|Messy, homemade and delicious!|
No matter what type of diet you follow, it's fine to splurge on a sweet treat (in moderation!) on occasion.
Gluten-free deserts are plentiful and simple to make. You don't have to learn how to bake with rice flour or drop some big bucks on xanthan gum to create a wonderful sweet treat.
Here are five ways to end a meal without using wheat, rye, barley or triticale.
5 Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts
This simple two ingredient dessert is a snap to make. First pick out fresh, plump strawberries. Fruits are naturally gluten-free, so you're 100 percent in the safe zone. Next, splurge on a decadent organic chocolate. Choose a bar made with cocoa butter, cocoa or cocoa liqueur. Since not all chocolates are made without wheat-based emulsifiers, make sure the label says the product is gluten-free. Then, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler and dip the berries.
2. Sweetened Rice Pudding
Rice is a naturally gluten-free grain. Rice pudding is usually made by thickening the dessert with cream, milk and the rice itself -- no flour. Depending on your tastes, splurge on a cinnamon-raisin rice pudding, chocolate rice pudding or a recipe that uses honey and apples to sweeten the pudding. Once you find a favorite rice pudding recipe, you can really add any combination of nuts, chopped fruits or sweeteners.
3. Flourless Gluten-Free Desserts
After going gluten-free -- and realizing how expensive pre-made gluten-free treats are in the store -- I've done some test baking. Non-wheat flours don't respond the same way as wheat. Gluten gives bread a chewy texture, makes muffins rise and gives body to a cookie. But, what about baking without flour? It is possible! Check your favorite cookbook or website for flourless chocolate cake (it uses a lot of eggs), flourless peanut butter cookies (they are heavy in sugar) or crustless cheesecake (the creamy filling is the best part anyway).
4. Meringue Cookies
Every Easter my grandmother would whip up a batch of meringue cookies, or as she called them "Kisses." These egg-white based cookies puff up like little clouds, melt in your mouth and can be flavored to suit your palette. She usually made vanilla and chocolate cookies. But, if you're into experimenting with flavoring extracts or fresh citrus zest, you could easily create a new cookie flavor such as almond, lemon, lime or coconut.
5. Ice Cream and Sorbet
When made from scratch, ice cream and sorbet are naturally gluten-free desserts. Cream, milk, sugar and fruit are the key ingredients. So, fire up that ice cream maker collecting dust in the cabinet, or purchase an all-natural ice cream. Choose a dessert that's free of any thickeners, preservatives or emulsifiers. These tend to be hidden sources of gluten.
What's your favorite birthday dessert? Tell me in the comments below!
Until Next Time,
Whole Foods Living
Note: This article was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on March 7, 2012.