6 gluten-free cooking essentials for the holiday season
Everyone has their own go-to products in their kitchen. For me, it’s heavy cream and coffee, to name a few. For our office, it’s half-and-half, coffee, tea, and orange juice. But around the holidays, we all add a few different products to our kitchen pantry. Whether it’s something we know we’ll be using for the big holiday meals or foods we crave throughout the winter months, we all have some annual go-to products we turn to. This year, I have some new must-have products that I’ve been stocking my kitchen with. Check them out – you might just find a new favorite!
Rock Maple Mountain’s Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is often found in my kitchen, whether it’s for use in breakfast foods, baked goods, or to sweeten snacks like oatmeal and yogurt. That said, I hope you all know I’m referring to REAL maple syrup, not the artificial stuff. Not only is that stuff bad for you, but the flavor just doesn’t compare to the real stuff. Once you use real maple syrup, you can’t go back to the high-fructose-knock-off stuff! Rock Maple Mountain is a new brand in my kitchen, and I must say, it’s fantastic! It’s organic, multi-filtered and uses a single-barrel approach, rather than a blend. I always figured pure maple syrup is pure maple syrup and I didn’t think the process mattered much, but the taste proves that it does. You can read specifics about their process here.
I also love that this company is run by a family and is a small business – it adds to the experience of eating this syrup – like you just went to a farmers market or something.
MyBread’s Gluten-Free Baguettes & Rolls
Bread is a big deal this time of year. Toasted slices of baguette can be paired with cheese or a spread, rolls get slathered with butter and served alongside the holiday meal, and of course leftover sandwiches can be made with all sorts of breads. MyBread is another new brand in my kitchen, and I’m so happy about that! They offer pita bread, baguettes, and rolls. All are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy, making them perfect for my mixed-diet family! I like to use the baguettes for my super simple crostini appetizers and serve the rolls for dinnertime.
What’s great about these products is that they all have the same taste and texture that I remember wheat-based products having. This is really impressive since they don’t contain the other “key” ingredients found in a lot of bread products (gluten, eggs, and dairy).
Path of Life’s Convenient Side Dishes
The holidays are a stressful time of year. There’s planning and cooking and braving the grocery store lines, and all errands seem to take at least 15 minutes longer regardless of what day it is in December. Luckily, companies like Path of Life have our backs. They produce frozen side dishes that just need to be heated up! You can add things to them if you want, turn them from side dishes to main dishes, include them in a recipe, or eat them just the way they are. One of my favorite ideas is to use their roasted garlic cauliflower to create a mashed cauliflower side dish for the holidays or for any day! This is particularly great for people who don’t eat potatoes, such as those on a Paleo diet. It’s also a nice change of pace from traditional mashed potatoes for holiday dinner. To get the recipe for mashed cauliflower, click here.
Other delicious side dishes include quinoa with kale and mushrooms, quinoa with root vegetables, and more. Keep a few of these in your freezer for an easy side dish throughout the busy holiday months.
Schär’s Crackers and More
Schär is such a popular name in gluten-free essentials. From breads to crackers to cookies and so much more, chances are if you’re gluten-free, you’ve had a Schär product at least once! Schär is definitely not new in my kitchen – they’re a veteran in my pantry. I keep products like graham crackers, cookies, breads, and crackers on hand for all sorts of use. Their crackers, in particular, are perfect this time of year because all you have to do is set out a plate of those and a dip to satisfy those hungry mouths that keep asking when dinner will be ready! They’re great for serving to guests because they don’t taste any different than gluten-filled crackers, so even those who scoff at gluten-free products will be none the wiser.
Summerhill Dairy’s Goat Milk
Milk is an essential in my house. I use it for baking and cooking quite often. What I like about goat milk, though, is that people who usually can’t have cow milk can often have goat milk, meaning the delicious foods I make with goat milk can be enjoyed by more of my guests. Goat milk has less lactose and different casein proteins than cow’s milk, making it easier to digest. Goat milk tastes a little different than cow milk when you drink it plain, but if you cook or bake with it, it’s basically the same in most cases. I have had it impart a unique undertone to some foods that guests actually loved, they asked what I used in the recipe because they couldn’t quite put their finger on it. Summerhill Dairy offers goat milk that is Certified Humane, which is important if you want to ensure your milk comes from a source that treats their animals right. And it’s the holidays, so who doesn’t want good will towards animals?
ParmCrisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps
Last but not least, ParmCrisps! These have been a go-to of mine for a while now and they truly are a delicious, unique way to add crunch to so many things. You can bread chicken with these, top your salads with them (like croutons), eat them with a dip or spread, add them to a charcuterie board, and so much more. For the holiday season, I love to offer these as a topping to soups and salads. Guests love them because they are still very new to the market and a lot of people haven’t tried them in all the ways they can be used. They’re one of those products that some of my friends and family had said, “Oh, I’ve seen those at the grocery store.” but they haven’t bought any until they were served at my house. It’s fun to introduce people to foods that they didn’t know they needed! ParmCrisps are Keto-friendly, contain zero carbs, and are naturally gluten-free and protein-packed.