gluten free diet

Want Some Dessert? Naturally Gluten Free Dessert Ideas

Since baking has been the focus of this last section of the email course, I thought it would be nice to include a discussion of naturally gluten free desserts – desserts that do not require any gluten free flours.

Gluten free flours do get expensive, and it’s nice to be able to whip up a dessert with ingredients that you can get from any old grocery store.

The main purpose of this email is to encourage you by showing you the many, many desserts that you can make without flour. However, if you also need to avoid milk products and eggs, then you may be discouraged, at least initially.

Most of these recipes depend on eggs and or milk products to provide the structure and richness. I’ve separated the list of naturally gluten free desserts into 3 categories: those that use eggs, those that use dairy products, and those that use both, and those that use neither. If you’re not comfortable making substitutions, then skip to the section that will work best for your diet.

However, I do encourage you to eventually explore some of these desserts using milk and egg substitutions. Dairy substitutions are really very easy, and there’s a paragraph below detailing your options. And the egg recipes should not be out of reach for you, if you can use egg replacement powders.

You’ll also notice that some similar recipes fall into the ‘with eggs’ and the ‘without eggs’ category. Take the time to sit down and do a side by side comparison of those recipes to figure out what makes them work without eggs, and then use what you’ve learned to take the eggs out of the ‘with egg’ recipe.

Dairy Substitution Options:

* Instead of milk use a GF non-dairy milk. Soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are the ones that I’ve used the most. You can also find rice milk and flax milk in many Walmarts. The original or unsweetened flavors are generally the best choices for baking.

* Instead of butter, use a non-dairy butter substitute. Be sure to check the package and make sure that it is suitable for baking, which means that it’s been formulated to act like butter in a recipe.

I really like EarthBalance brand which also has soy-free “butters”. Shortening and solid coconut oil are other potential substitutes for butter (and liquid oils can be used in some recipes) but you would need to have enough knowledge of how the recipe works to determine if those substitutes would work well.

* I’ve successfully substituted heavy cream with a combination of a dairy free milk and oil.

* If a recipe calls for whipping cream, you can substitute coconut cream. You just use the solid cream from the top of a can of coconut milk. Chill the can first to get a good separation of cream and water.

* Googling “dairy free substitute for _______” can help find substitutes for the dairy products that you don’t encounter as frequently.

* Most of the chocolate recipes below use bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or cocoa powder. These chocolates typically do not contain milk, so they should generally not be a problem for those of you avoiding milk.

Read the label to be 100% sure, but it’s not milk chocolate so it shouldn’t have milk. If you need to avoid soy, I’ve heard that kosher groceries often sell chocolate that does not contain soy lecithin.

Egg Substitution Options:

When I make an egg-free recipe I generally use flax seed eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax seed in 3 Tbsp hot water), but egg replacement powders like Orgran or EnerG are probably a better option for these desserts. And, as you’ll see if you look at the lists closely, unflavored gelatin can also be used to replace eggs.

A List of Naturally Gluten Free Desserts:

To compile this list I sat down with one of my favorite cookbooks, Joy of Cooking, and just leafed through a few of the dessert sections. All page numbers are references to the 75th Anniversary Edition of Joy of Cooking.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful cookbook and I strongly recommend it, especially for those of you who are comfortable working from a non-gluten free cookbook.

If you don’t want to buy the cookbook, I would think it would be easy to find through a library (or inter-library loans if you’re local library is small). Or you could compile a similar list from your own cookbooks, using this list as a guide to the types of recipes that do not use flour.

You could also Google the name of the dessert + “recipe” to find some free recipes available on the Net.

For the sake of space I did not include any of the ice cream recipes, though there are plenty in Joy of Cooking. I also did not delve into the Candy section, though you’ll find many, many naturally gluten free (and egg and milk free) recipes there as well.

I know I’ll get some questions from readers who need to be sugar free, so let me just address that here. Most of these recipes contain sugar. If you cannot have sugar, then the JoC is not the cookbook for you. You can look through sugar-free websites and cookbooks for similar recipes.

Or if you can have sugar on rare occasions, then use these recipes on rare occasions That’s the approach that I take. None of us should be eating this much sugar every day =)

On to the list!

Recipes Using No Eggs or Milk Products:

Coconut Milk Pudding “Trembleque” – p 808 This pudding uses unsweetened coconut milk instead of cow milk.

Gelatins (lemon, orange, pineapple, fruit) – p 811-812 Many of these recipes use unflavored gelatin if you’re concerned about the food dyes in flavored gelatins. Once you’ve made a few of these you could probably figure out how to make the other gelatin desserts that use flavored gelatins.

Sorbet (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, mango, peach, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, and watemelon) – p 835- 836

Raspberry or Strawberry Sherbet – p 837

Ice Pops – p 838 – the recipes that use with pureed fruit do not call for milk

Granitas or Ices – p 838 – 839 I love watermelon granita on a hot summer day!

Dark Chocolate Bark – p 859

Recipes Using Eggs:

Meringues (vanilla, coffee, and cocoa flavored) – p 741 – Meringues are useful as the base of a dessert or as layers.

Dacquoise – p 741 – Dacquoise is a nutted meringue.

Peanut Butter Cookies – Do you remember how cookies need flour, fat and sugar. In this recipe, peanut butter provides the flour and fat.

Flourless Nut Balls – p 769

Macaroons (almond, coconut and chocolate coconut) – p 771

Meringue Kisses (vanilla, cocoa and nutty) – p 771

Zabaglione – p 806 – an Italian custard that does not use milk

Recipes Using Milk Products:

Forgotten Cookies

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding – p 807

Butterscotch Pudding – p 807

Blancmange – p 813 – a vanilla pudding that uses gelatin instead of eggs

Panna Cotta – p 813 – a vanilla cream dessert that uses gelain instead of eggs

Pineapple Snow – p 814 – a gelatin dessert whipped with cream

Snow Pudding – p 814 – another gelatin dessert

White Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Almonds – p 816

Chocolate or Coffee Bavarian Cream – p 818

Bavarian Berry Cream – p 818

Stovetop Rice Pudding – p 820

Coconut Tapioca Pudding – p 821

Coeur A La Creme – p 826

Bananas Foster – p 827

Orange, Lemon, Lime, or Cranberry Sherbet – p 837- 838

Ice Pops – p 838 – the recipes that use juice also call for milk

Snow Cream – p 838

Frozen Fruit Mousse – p 841

Macaroon Bombe – p 843

Truffles – p 858 – 859

Recipes Using Eggs & Milk Products:

Fresh Strawberry Meringue or Dacquoise with Whipped Cream and Chocolate – p 741

Cheesecake (there are several different recipes and flavors to try) – p743 -746 – Cheesecakes do not have to have a crust!

Custards, flan, creme brulee, pots de creme (many different recipes and flavors) p 802 – 805

Floating Islands – p 805 – These are little fluffy meringue balls that you can float on a liquid custard. Fun!

Vanilla Pudding – p 807

Chocolate Souffle – p 809

Fresh Fruit Souffle – p 810

Spanish Cream – p 813

Fruit Whip – p 813 – a gelatin dessert that is whipped with fruit and egg whites – this is only in the milk and egg category because the suggested topping contains milk

Chocolate Mousse – p 816

Chocolate Terrine – p 817

Cold Lemon Souffle – p 817

Baked Rice Pudding – p 820

Tapioca Custard – p 820 – Eggs are optional in this recipe

Baked Pearl Tapioca Pudding – p 821

Hazelnut Semifreddo – p 841 – a frozen dessert

Chocolate Semifreddo – p 841

Coffee Parfait – p 841 – another frozen dessert

Frozen Strawberry or Raspberry Mouse – p 840

Frozen Berry Souffle – p 842

Hazelnut Torte – p 728 – Leave out the optional breadcrumbs. The torte itself does not contain milk products, but the suggested topping does.

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes – p 729

Flourless Chocolate Decadence – p 729

Hope you enjoy the list! Tomorrow I’ll send you a recipe for a dairy-free pudding.