A gluten-free diet is essential for those managing the symptoms of celiac disease and other medical conditions associated with gluten. However, a gluten-free diet is also rising in popularity among people who haven't even been diagnosed with such a condition as it can have numerous health benefits.
Gluten is the general term for a group of proteins commonly found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, and it is their job to act as the “glue” that binds it all together. It can be found in everything from bread and pasta to cereal and cake, so cutting it out can be tricky.
Like nuts, wheat is a common allergen though, so many have no choice but to cut it out. However, even in those not sensitive to it, it can still cause bloating, upset stomachs, irregular bowel movements, headaches and tiredness.
Of course, many can eat gluten without experiencing any side effects at all, but there are loads of gluten-free options that will allow you to enjoy healthy and delicious meals without it. And if you are suffering any of the aforementioned symptoms, then maybe a gluten-free diet could help to relieve them.
It can certainly help to boost energy and lose weight, but, like anything, it is all about balance. Those with celiac disease who have no choice but to go 100% gluten-free are at risk of nutrient deficiency, so any significant changes to diet are best done in consultation with a medical expert.
However, one thing that is well known to readers of this blog is that the Lazy Susan team are partial to a sweet treat or two. But what can you do to satisfy that craving if you’re adhering to a gluten-free diet?
Never fear, we’ve compiled some of our favourite gluten-free sweet treats. And whether you need to avoid it for health reasons or not, we guarantee these recipes will taste just as good as anything with gluten!
1. Gluten-Free Brownies
Becky over at Gluten Free Cup of Tea has this fab recipe for gluten-free chocolate brownies recipe that couldn’t be simpler.
It uses only 6 ingredients, is super easy to make for beginners to make but, most importantly, is super fudgy and chocolatey for those craving a sweet treat.
The ingredients are just:
- 100g gluten-free plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 250g butter (or dairy-free alternative)
- 250g chocolate (dairy free if necessary)
- 4 x medium eggs (or 3 large eggs)
- 280g caster sugar
- 180g chocolate chips (optional)
You can get the full recipe on Becky’s Blog.
2. Gluten-Free Cheesecake
There’s good cheesecake (homemade) and then there’s not-so-good cheesecake (shop-bought). This is the latter of course and definitely worth the effort.
Freee’s Easy Gluten-Free Baked Cheesecake is one indulgent treat that is delicious as is or can be dressed up with fresh seasonal berries of your choice.
It is made using their basic Freee Sponge Mix and the ingredients are as follows:
- 300g cream cheese
- 150g crème fraîche
- 2 x lemons
- 2 x eggs
- 1 x packet of FREEE Sponge Mix
- 150g sour cream
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Butter for tin
You can get the full recipe and method for baking at freee-foods.co.uk
3. Gluten-Free Waffles
Much like a cheesecake, waffles have to be made not bought, cooked and eaten straight away.
There are a few packet mixes on the market, and whilst some are OK, making your own is the way to go.
Our fave recipe comes from our old friend Jamie Oliver. He flavours them with apple and cinnamon, so they are perfect for this time of year.
They are super easy to make and the basic ingredients are as follows:
- 65g unsalted butter
- 2 x large free-range eggs
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk
- 225g gluten-free plain flour
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Ground cinnamon
- 2 x Braeburn apples
- Low-fat natural yoghurt to serve
- Maple syrup to serve
You can get the full recipe at jamieoliver.com.
4. Gluten-Free Muffins
A good muffin recipe is a must in everyone's locker. Trust me we’ve probably tried hundreds, and if you need it to be gluten-free, then this recipe from Gluten-Free Baking is the winner.
They are super easy to make and the simple recipe always delivers light and airy muffins that are packed with blueberries.
They suggest using fresh or frozen blueberries but we found they actually baked better with frozen, unthawed, and straight from the freezer into the batter.
You’ll find the full list of ingredients and Elizabeth's easy-to-follow recipe on glutenfreebaking.com.
5. Gluten-Free Chocolate Sponge Cake
If you need to bake a cake, then a good choccy sponge cake will never disappoint.
Kat at the Loopy Whisk has this melt-in-the-mouth gluten-free sponge cake that as she puts it, tastes like hot chocolate in cake form.
We had it in the Lazy Susan office just last week and trust me, it is fluffy and rich, and the chocolate buttercream frosting is simply heaven.
The ingredients are as follows:
- 2 cups + 3 tbsp (265g) plain gluten-free flour blend
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tbsp (50g) cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 tsp (250ml) milk, room temperature
- ½ cup + 1 tsp (125ml) vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 cup + 2 tsp (250ml) boiling hot water
For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
- 3 sticks (340 g) of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (250 g) powdered sugar
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp (75 g) cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 150g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
You’ll find the full recipe along with some great easy-to-follow photos over on The Loopy Whisk.
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