♫ I’m dreaming of a gluten free Christmas ♪

“To wrestle new limitations into foods that are every bit as delicious and appealing (if not more so) is a coup to be celebrated.” Deborah Madison

Interest in gluten free eating is rising faster than a shooting Christmas star. In the past five years sales in gluten free products has tripled to more than 1.7 billion dollars.

By Dana Zia
The Golightly Gourmet

Dana Zia

This growth isn’t expected to stop either as more and more people are being diagnosed with celiac disease or wheat allergies.

Celiac disease used to be considered a very rare disease but now it is figured that 1 in 133 people have it. It is an inherited autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system in the small intestine. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, (which is a protein in wheat, rye and barley) all kinds of trouble can occur. This condition is sometimes hard to identify and people often go years before getting the correct diagnoses. (If you think you might have symptoms please consult your doctor) It is a disease that one never gets over but can be completely controlled by diet, which is great news.

Fortunately eating a gluten free diet is really very achievable now days, even during the holidays. There are many yummy delights that you can make and serve for you or your gluten sensitive and intolerant friends. The delicious and innovative recipes that are coming out are spectacular!

This truffle recipe is gluten free and made with healthy fats in the nuts that are the major ingredient. They can be made in so many ways that only your creative imagination is the limit. A food processor works great for these but you can chop the nuts by hand and mix them together with a (good) blender. Don’t roll them in the cocoa powder if you want less of a mess. Let me tell you, I got cocoa powder everywhere! I suggest rolling them in almond flour or finely chopped nuts instead. These delicious nuggets are high in calories, (even if they are healthier calories) so remember to enjoy responsibly!

I am sharing my three favorite varieties for your happy holiday table. The kids love them and even if they are not gluten intolerant they are healthier alternative to most other sweets abundant during this season. Believe me; if you serve these little Christmas gems no one will know they are missing anything, even Santa!

Orange chocolate truffles

1/2 cup of cashews (unsalted)

1/4 cup of almond butter

1/4 cup of honey or agave nectar

2 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of orange zest

1/4 cup of cocoa powder or almond flour to roll them in (optional)

Get out your handy dandy food processor and pulse the cashews till they are the texture you like. (I like mine a bit bigger for chewablity.) Add the rest of the ingredients then process till well mixed. Tuck the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so till firm. Take them out and roll into ½ inch balls. Then roll them in nut flour, like almond, and serve on a pretty platter. Store them in the fridge till Santa arrives.

Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

1/2 cup of toasted almonds

1/4 cup of almond butter

1/4 cup of honey or agave nectar

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of peppermint extract

1/4 cup of cocoa powder or almond flour to roll them in. (optional)

Get out your handy dandy food processor and pulse the almonds till they are the texture you like. (I like mine a bit bigger for chewablity.) Add the rest of the ingredients then process till well mixed. Tuck the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so till firm. Take them out and roll into ½ inch balls. These are wonderful dipped in melted chocolate and let set up in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.Store them in the fridge if there are any left for the elves.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Nuggets

1/2 cup of dry roasted unsalted peanuts

1/4 cup of peanut butter

1/4 cup of honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon of vanilla

1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup of cocoa powder or finely chopped peanuts to roll them in.(Optional)

Get out your handy dandy food processor and pulse the almonds till they are the texture you like. (I like mine a bit bigger for texture.) Add the rest of the ingredients then process till well mixed. Tuck the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so till firm. Take them out and roll into ½ inch balls. Then roll them finely minced peanuts for tongue tickles. Store them in the fridge if there are any left for the reindeer.

 

 

 





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