The perfect Shabbat desserts doesn’t need to have wheat. There are many delicious gluten-free desserts from simple to decadent that you can indulge in safely! With a little creativity and experimentation sweet satisfaction is on the way.
When choosing an alternative Shabbat dessert think about whether you’re trying to create a gluten-free version of a recipe or looking to make something that doesn’t call for wheat at all. For example, are you trying to make a perfect gluten-free cookie that has all of the properties of a wheat flour cookie or would you be satisfied with mango sorbet?
If you’re risk adverse, go with the recipe that never calls for wheat. Choose fresh fruit, sorbets, mousse, or meringue cookies. This is a no fail method. You will not miss the gluten because it was never supposed to be there. You can either make your own or purchase ready made sorbets and ice-creams (should be non-dairy if eating after a meat meal).
Another option is buying gluten free baked desserts from a specialty bakery.
You can also make gluten free cookies, brownies, and cakes from special mixes.You’ll want to make sure that the mix and all of the ingredients are dairy free if you’re planning to serve the item after a Meat (fleishig) Shabbat meal.
Frozen gluten free products can be a lifesaver for quick Shabbat dessert. Simply fill and bake.
Are you really adventurous? Ready to take the risk of baking gluten free? While there is more effort involved, the results can be quite rewarding. Choose your recipes wisely, looking for multiple rave reviews whenever possible. Do you have the necessary ingredients in your kitchen? If not, do you know where to get them (health section of supermarket, specialty store, order online)? Experiment with various flours until you find the desired taste and consistency you’re looking for (be patient and keep trying). Alternative flours can be made from: amaranth, arrowroot, corn, fava, hemp, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, and tapioca. A combination of flours usually works best.
Passover recipes can be a treasure trove since many people avoid wheat (besides matzah) during the holiday. If the label says non-gebrokts, it’s gluten free. If the recipe contains matzoh meal, farfel, or matzoh cake meal all bets are off. You’ll want to stock up Passover time on your favorite gluten free products (great idea for soy and corn allergies as well).
If you have multiple food allergies be aware that just because a food is wheat free doesn’t mean it is safe for all food allergies. On the contrary, many gluten free baked goods have tree nuts and eggs. Scrutinize the ingredients for allergens before selecting a recipe or store bought product. Look for may contain statements as well that may signal cross contamination, trace allergens, or shared equipment. There are a few companies out there that actually have dedicated facilities and don’t make any products that are allergenic. Keep in mind, you’ll pay a premium for these specialized products.
Whether you choose a ready made gluten free dessert for your Shabbat meal or make your own, the results can be delicious. The only limitation is your imagination.