Once upon a time if you had any dietary concerns, like gluten-free or dairy-free, you may have felt like you were missing out, especially at Christmas.
Rejoice that is no longer the case! With so many people suffering from food allergies, food producers and manufacturers have introduced a large range of gluten-free and dairy-free products available. These items are pre-packaged ready to eat, actually taste good and ever expanding in range.
With an estimated 28% of our population following a Gluten Free diet, it is one of the most common dietary requests. As someone who bakes for a living, I have found that most recipes (particularly those that are ‘moist’ like banana bread or carrot cake) will adjust to gluten-free flours. For favourite recipes that are wheat flour based, I often substitute the wheat flour for almond meal and hazelnut meals or mix a little of these with some gluten free flour when converting to Gluten Free.
If you also have nut allergies consider mixing your own gluten free and nut free flour by mixing tapioca flour, rice flour, potato flour and quinoa flour. Expensive yes, but it was worth a try, and yes it worked fine for some of my recipes but not ALL of my recipes.
For Dairy Free diets, my go to substitutes are Nuttelex, coconut oil (solidified and liquid) & condensed coconut milk (which can now be found in big brand supermarkets).
Cooking is the ultimate science project, don’t be afraid to try substituting your favourite recipes with gluten or dairy free ingredients. Even if it fails you will end up with a funny story to tell people! So take the time, find yourself some ‘willing’ guinea-pigs and experiment.
For those of you wanting to do something easy & special for someone this Christmas or for a group of people which may just include Gluten Free, Diary Free & Vegan people, the following recipe is for you!
Just remember to have an extra, extra clean work area & equipment so that you don’t have any cross contamination from wheat or dairy that will cause issues for your dietary people!
Oh, and if you are not up to baking for these people yourself, order our Rum Cherry Coconut Truffles which are delicious and Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Vegans. They are incredibly good!
(aka The Baking Monkey)
GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH BLISS BALLS
(Courtesy of Bianca Slade – Wholefood Simply)
1 1/2cups almond meal
3 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Swap for any nut butter
Swap nut butter for glucose or rice malt syrup
Swap golden syrup for honey/maple
- Place the ingredients into you processor and blend until the mixture resembles a fine, sticky crumb.
- Use slightly damp hands to roll a tablespoon of the mixture into a ball.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture and place the balls in the fridge to set.