Entertaining gluten-free? Gluten-free entertaining…

June 28th, 2013

Gluten-free eating continues to gain momentum as one of today’s most popular food trends. Whether you’re gluten-free because of medical necessity such as celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or simply because you feel it is a good idea there are important things you should know before loading your cart (and your belly) with all things gluten-free.

Firstly, there’s no medical evidence that avoiding gluten is a healthier way to eat. If you feel healthier on a gluten-free diet it may be because you’re simply eating more nutritiously – more vegetables and fruits and fewer processed (often high calorie) foods for example. Furthermore, avoiding gluten does not promote weight loss. In fact, many gluten-free foods have extra sugar and fat to improve their taste, which could mean weight gain. Lastly, many gluten-free foods are made from refined grains and starches that don’t contain important nutrients, like iron, B vitamins and fiber.

So, if you’re going gluten-free do it smartly. To get what you need, boost your intake of B vitamins by eating whole grains such as quinoa as well as fish, lean meats and low-fat milk and alternatives. Iron-up and with beans and dark greens, such as spinach and kale. Keep up with fiber by enjoying legumes as well as fruits and vegetables. Also, keep in mind when choosing gluten-free flours focus on healthier options such as gluten-free oat flour and bean flours. These flours are often higher in b-complex vitamins, fiber and protein compared to traditional gluten-free flours made from rice or potato. A nutritional comparison of common gluten-free flours is on page 9 of Pulse Canada’s recipe booklet “Pulses and the Gluten Free Diet.”

For more information on gluten-free eating visit the guru of all things gluten-free Shelley Case at www.glutenfreediet.ca.


P.S. Tomorrow on CTV Edmonton Morning Live I will be discussing this trend and offering nutrition tips and gluten-free recipes for summer entertaining. I hope you can tune in! Be sure to tweet your best gluten-free recipes @FoodFirstRD.

Feature Recipe:

Gluten-Free Cherry Clafloutis

Clafloutis is a simple and elegant French dessert that is not only gluten free, but a source of protein, antioxidants and healthy fats.


–          1/2 cup ground almonds

–          1/4 cup granulated sugar

–          1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

–          2 tablespoons cornstarch

–          2 large eggs

–          2 large egg yolks

–          1 cup coconut milkXX

–          1 tsp. vanilla

–          1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate and place this on a baking tray.
  2. Stir ground almonds, granulated sugar, brown sugar and cornstarch together. Add eggs, egg yolks and coconut milk and whisk by hand until blended. Pour this into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the cherries. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the clafoutis is golden and fluffy.
  3. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Garnish with vanilla Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.


Bake in individual ramekins for an elegant dessert at your next dinner party. For a simpler finish garnish with light dusting of powdered sugar and fresh cherries. Use any seasonal berries you like such as fresh raspberries or blueberries or your favourite medley.