Some Gluten Free Recipe Favorites

I have several recipes that I keep bookmarked on my phone (mostly deserts) because they’ve turned out really well for me. I thought I’d share those with you guys!

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Applesauce granola **Eliminate wheat germ & use gluten-free oats**

Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake – You can substitute regular milk & sugar to make it simpler. I also put chocolate syrup and caramel syrup on mine. Best. stuff. ever. It is pretty rich though so you may want to share with someone.

Gluten Free Chex Mix

Gluten Free Chocolate Rice Krispies

Grain Free Donuts – Disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried making these yet, but they’ve been on my list for a while. They look awesome!

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chex Mix Recipe

Chex mix is one of my favorite snacks, so I was a little disappointed at first when I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat it any more. However, I soon realized that it would be very easy to modify the homemade version to be gluten-free. The original recipe can be seen here, and I made the following modifications:

  • Eliminating wheat chex
  • Eliminating bagel chips
  • Eliminating pretzels
  • Replacing missing wheat chex with corn and rice chex
  • Either replace regular pretzels with gluten free pretzels; or leave them out entirely

So, with that in mind, here’s the recipe I came up with. As always, you should read the label of each individual ingredient to make sure it is gluten free.

4.5 cups corn chex cereal
4.5 cups rice chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup GF bite sized pretzels (optional)
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

I actually make our chex mix in a large electric roaster, but this would also work in cookie sheets:

Melt butter and stir in Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Add cereals, nuts, and pretzels and stir until evenly coated. Bake for 1 hour at 250, stirring every 15 minutes.

So there you have it! With some simple modifications, it’s often easy to keep enjoying the same recipes you used before going gluten free. Now I can enjoy this snack every time my family makes it!

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I posted this recipe on my blog’s Facebook the other day, and it got a lot of views. So I decided to share with you guys a modification of this recipe that I made which turned out really well.

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup gluten-free oats

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients and beat well until smooth. Add cocoa powder, baking powder, and oats and stir until thoroughly incorporated.

Grease 2 cookie sheets. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and then flatten with your hands – these cookies do not spread at all in the oven, so be sure to make them cookie-shaped from the start. Place on greased sheets and bake 8 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

5 Easy Steps to Checking if Food is Gluten Free

Over the last year and a half, I’ve become adept at speed-reading labels and knowing exactly which keywords to google to find out if what I’m wanting to eat is gluten free. I’d like to offer a few tips I’ve picked up that streamline what could be a laborious process. The following tips will mainly apply to packaged food.

  • Labels, labels, labels.  Reading the label of any food you eat is VERY important and will quickly become a normal part of a Celiac’s life.  Start here.
  • Glance at the front of the label.  Since gluten-free eating has recently begun to take off, many companies have started including a little “Gluten Free!” blurb on the front of the label.  Looking for this – if it’s there, awesome!  You now know that this food is gluten free and you’ve saved time by not reading through the ingredients.  If it’s not there, continue to the next step.
  • Turn the product over and look at the very bottom of the ingredients list.  This is where many producers will list major allergens.  Normally, this will be in bold font and say “Contains: (insert allergens here: wheat, soy, milk, etc.)”.  Look for “Contains: wheat”.  If you see it, sorry – put the product back on the shelf. If the allergen list isn’t present or doesn’t contain wheat, you’re not quite safe yet – continue on:
  • Read through the ingredients.  This can be time consuming, especially on processed foods with many ingredients, but it’s necessary to avoid accidentally consuming gluten.  Look for any wheat, barley, or rye, which contain gluten.  Spelt and triticale also contain gluten, but these grains are fairly uncommon and probably won’t be in anything you’re eating. One important thing to remember is that malt is made from barley and is therefore not gluten free. This can be tricky if you’re only checking for the word barley, so be sure to keep it in mind.
  • If all else fails, google it.  If the food in question is not in a package, or if you’re unsure about any ingredient from the ingredients list, be sure to google it. Type the name of the food or ingredient and then “gluten free”. It’ll just take a few seconds and will give you definite answers about what is and isn’t safe to eat. My smartphone is invaluable to me for this purpose – I can whip it out and google anything at any time in just a few seconds.

So, there you have it. 5 steps to determining whether a food is gluten free. Now go out and use them!

A Collection of Helpful Links

I wanted to share a collection of links I use often with you guys.  I’ll update the list as I come across more.

As you can see, most of these are links to gluten free menus at restaurants. I primarily use these when I’m out and about. The easiest way I’ve discovered to find gluten free options is to pull out my phone and google “___(name of restaurant or food)___ gluten free”. This will usually bring up both official statements from the company on gluten free products, and discussions about said products on celiac forums, both of which can be helpful in determining whether something is safe to eat.

5 Ways To Help A Friend With Food Allergies

As a follow up on my post of 5 things not to say to a Celiac, I’ve decided to present 5 ways you can help a friend with food allergies. These are just a few small things that may seem insignificant to you, but can make a friend or family member’s life a little easier.

  • Ask, “Do you have any ideas for where we should eat?”. I know that personally, I always feel a lot better about suggesting a place with a gluten-free menu when I’m being included in the discussion from the start, as opposed to me having to pipe up and say that I can’t eat at the already selected restaurant.
  • Save the packaging to any food you offer. I really appreciate it when people do this, because it lets me inspect the ingredients for myself and rest easy knowing that what I’m eating truly is gluten free.
  • Don’t get upset if we ask you about the ingredients in something homemade. This goes along with the previous point. It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that I need the peace of mind that comes from checking the ingredients myself. I have had a couple of uncomfortable experiences where I ask what ingredients were used, and the cook just keeps insisting that “it’s gluten free” without telling me what’s in it. And on at least one of these occasions, the cook really did think it was gluten free, but when I finally got them to tell me the ingredients, it turned out that they had used an ingredient that they didn’t know contained gluten. This is why I always feel the need to double check things myself.
  • When inviting a family over or taking food to their house, always ask if anyone has any food allergies. This mainly applies if you don’t know the family very well. It’s a small thing that really means a lot to those of us with food allergies. It’s nice to know that people have the forethought to care about this.
  • Respect my decisions on what to eat and what to avoid. I will sometimes choose to go without something that I am unsure about or something that “may contain wheat”. It makes it hard for me when people try to pressure me to eat things that I don’t feel safe about. I greatly appreciate people who stay out of it and let me make my own decisions in this area.

So, there you have it! 5 easy ways to help out a friend with food allergies. I started this list as something specifically applying to Celiacs, but quickly realized that it can be applied to all food allergies. I hope this helps you to realize that those of us with special diets really don’t want other people to have to cater to us. We just want to try to blend into as smoothly as possible, and not let our diets get in the way of us living. By following any or all of the tips listed above, you can help us meet this goal.

Gluten Free Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats

I made these delicious gluten free chocolate rice krispy treats for a church event yesterday, and they were a hit! They’re really simple and easy to make.

You’ll need:

6 cups gluten free chocolate rice cereal (I used Erewhon brand)
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greassing pan

Instructions:

Liberally butter a 9×13 glass baking pan.

In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and chocolate chips. Stir constantly until melted and thoroughly combined.

Remove from heat and quickly pour in cereal. Stir thoroughly until evenly incorporated. Work fast – the mixture hardens quickly. Scrape into buttered baking pan and press flat with buttered hands or spatula. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container.