The Gift of Gluten Free
By Melissa Diane Smith
Plenty of presents don't contain gluten! Take a peek at our favorites.

Looking for holiday gift ideas for people who eat gluten free? Don’t worry, there are numerous choices to fit many different tastes at your local natural food store. When you play Santa, look for safe, gluten-free gifts such as these:

Teas to warm the soul.
For welcome gifts for the cool winter season, choose single-ingredient teas, such as green tea or chamomile tea, or gluten-free herbal tea combinations, such as Good Earth Caffeine-Free Sweet & Spicy—with or without a mug or special teacup. For extra Christmas spirit, give a box of holiday tea, such as Celestial Seasonings peppermint-flavored Candy Cane Lane tea.

A basket of fruit to refresh the body.
Have an arrangement made up or make your own with an inexpensive basket and assorted seasonal fruits, such as oranges, pears, apples, bananas, and kiwifruit. A bag of dried cranberries can add a nice seasonal touch.

Nuts to satisfy the appetite.
Nuts, such as organic shelled pecans, are a great snack, appetizer, or ingredient to use in recipes, which makes them a nice present too. Want extra holiday flair? Buy a few nutcrackers and assorted unshelled nuts—a great gift to give to someone who has guests coming for the holidays.

A special dessert to make a get-together sweeter.
Because people who eat gluten free have to skip common desserts so often, they’ll really appreciate getting a dessert they know is safe for them to eat. For a really nice surprise, consider buying a friend or family member who eats gluten free a dessert appropriate for the season, such as Fabe’s Gluten Free Apple Pie or Pamela’s Products Ginger Cookies with Sliced Almonds. Or make your own dessert, such as your favorite homemade gluten-free pie, cookies, or cake.

A gluten-free book to educate the mind.
A gluten-free diet book or cookbook is a thoughtful gift, especially for a friend who has just begun a gluten-free diet and seems overwhelmed. To get that person off to
a healthful start, consider making a gluten-free care basket with a book and a few gluten-free baking supplies or gluten-free snacks.

Bath care products to pamper the body.
If you’d like to steer clear of food-related gifts altogether, try health and beauty products. Good choices tolerated by even most allergic people are luxurious essential-oil-based bath oils, such as Aura Cacia Comforting Vanilla Precious Essentials Aromatherapy Massage Oil, or relaxing bath salts, such as Batherapy Lavender Mineral Bath Salts.

Stocking stuffers for fun.
Gluten-free chocolate, such as an Enjoy Life Foods Boom Choco Boom bar, makes a sweet stocking stuffer. Or try a small festive personal care product, such as Loofah-Art’s colorful bath scrubbers or Kiss My Face Holiday Lip Balm Duo Pack (in Vanilla Sugar and Cranberry Spice).

Organic cotton clothes that help the environment.
Made with cotton not sprayed with all the pesticides found in commercial cotton, an organic cotton shirt or bathrobe is a present that virtually everyone feels good getting because it is better for us and for the planet.

A gift certificate from a natural food store.
A gift certificate is always a good choice. It’s a gift that many people appreciate the most because they can use it for anything they want—from grass-fed meat to gluten-free crackers to kosher foods to shower gels they can pick out themselves.

Snap ’em Up Ginger Snaps
Makes 48 cookies

Cookies

¾ cup Spectrum organic shortening

¼ cup unsulfured molasses

1 cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup flax meal

¼ tsp. salt

1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour

½ cup rice bran

1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Icing

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 Tbs. lemon juice

  1. To make Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together shortening, molasses, brown sugar, flax meal, and salt. Mix in rice flour, bran, tapioca flour, 5 tsp. water, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; form into ball. Dough will be dense.
    Pinch off pieces of dough, and roll into 1-inch balls. Place about 12 balls on greased baking sheet. Flatten balls with spatula.
  2. Bake about 12 minutes, until middles are firm. Let cookies cool 1 minute on baking sheet before removing to flat surface to cool completely.
  3. To make Icing: Mix sugar and lemon juice until mixture reaches spreadable consistency. Drizzle over or frost cooled cookies.

PER SERVING: 84 CAL; 1 G PROT; 4 G TOTAL FAT (2 G SAT FAT); 13 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 31 MG SOD; 1 G FIBER; 8 G SUGARS

Two Tone Temptation Cookies
Makes 36 cookies

2/3 cup superfine sugar

½ cup Spectrum organic shortening

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour

½ cup Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

3 Tbs. rice milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together sugar, shortening, and vanilla with electric mixer to partially combine. Add rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low; slowly add rice milk until dough is smooth but not firm. (You should be able to pinch off piece and roll into ball without it sticking too much to hands. If dough is too watery, add 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar at a time until dough reaches desired consistency. If too dry, add1 tsp. rice milk).
  2. Pinch off 1 Tbs. dough at a time, and roll into balls. Place on baking sheet 5 inches apart. Flatten dough evenly.
  3. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are golden and tops are cracked. Remove from oven, let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove from baking sheet, and cool completely
    on flat surface.
  4. Heat chocolate chips in deep, narrow, microwave-safe bowl in microwave on high power at 30-second intervals, stirring at each interval, until melted. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into melted chocolate. Lay cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Let cool completely before serving

PER SERVING: 86 CAL; 0 G PROT; 4 G TOTAL FAT (2 G SAT FAT); 12 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 34 MG SOD; 0 G FIBER; 7 G SUGARS

Thumbs Up Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 36 cookies

2/3 cup superfine sugar

½ cup Spectrum organic shortening

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour

½ cup Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

3 Tbs. rice milk

1 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats

1 cup gluten-free jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Partially combine sugar, shortening, and vanilla with electric mixer. Add rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low; slowly add rice milk until dough is smooth but not firm. (You should be able to pinch off piece and roll into ball without it sticking too much to hands. If dough is too watery, add 1 Tbs. sugar at a time until dough reaches desired consistency. If too dry, add 1 tsp. rice milk).
  2. Pinch off 1 Tbs. dough at a time, and roll into balls. Set aside.
  3. Grind oats in food processor until coarse. Place in shallow bowl.
  4. Roll dough balls in oats to coat well. Place balls on baking sheet. Press thumb into each ball to create shallow indentation. Fill indentation with 1 tsp. jam.
  5. Bake 15 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet; remove to flat surface to cool completely before serving.

PER SERVING: 91 CAL; 1 G PROT; 3 G TOTAL FAT (1 G SAT FAT); 16 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 34 MG SOD; 0 G FIBER; 9 G SUGARS




Related Articles: