Gluten-Free Treats for the Holidays
The holidays are filled with delicious foods, especially baked goodies. So what to do if you are one of the great number of people who are gluten intolerant or sensitive? Avoid holiday gatherings altogether to avoid temptations?
No! Fortunately, a rapidly growing number of bakeries and grocers now offer gluten-free alternatives to a wide array of breads, cookies, cakes and pies, and all the gluten-free ingredients you need to make them yourself, so you, too, can enjoy special holiday foods without discomfort.
Siblings Marisa and Chad North opened Sans: A Gluten-Free Grocery in San Rafael in 2010 because they were tired of “doing without” because of their gluten intolerance. Their acute symptoms led to separate diagnoses of gluten intolerance relatively early in life, but they found that trying to find gluten-free products was a constant struggle—and not just substitutes for obvious gluten-containing items like breads and pastas. Gluten is in many foodstuffs that you would never suspect—like soy sauce!
Today Sans is as a one-stop shop for a huge array of gluten-free products and ingredients, as well as a café open on the weekends serving delicious prepared gluten-free foods. Stop by their B Street location or visit their website for holiday pantry items including gluten-free ingredients for traditional holiday must-haves like stuffing, gravy, pie crusts and baking mixes.
Gluten-free goodies from Flour Craft Bakery, owned by Culinary Institute of America–trained pastry chef Heather Hardcastle, have been pleasing fans since Hardcastle began selling her wares at the Marin County Farmers’ Market in 2009. Soon devotees will be able to find her every day of the week at her first retail location opening in San Anselmo.
According to Hardcastle, this will be the first entirely gluten-free bakery in the county. In addition to baked goods, the bakery’s café will also offers savory lunch items and their wildly popular house-made granola—all gluten-free, of course.
Flour Craft received much of the funding it needed to launch the retail location through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. If you haven’t heard of crowd funding, this hot new concept is well worth investigating if you are thinking of starting a small food enterprise—or want to act as an angel to one. Details can be found on Flour Craft’s Kickstarter page, Kickstarter.com/projects/222961399/flour-craft-bakery-we-are-gluten-free.