Enjoying a gluten-free Thanksgiving: Desserts

What Thanksgiving meal would be complete without dessert?

For those of us with food intolerances and allergies, this course often give us the most headaches -figuratively and often literally. Gluten and other allergens can be obvious in some desserts but can sneak into others. Creating your own desserts can sometimes be intimidating and time consuming, so I’m sharing some simple and easy ideas that you can incorporate into your festivities this year!

Desserts

Crustless Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie

Who needs a crust? These pies are delicious all on their own without the frustration of making and rolling out a gluten free pastry crust. These pies typically include eggs so they would not be appropriate for egg allergies or vegan/vegetarian guests. Use your choice of pumpkin or sweet potato puree, organic heavy cream or coconut cream, spices, eggs and a starch to thicken the mixture. Pour into a pie pan and bake. The pie creates its own crust! Best if baked the day before.

Fruit Crisps

Is there a better dessert to showcase seasonal fruit? Choose your favorite fruit – apples, plums, pears or a combination and you can even throw some cranberries in the mix – sweeten with maple syrup or honey, add some aromatic spices and some starch to create a thick syrup while the crisp bakes. Top with a streusel style topping, making sure to use gluten-free oats or quinoa flakes and bake til bubbly.

Decadent Chocolate Mousse

You have to have a dessert for the chocaholics, and what better choice than a decadent mousse that will fool everyone with its ingredients. Quite simply, blend 3 peeled and cored avocados, 1/2c maple syrup, some vanilla extract, 1 ½ Tbs coconut oil, ¾ c carob powder and 4 Tbs. cocoa powder. Blend til smooth and creamy. Serve up in martini glasses or individual ramekins and top with fresh berries. Gluten free, vegan and truly decadent.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Looking for a dairy-free alternative to whipped cream? Chill a can or two of coconut milk for 24 hours. Scoop out only the thick cream at the top of the can(s). Use a chilled bowl and beaters and whip the cream, adding your choice of sweetener and flavorings or spices. Like traditional whipped cream, it does need to stay refrigerated as long as possible.

My hope is that the suggestions I shared for side dishes and desserts will help you in navigating a gluten-free Thanksgiving. I firmly believe Holidays are meant to be enjoyed and celebrated so please treat yourself to delicious and safe food this year!

Katie Kolbus is the owner and baker at Motown Freedom Bakery, a baking company dedicated to baking delicious allergy-friendly sweets and treats with a healthy twist. All baked goods are free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, corn and sesame.

It is Katie’s mission through her bakery to give everyone the freedom to say Yes to their favorite sweet treats and desserts.

In addition to excelling in allergen-friendly baking, Katie also is certified in Holistic Nutrition through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, located in Manhattan, New York City.

Katie lives in metro-Detroit with her husband (and business partner) and their three year old son, Jack. 

Photo credit: Mr & Mrs Stickyfingers

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