if needed – the dough needs to hold together, but most cookie doughs shouldn’t be sticky. Sometimes I’ll keep cookie dough in my fridge or freezer and when I go to bake some, the dough has dried out from the cold. Same solution: bring to room temperature then mix in a few tablespoons of milk. Voila – cookie dough like new!

8- Baking by weight, as opposed to volume, is always more accurate. One measured cup of my gfJules™ All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour should weigh approximately 135 grams. Measuring your ingredients inaccurately can throw any recipe off, especially finicky cookie recipes!

cookie9– If your oven has the option, bake using convection settings, rather than static temperature. If you have a convection setting on your oven and a convection temperature is not given, simply reduce the static temperature by 25 degrees when using your convection setting.

10- In fact, go ahead and reduce the temperature on your oven by 25 degrees anyway. If your oven is baking too hot (shockingly, most ovens don’t cook at the accurate temperature!), your cookies will definitely spread! The sugar in the dough may even sneak out the sides of the cookie and form a lacy texture. If this is happening, try baking the next batch at a lower temperature and see what works best with your oven.

11- Take your cookies out BEFORE they look done. With chocolate chip cookies, for example, I remove them when the centers still look a bit doughy. As they cool, they are still cooking. Taking them out of the oven at this point will ensure that they stay chewy!

12- Let your cookies cool before removing them from the parchment. I slide the parchment onto wire cooling racks after 5 minutes or so, and let them fully cool before I remove them. Once they’re cooled, they are no longer fragile … but still chewy and delicious!

13- Make sure your baking soda and/or baking powder are fresh. These are the leavening agents in your cookie recipe and if they are no longer active, your cookies won’t puff up and may spread more. Try a fresh container if they’ve been open longer than 3 months.

Also try my delectable and uber-versatile award-winning gfJules™ Cookie Mix and my easy gfJules™ Sugar Cut Out Cookie Mix! And don’t forget homemade graham crackers! I have a mix for that, too!

♦Want the gluten free recipes for my Vanilla Wafers, Oatmeal Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies and Snickerdoodles, all pictured here? Search my RECIPES tab and you’ll find all kinds of cookie recipes for the taking!♦

And don’t forget to sign up for all things Gluten-Free Cookie by joining the Gluten-Free Cookie Swap – your community cookie recipe share site!

Gluten Free Holiday Breakfast Recipe Round Up

We could all use a good gluten free holiday breakfast recipe round up, don’t you think? I am uncharacteristically thinking ahead this year. Probably because I’ll have a house full of family on Christmas morning, but I like to think maybe I’m turning over a less procrastinator-like leaf. Probably not, though.

I’m trying to decide which of these favorite family breakfasts I should treat mine to, and thought you might appreciate the choices, as well. There’s plenty to choose from, and no one will complain with these amazing recipes. Let me know which you choose – it might help me decide, too!

Gluten Free Overnight French Toast Casserole with confectioner's sugar

Gluten Free French Toast Casserole

My French Toast Casserole recipe is so easy to make (takes less than 10 minutes), and it tastes even better if you make it at night and bake it the next morning (when I’m bleary-eyed and find it hard to rally to bake for guests anyway!). Another bonus: it’s as great for breakfast as it is for dessert at a holiday gathering! The nog addition makes it super festive, so it will be perfect for all your edible holiday needs!

gluten free cinnamon sticky buns and plateGluten Free Cinnamon Sticky Buns

For years (ok, decades) I thought that there was NO way I could ever replicate my Grandma’s sticky rolls. No way. And thank goodness I didn’t have to! Christmas came and went every year, and Grandma’s rolls were something we could all count on.

To me, these rolls were up there with every other Christmas tradition. Of course we would always have Grandma’s rolls! It was unthinkable to contemplate the possibility that Christmas could occur without them! … I know, I understand. This sounds really bad. Christmas isn’t about rolls!!?! What were we thinking!?? Agreed. But you know what? Looking back at my Christmas memories, my Grandma’s cinnamon sticky rolls were IT! I was with my extended family (which only happened once or twice a year), and we all congregated Christmas morning to share the ritual pecking order of who got the soft, gooey insides of Grandma’s cinnamon sticky rolls. That was our tradition.

Seems antiquated, I know, but here’s the beauty of these rolls — there are no crunchy outsides! That’s right! No need to fight for your hierarchy in the family or your right to the soft centers — all can enjoy soft, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon sticky rolls! It’s like socialism in a cinnamon roll! (odd metaphor, I know!) It’s really all about equality. That’s it. Just delicious gluten-free equality. And that’s got to be part of the Christmas message.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns

This recipe was submitted by a reader and it’s quickly become one of the most popular on my site. Can’t you almost just smell that cinnamon-y goodness wafting into the kitchen? You need to try this recipe soon – the only question is whether you’re going to want to share any!

 

Gluten Free Coffee Cake

A good coffee cake recipe is one of life’s necessities, in my humble opinion. My family loves coffee cake, but we actually call it “Breakfast Cake.” Don’t ask me why I ever felt I had to encourage the eating of cake for breakfast, but at some point the name stuck with my kids.

This was the first cake-for-breakfast recipe that my son loved, and it’s still his favorite, so he gets it for his birthday and on Christmas morning (and other days, if he’s lucky)! It’s a wonderful dish to serve for out-of-town guests, too – I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does!

gluten free rhubarb coffee cake square

Gluten Free Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Another spin on traditional coffee cake, but one that’s especially festive in color. Use rhubarb (if you’re like me and you freeze it when in season) or try cranberries instead for a wintery-tart twist!

gluten free chai tea muffin glazing square

Gluten Free Chai Tea Muffins

These aromatic beauties will wake up your taste buds and remind you of all things cinnamon-y and nice. Soft and flavorful, with or without the icing on top.

gluten free blueberry muffin tray - gfJules

Gluten Free blueberry muffins made with gfJules Muffin Mix.

 

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

What’s a more classic breakfast food than blueberry muffins? The smell of these beauties baking will wake everyone up in a good mood! For an even easier route to muffin nirvana, just use my #1 Voted gfJules Gluten Free Muffin Mix!

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits (with dairy-free option)

Biscuits, anyone? You can top these with favorite jams and jellies, leftovers from the night before or plain with a pat of butter, but any way you slice it, these biscuits would be welcome at any breakfast table.

Gluten Free Bagels on Rack resized

Gluten Free Bagels

Speaking of topping with anything … these homemade bagels will blow you away. They are the REAL deal, but are surprisingly easy to make, and still yummy on day 2, day 3, day 4 … (if you have any left!). Toast them, warm them in the oven or microwave or simply eat them as is, they’re the perfect accompaniment for your favorite cream cheese, lox, PB & J, or anything else you can slap on top.

gluten free cinnamon swirl bread banner

Gluten Free Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This reader recipe has become a fan and family favorite. So easy to whip up, with a surprise swirl of cinnamon yumminess throughout. If you decide to make this recipe for holiday guests, you’d better double it.

Gluten free Apple Cider Donut

Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts

Anyone would jump out of bed for these beauties! I actually have several more gluten free doughnut/donut recipes on my site, so take a look (use the search bar at the top of every page) if you’re wanting to explore all that gluten free doughnuts have to offer!

 

gluten free blueberry scones

Easy Gluten Free Scones

One of my all-time favorite recipes is for scones. Not the dry, hard kind with no flavor (you know what I’m talking about!), but the moist, tender kind bursting with berries and crispy-topped with a light coating of cinnamon and sugar.

This is also the kind of recipe that takes about 5 minutes to make, and only 10 minutes to bake, so it’s ready when the guest roll out of bed without too much fuss on your part. Nothing not to love about this recipe, and now it’s tailored to the season!

gluten free pancake stack blueberry square

Gluten Free Pancakes

Pancakes are the quintessential American breakfast food. Am I right? I mean, who doesn’t like pancakes?

This gluten-free pancake is like a traditional flapjack: heavenly thick, yet light and fluffy and tasty enough to eat without syrup! They’ve become a morning favorite in my house, as I know they will in yours!

For an even easier way to put delicious fluffy gluten-free pancakes on your table, just grab a bag of my gfJules™ Pancake and Waffle Mix.

gluten free Belgian Waffles - gfJules pancake waffle mix

Gluten Free Belgian Waffles

Also known as “fancy pancakes,” if Santa brought you a waffle iron this year, you’ll love every minute of sharing these beautiful waffles with your family. You can use either my Belgian Waffle recipe with my gfJules™ Pancake and Waffle Mix, or simply follow the directions on the mix bag for regular (but oh so delicious) waffles and pancakes!

gluten-free-overnight-oats-waffles-gfjules

Gluten Free Overnight Oats & Waffles

Another in the popular line of recipes that can be made the night before (hallelujah!) and ready when you are in the morning. Even better: you can make these oats into waffles, too!

Be sure to use only certified gluten free and purity protocol oats when baking for anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For more info, see my article on choosing safe gluten free oats.

Gluten Free Apple Bread | gfJules.com

Gluten Free Apple Bread

If you or an out of town guest is feeling remorseful after all the chocolates and treats the night before, this healthier gluten free apple bread is the answer. Filled with apples and noticeably devoid of fats and oils, this bread will start breakfast off on the right foot.

gluten free breakfast recipe round-up! gfJules

18 Tips for Gluten Free Bread Baking

Making delicious gluten free yeast breads isn’t difficult, it just seems like it ought to be. In fact, in many ways gluten free bread baking is easier and quicker than it is to bake a traditional bread with gluten. Using the right recipe and the best ingredients, you don’t even need a loaf pan! Follow my gluten free bread help check list, and it will bring you delicious gluten free bread baking success!

Note: for tips on baking gluten-free bread with a breadmaker, hop to my article here.
For a review of one of my favorite bread makers, hop here.

You can even bake delicious gluten free bread from an easy MIX! Gluten Free White Bread made with my gfJules™ Whole Grain Bread Mix.

You can even bake delicious gluten free bread from an easy MIX! Gluten Free White Bread made with my gfJules™ Whole Grain Bread Mix.

1.  Don’t scoop flour! When measuring flour, don’t scoop from the bag with your measuring cup.  This can compress the flour — up to 25%!  Use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup and level off with a knife instead.

2. Weigh your ingredients. One step better is to weigh your flour. My gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten Free Flour weighs 135 grams per cup. Measuring by weight will ensure that you have the correct amount of flour in any recipe.

Same gluten free bread recipe using different gluten free flours.

Same gluten free bread recipe using different gluten free flours.

Even 1/2 cup of flour can make a huge difference in the results you get with any recipe. It’s not enough to just use any gluten free flour you choose; gluten free flours aren’t necessarily interchangeable. Follow the flours recommended for each given recipe to get the results promised.

3.  Room temperature. Room temperature. Room temperature! It is particularly important for yeast recipes that you bring all of your ingredients, such as eggs, to room temperature before adding them together to make bread.  Yeast needs warmth to grow and if your ingredients are too cold, it may prevent full yeast growth. Don’t make your wet ingredients too hot though, just nice and warm, the way yeast likes it!

4.  Don’t follow directions (for wheat bread). It is essential when converting wheat-based bread recipes to gluten-free, that you not follow the directions. That’s right! Break all the wheat/gluten dough rules when baking gluten-free bread!  Any kneading beyond simply mixing the dough well, and any punching down of the gluten-free dough will punch the risen life right out of it. Those steps are designed to “exercise the gluten” and make it more elastic. We have no gluten in our recipes, so nothing to exercise, and more than that, these steps will actually cause your gluten-free recipe to fail! It is for this reason that I counsel people when first attempting to make gluten-free breads, to follow a gluten-free bread recipe or two, just to get the hang of it. If you are an accomplished bread baker, it may feel weird for you to abandon these techniques, but trust me, you must!

5.  Shape before rising. Because our gluten free breads have no rise and punch down and second rise and punch down … you’ll want to shape any breads before the rise (they’ll only rise once!). Dinner rolls should rise in the shape or tin you would like them to bake in; bread sticks should be formed before rising; cinnamon rolls should rise in their pans; challah must be braided and then allowed to rise. Don’t mess with gluten-free dough once it has risen, just bake it!

6.  High altitude can change the way yeast doughs behave. Have a look at my High Altitude GF Cooking Tips.

Use an internal thermometer to test your gluten free bread before removing from the oven or bread maker.

Use an internal thermometer to test your gluten free bread before removing from the oven or bread maker.

 

7.  Take your bread’s temperature. It is very important not to take your bread out of the oven before it is fully cooked.  If the bread has a rubbery layer at the bottom, this usually means it was not fully cooked.  The best way to tell if the bread is done is to insert an instant read thermometer all the way to the bottom of the loaf (but not touching the pan).  The temperature should be approximately 205-210º F when it is done.  Your bread should keep its shape when it is completely baked. Internal thermometers are available in my shop.

8.  Change your bread pan. Sometimes metal pans work better than glass for fully cooking a loaf of bread.  Metal pans do not have to be fancy or expensive, and you can often even find them in your local grocery store.

Different bread pan sizes, shapes and materials can affect how long and evenly the gluten free bread bakes.

Different bread pan sizes, shapes and materials can affect how long and evenly the gluten free bread bakes.

9.  Make sure your rising spot is nice and warm. A great method for letting your yeast breads rise before baking is to turn on your oven to 200º F, then turn it off when it has reached temperature.

Put your un-raised bread into the warmed oven with an oiled piece of parchment on top and a bowl of water in the oven with it, then let it rise according to directions.  Once raised, remove the parchment and bake according to directions.

Don't let your gluten free bread rise much above the top of the pan before baking.

Don’t let your gluten free bread rise much above the top of the pan before baking.

10.  Find the perfect rise time and place. The longer you can let your bread rise, the better it will taste and the less likely it will be to collapse. A good rule of thumb is to let the bread rise to the top of your pan before baking; a slower, cooler rise to that level will produce a better loaf, so make sure it isn’t rising in too warm of a spot. If you can let the gluten free bread dough rise overnight in a cool place, the slower rise will provide a stronger cell structure and more of a sourdough flavor when baked the next day.

When yeast has proofed, it has bubbled and started to smell like the familiar yeast smell we associate with baking bread.

When yeast has proofed, it has bubbled and started to smell like the familiar yeast smell we associate with baking bread.

11.  Proof your yeast right. “Proofed” yeast should look like this. If not, throw it out and start with fresh yeast.

If you’re still having issues with getting your yeast breads to rise, try “proofing” your yeast first. I prefer using “Quick Rise” or “Rapid Rise” yeast for gluten-free yeast breads. We don’t have the punch-down and second rise necessary with most gluten loaves, so it works well to activate the yeast and let it start doing its thing right away!

Place the yeast in a bowl with the liquid called for in the recipe (water, milk, etc.), but make sure it’s warm. If you can add a teaspoon of sugar, that’s helpful. Whisk it gently and let it sit for 5 minutes. If it’s starting to have that familiar yeasty smell, foam up and swell, it’s good and you can add it to your recipe; if it’s stagnating and not getting foamy or rising, throw it out.

12.  Check ingredient integrity. Yeast can go bad, as can baking soda and baking powder. Sometimes the problem is your ingredients, not you. What a relief, right?

13.  Cool bread slowly. When your bread is done cooking, turn off the oven and open the door so that the bread can cool slowly.  Taking the bread out of a hot oven and quickly transferring it to a cool counter can sometimes cause the loaf to sink in.  If it still sinks, it may have too much moisture to support itself fully.  It should still taste great, but if you have your heart set on a nice crowned loaf, next time try cutting back on the liquid a bit in that recipe or adding 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal to help support the bread’s structure and enhance its nutritional value, all in one!  Altitude and even the day’s weather can affect sometimes-picky yeast recipes.

14.  Calibrate your oven temperature. Oven temperatures are frequently off by as little as 25 degrees and it can make a big difference in something as finicky as a yeast bread. Invest in an oven thermometer and adjust your oven’s temperature so your bread will bake comfortably, at the temperature it likes.

Soft, fresh gluten free bread made with gluten free beer.

Soft, fresh gluten free bread made with gluten free beer.

 

15.  Bubbles add air (duh, right?). It’s amazing what adding bubbles can do for the lift in your bread loaf! Try the same amount of gluten-free beer, ginger ale, 7-Up, Perrier … you get the picture. Room temperature, of course, and measured appropriately (let the bubbles settle for accurate measurements). Check out this gorgeous gluten-free beer bread!

16.  Fixing that rubbery bottom. If you still wind up with a rubbery bottom on your loaf, there are a few things that could have gone wrong.

First, you might have over-beaten the dough. Unlike gluten doughs, gluten-free bread doughs should not be overworked, and doing so can sometimes make them a bit rubbery.

Second, if you are baking from scratch and adding your own xanthan or guar gum, you might have added too much.

Third, there might be too much liquid in your recipe, all settling at the bottom and not baking off, while also weighing down the dough. Fourth, the loaf might not have baked all the way. If the top is baked and getting a nice crust, but the bottom isn’t all the way done, cover the loaf with foil and keep baking!hallie loaf 1

17.  Where your loaf is baking also makes a difference. Too close to the top of the oven, and the top will bake much more quickly than the rest of the bread, causing a split in the loaf. That’s quite a chasm, all because the bread rose so high that it nearly touched the oven’s heating element (and heat rises, don’t forget!). The rack of the oven shouldn’t be so high that the crust is that close to the heating element.

Convection bake settings also help with this, as convection keeps the temperature in the whole oven more consistent. Side note: also be sure there’s not an oven rack above the one on which your bread is baking – you don’t want the bread to rise during the bake and bump into the bottom of another rack!

Gluten free artisan bread loaf baked without a bread pan!

Gluten free artisan bread loaf baked without a bread pan!

 

18.  You don’t even need a bread pan to make great gluten free bread! Try making a gluten free artisan loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or baking in a springform or tall-sided oven-safe bowl or pan. Or even use muffin cups or popover trays! Your bread will be yummy no matter how you bake it, if you use the right ingredients!

(Ok, I guess there were more than a couple things …!)

*Note: If you purchase one of these items after following my link, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web design, hosting and services for this blog.

Gluten Free Passover & Easter Recipes

Enjoying a gluten free Easter or Passover may seem like a long shot, but even many traditional foods are far more gluten free friendly than you might think! A tweak here or there with some gfJules All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and the rest are a breeze! Read on to find out how to make your holiday celebrations both delicious and gluten free!

Passover

I’ll first address gluten free at Passover – and this is not just for those in the Jewish faith. There are loads of foods that are Kosher for Passover and are available this time of year because wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt are forbidden in any form other than matzo. You’ll probably recognize that wheat, barley and rye (and spelt is a wheat cousin) are all the gluten-containing grains!

So what does that mean? It means take a few extra minutes the next time you’re in the grocery store and peruse the kosher section! Look for certified gluten free products or those labeled Kosher for Passover AND “Non-Gebrokts” (“Non-Gebroktz” or “Non-Gebroks”) or “Gluten Free.” The ingredients should show that the product does not include matzo as ingredient.

When you shop, watch for all kinds of Kosher for Passover products made with potato starch instead of regular flour. Good products include potato starch noodles, potato starch cake mixes, Passover cereals made without wheat, and even frozen foods like potato starch pizza crusts, blintzes, waffles and knishes.

healthy gluten free latkes for Passover

(These healthier gluten free latkes are made with spaghetti squash, but traditional potato latkes are easy to make gluten free for Passover as well.)

Potato Pancakes, or latkes, are another product in a box mix that is fun to make at this time of year, and can easily be made from scratch recipes instead, using any kind of potato or sweet potato or even spaghetti squash!

While foods containing gluten are generally forbidden during Passover, there is one very important exception — matzo. This unleavened bread actually must be made with one of the aforementioned gluten grains or oats in order to duplicate those used by the Hebrews making bread in haste when fleeing Egypt. Matzo is the oldest and most well-known (edible) symbol of the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian slavery.

matzo ingredients

(Gluten Free Matzo for Passover, made with oat flour)

According to the Bible, Aaron and Moses warned of 10 plagues sent to cause Pharaoh to free the Jews. When the final plague killed all the first-born sons of Egypt but passed over the Jewish houses, Pharaoh finally released the Jews from their bondage in Egypt.

However, they were forced to leave in such great haste that their bread dough did not have time to rise, leaving them with what we now know as “matzo” (matzah, matza, matzoth, matzot), or unleavened bread. Since matzo is typically made with wheat flour, gluten free folks must think outside the proverbial cracker box for safe and tasty options.

matzo

(Homemade gluten free matzo for Passover)

Fortunately, there are now some gluten free “Matzo-Style” oat cracker alternatives available, and of course you can always make your own! Like any other wheat flour recipe we might long to enjoy again, devising a gluten free solution is simple: modify, substitute and perfect using gluten free ingredients.

My recipe for Gluten Free Matzo made with gluten free grains and certified gluten free oat flour, is simple and can be made and baked within 18 minutes to prevent any leavening in the dough. It’s a simple 5 ingredient recipe that takes only 20 minutes from start to finish!

However, Orthodox Jews and others wishing to only serve Kosher for Passover, Gluten Free Shemura (supervised grains, watched from time of harvest to be sure no fermentation occurs) matzo, will need to buy gluten free matzo made in that manner instead. Fair warning: gluten free Shemura Oat Matzo is expensive! One 1 pound box can cost $40.00, while regular Kosher for Passover (non-gluten free) Matzo is generally 14 times less expensive (around $2.75-$3.00/ 1 pound box).

Non Kosher for Passover, gluten free “Matzo Style” crackers made from tapioca and potato are available at a much lower cost, but they are not suggested “as a replacement for matzo at the seder.” Consult with your family and religious leaders to see what works best for your needs this holiday.

Gluten Free Quiche for PassoverOther Kosher for Passover foods include all fresh fruits and most vegetables, though no beans, grains, pasta, soy products like tofu, or many seeds are allowed during Passover.

Eggs (think quiches, omelets and frittatas) and dairy are Kosher for Passover, and many yogurts, cream cheeses, and other dairy products will bear that special certification. Other grains like quinoa are also a wonderful addition to your gluten free Passover menu.

Easter

While religious tenets don’t dictate the gluten free menu at Easter as they do with the Passover Seder, there are many dishes that are symbolic of the holiday and are often served at Easter suppers or brunch.

gluten free hot cross buns

(Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns are perfet for your Easter table!)

 

Hot Cross Buns, Easter Lamb Cake and even Easter Basket Cupcakes can easily be made gluten free – check my links for the recipes! Other recipes to consider for your Easter meal include any kind of egg dish (again, omelets, frittatas, quiche – even crustless! — deviled eggs…).

gluten free french toast casserole for EasterCasseroles like overnight French Toast Casserole and hash brown casserole are universally well-loved and easy to make gluten free; homemade pancakes or waffles are perfect for brunch; lemon muffins or lemon bars! (think spring!), Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins and scones are easy to transport and go well with the meal at any time of day.  Even doughnuts, coffee cake, bread pudding and cinnamon rolls make delicious additions to serve at your gluten free Easter meal.

The potential is nearly endless! And of course there’s the Easter Candy!!!

gluten free easter treats

Easter candy and traditional treats can nearly always be found in gluten free, and even vegan versions!

Check updated lists for the latest safe and unsafe products.  Some good gluten free candy options to keep on your Easter Bunny radar include:

Always avoid Whoppers & other malted candies, and check manufacturer websites for any other products you are unsure of.

Licorice nearly always contains gluten, but Candy Tree and even Clif’s Kids makes great gluten free versions. Clif’s Twisted Rope now come in fruit and fruit/veggie combinations. To repurpose these as handles for Easter Basket Cupcakes, hop to my recipe!

 

gluten free easter basket

Gluten Free Easter Basket Cupcakes – a fun way to add gluten free candy to yummy cupcake “baskets”!

For more information on gluten free Passover and Easter products, recipes, menus and candies, listen to the free podcast of my radio show, The Gluten Free Voice.radio microphone Happy Gluten Free Holidays!

 

 

I hope you found a few recipes to try this year! Remember to Pin them for later!

Gluten Free Passover and Easter Recipes by gfJules

 

 

All about Quince

I seem to recall in the deep dark recesses of my mind, my grandmother wistfully mentioning the quince fruit. I will allow for the possibility that I am subconsciously romanticizing that she actually mentioned it, but I really feel like she did. At any rate, until now I had never seen a quince, nor had I any notion of what it tasted like, apart from the caviar-sized portions of its paste found on expensive restaurant cheese plates.

All about quince

So it was that elusive quince had achieved an almost mythological stature in my mind: a fruit from days of yore, now so rare that it is only doled out in sparing and measured portions at high-brow restaurants.

Hence the context for my squeal of glee last weekend, upon finding an actual peck of the fruit at a roadside stand in Western Maryland! I had to explain myself to the ladies at the stand, as I oohed and aahed over this odd little fruit, photographing it from every angle and plotting all the recipes I would make with my find! I fear they still thought I was mad, but it’s no matter. I was and am thrilled to have finally found it grown in North America!

Let me introduce you to the quince: an unassuming fruit with a strong perfume that reminds you of the apple and pear to which it’s related. Although it is rare to find quince growing in the US, it is still grown in Asia, South America, Mediterranean Europe and the Middle East.

Its apple-like qualities make it a favorite for jellies like marmalade, which apparently originally meant “Quince Jam” (the Portuguese word for quince is “marmelo”). The fruit is quite ancient, likely preceding the apples we know and love today. The Romans wrote recipes for it, and the Greeks associated it with the goddess Aphrodite. Biblical research even turns up quinces – it is believed that the “apple” from the Song of Solomon and even the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden were actually golden quinces!

Nearly ripe quince with tinges of immature green and fuzz remaining.

Nearly ripe with tinges of immature green and fuzz remaining.

The fruit is tolerant of cold, and ripens in late autumn, making now the perfect time for your quince-focused recipes!  The fruit is still immature when green, and covered in a peach-like soft fuzz which rubs off when it changes color to yellow, but remains quite hard. It needs to be cooked to soften the fruit for most any recipe, so allow yourself some time for this step when using it for baking.

Now onto the recipes!

Apple Quince Mini Pies

Apple Quince Easy Oatmeal Crisp

All About Quince by gfJules -- tips and tricks for baking with this delicious fruit!

Gluten Free Fall Pies are Easy! Video from CBS News Baltimore

Gluten free fall pies are easy and are on everyone’s mind when the seasons begin to change. Start with the best gluten free pie crust recipe, to make that light and flaky crust we all love! Then choose your filling: pumpkin pie; cherry pie; apple pie … you can have them all! With or without crust, graham cracker or traditional pastry crust – pick your pleasure!

Click here to hear about the delicious Gluten Free Cherry Pie I brought onto the CBS news- Baltimore Sunday morning show!

Cherry pie on CBS morning show

Watch more videos here!

 

Homemade Almond Flour or Gluten Free Oat Flour

Making homemade almond flour or gluten free oat flour is not only easy, it’s practical. Both of these gluten free flours are higher in fat and protein than starches or even my all purpose flour blend, hence, they become rancid more quickly and should be refrigerated.  Making fresh flour for your recipes will ensure that you don’t waste flour that you cannot use quickly enough. These flours also tend to be pretty pricey, so I highly recommend making your own for that reason as well!

Almond flour or meal can be ground to different consistencies: flour is the finer ground version of almond meal. I prefer not to use blanched almonds for grinding (blanched almonds have the brown skins removed), since the skins contain a lot of nutrients and their added texture doesn’t bother me. If you want the finest flour you can get though, use blanched almonds as your base.

For gluten free oat flour, just be sure to select certified gluten free rolled oats, like those I sell in my on-line store. For more on finding certified oats — as opposed to those oats sold by companies merely claiming to be gluten free — visit my article on shopping for safe gluten free products. Steel cut oats also don’t tend to grind into flour well, but if it’s all you have on hand, you can grind it to a coarse flour that will work in some recipes.

Both almond flour/meal and gluten free oat flour can be used to increase the nutritional value of gluten free baked goods (see my Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe!), and they can even be used with some success as a replacement for milk powder in many recipes. They add weight to recipes though, so they are not well-suited for delicate baking.

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Homemade Almond Flour

  • Author:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole almonds

Instructions

To make 1 Cup Almond Flour/Meal:

Measure out 1 cup of whole, unblanched almonds (may use blanched almonds, but since their skins are removed, they are less nutrient-dense). Place them into a clean coffee grinder, blender or food processor – depending on the size of your machine’s bowl, you may need to divide the almonds into two portions and process separately.

Cover with the lid and pulse, grinding the almonds into meal. (This recipe will work with a fine almond flour or a coarse almond meal). Be careful when grinding almonds or other nuts, as over-processing will quickly take flour/meal to nut butter! Stop processing when the almonds are ground to small chunks but not flour-like if you’re making almond meal; keep processing to make almond flour.

Sift the meal to remove larger pieces, allowing the fine particles to settle into a separate bowl. Repeat until all the medium-large pieces are separated and processed until fine.

Measure out 1 cup of almond flour/meal and reserve any extra by placing in a zip-top bag and refrigerating for up to one month for use in another recipe.

 

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Homemade Gluten Free Oat Flour

  • Author:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup certified gluten free oats

Instructions

To Make 1 Cup Gluten Free Oat Flour:

Measure out 1 cup of certified gluten free oats (quick oats work best). Place them in a clean coffee grinder, blender or food processor – depending on the size of your machine’s bowl, you may need to divide the oats into two portions and process separately.

Cover with the lid and pulse, grinding into a fine flour. Measure out 1 cup of oat flour and reserve the remaining in a small zip-top bag and refrigerating for up to one month for use in another recipe

These recipes for Homemade Gluten Free Almond Meal or Oat Flour by gfJules are so quick and easy!

 

 

Giving Thanks for Gluten Free

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you all take a moment today to pause and give thanks that you have discovered that a gluten-free life suits you, whether you are diagnosed celiac, suspect gluten sensitivity, have a wheat allergy, notice symptom improvement for autism spectrum disorder or have yet other health reasons for the diet.

We all came to this gluten-free table for our own reasons, but doubtless we are all healthier for it.  I am thankful that I have energy, I no longer feel so sick, I have 2 healthy children, and I am on course for a longer, happier and healthier life, now that I am completely gluten free.  I also live quite a tasty and unencumbered life — gluten free — now that I have mastered the lifestyle.  No cheating for me and no regrets!  I wish that for you as well.

Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Today I give thanks for so many of these things, and for all of you – my friends on this gluten-free journey….  And right this very minute I’m also giving thanks that doubling my pumpkin pie recipe left me enough for 2 extra ramekins to secretly nibble on before the big meal (plus extra gingersnaps to use for s’mores tomorrow)!!!

May you and yours share in these many blessings today and always.