Photo by Lynette Potgieter
The new fruitcake from Nettie's Naturally is just one of many holiday treats you can still enjoy sans gluten.
It's time for mistletoe and holly! And every dastardly wheat-based creation known to man. The holidays can be tough on gluten-free merrymakers; even the green beans have some kind of floury fried thing on top. But, thanks to bakers and grocers throughout the city, you can fill yourself silly with gluten-free replacements for the delicious morsels you miss most. Stuffing? Check. Pie? Oh, yes. Gravy? Not even kidding. Read on to find all your favorite treats and where to get them.
MEAT: Whole Foods is your go-to for show-stopping meat mains that haven’t been injected with gluten sauce (and that’s no joke — even whole turkeys can contain secret ingredients). Sous vide short ribs and leg of lamb; turkey breasts done up in apple-and-thyme, maple or herb trimmings; spiral-glazed hams — it’s a pre-cooked protein feast for the senses. Additionally, beautiful young turkeys to roast yourself can be found at Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market and Harvest Grocery + Supply.
STUFFING: Whether traditional or cornbread stuffing is your thing, your holiday plate will be complete this year! Grab bags of either in the pantry aisles at Ellwood Thompson’s or Whole Foods — or go for the gusto at Good Foods Grocery with Glutino’s cranberry version.
BREAD: There will be bread. The gluten-free bread product industry has exploded over the last few years, rendering us helpless to choose between crusty dinner rolls (Against the Grain at Ellwood Thompson’s), baguettes (Anna B’s Gluten Free online shop), or cheese-laced loaf bread (Ellwood Thompson’s bakery).
GRAVY: It’s actually quite easy to make amazing gluten-free gravy from scratch if you’re roasting your own meat; pan drippings whipped up with butter, rice flour and corn starch do the trick. Not roasting? Grab a container of organic Imagine Foods turkey or beef gravy at Ellwood’s, or find Full Flavor chicken gravy mix in packets at Good Foods Grocery.
BREAKFAST: Can I just say the word "croissant"? When was the last time you had one? Perhaps this holiday season will be the one to reunite you with one of the best of modern man’s creations: Get Schär’s gluten-free croissants at Good Foods Grocery, and while you’re there, hit up the frozen food aisle for Katz’s pumpkin-glazed or powdered doughnuts. Also excellent: Anna B’s Gluten Free blueberry muffins, which you can order online or snatch up at Ellwood Thompson’s.
CAKE AND PIE: WPA is your go-to for GF-friendly pies; whatever they put in the crust (*cough* butter) makes magic happen. Pumpkin is delightful, or you can get crazy with one of their insane crumble-topped cheesecakes, or the rich, tart buttermilk creation. Or many, many more. Want something free of both gluten and butter? Head to Nettie’s Naturally for their vegan, low-glycemic chocolate tortes. organic and GF swiss-style apple pie with custard from nettie's naturally
TREATS: There’s really no shortage of gluten-free treats at any grocery store these days, but we thought we’d mention some unmissable favorites: Local GF bakery 3 Fellers makes the most killer fudge-topped peppermint, raspberry and peanut butter brownies ever (available at Ellwood Thompson’s), plus it's offering a holiday cookie tin this year, which you can order from its online shop as early as next week. Schär’s chocolate-dipped shortbread will also elicit nothing but smiles, as will Gratify’s white-chocolate- and peppermint-dipped pretzels — both at Good Foods Grocery.
THE UNICORN: Fruitcake. It may be a divisive delight, but those on the correct side of the argument should run immediately to Nettie's Naturally Bakery and Cafe to order an organic, gluten-free fruitcake made with tart cherries, blueberries, cranberries, Goji berries, raisins, pumpkin seeds and pecans. It'll be the star on the holiday dessert table, and it looks like it's the only GF one you'll find in the whole city. Call ahead and place your order, for best results.