31 December Food Holidays to Celebrate Gluten-Free
Published December 1, 2020
Food plays an important part in holiday celebrations. From Kwanza, Hannukah and Christmas to Yule, Festivus and Winter Solstice, specially-prepared traditional dishes go hand-in-hand with seasonal rituals. When you, or someone you love, is living gluten-free, holiday meals can be challenging or require extra thought and care. Did you know that you can participate in 31 December Food Holidays to celebrate gluten-free?
This month, we’re going to celebrate Food Holidays and make them our own. Stop by each day to check out our Countdown Calendar that will take us into the New Year with gusto! Some of the foods and treats we’ll share are naturally gluten-free. For any that aren’t, we’ll give some quick and easy tips to make them safe to eat and enjoy. Without further ado, we present:
December Food Holidays to Celebrate Gluten-Free
December 1 | National Fried Pie Day
Fried Pies, you ask? Yes, they’re a real thing, a Southern treat: hand-folded pies or “hand pies” that are fried in shortening on a hot skillet or saucepan. We don’t know who came up with this day, but yes please, and thank you! How do you make these regional delights? We found this recipe for adorable Mini Pies from GF Jules that you can then fry up by heating your shortening in a saucepan or frying pan and setting the pies in, one at a time, removing with a slotted spoon, and placing them on paper towels to lightly pat them dry. (Search GFCO.org/product-directory for “flour.”)
December 2 | National Fritters Day
Fritters come in all shapes and sizes but are basically chunks of sweet or savory foods battered and fried up. Fruit like banana or apples, vegetables like corn or potatoes, seafood like shrimp or clams, you name it, it can be frittered! To fritter, of course, one must use flour, so pull out your favorite one-to-one all-purpose certified gluten-free flour and get frittering! You may not have realized this but Tempura is a type of fritter. Here’s a recipe for gluten-free and dairy-free tempura using rice flour, the traditional way. What you fritter is up to you!
December 3 | National Peppermint Latte Day
‘Tis the season for peppermint flavored treats, and a Peppermint latte tops many people’s list of favorites to get into the holiday spirit. And guess what? Peppermint lattes are naturally gluten free: Espresso, steamed milk or milk alternative, and a squirt or two of homemade peppermint flavored syrup (watch out for potential “hidden” gluten in the store-bought kinds). Add a little chocolate syrup to transform your beverage into a peppermint mocha latte! Make your own peppermint coffee syrup – all you need is water, sugar, and peppermint extract!
December 4 | National Cookie Day
We’re claiming all the cookie, pie, cake and pastry holidays and making them our own with gluten-free modifications or fully gluten-free recipes. Not into baking? No guilt! Grab a box off the shelf in the gluten-free sections of your favorite store. Let’s face it: on National Cookie Day, one type of cookie just isn’t enough. Check out the recipe-rich slideshow with 12 Gluten-Free Cookies That Deserve Your Attention on Delish.com!
December 5 | National Comfort Food Day
Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with something warm and comforting to eat. We vote Mac ‘N’ Cheese as the comfort food of choice. Here’s a recipe for easy Mac ‘N’ Cheese from Gluten-Free Palate or search GFCO.org/product-directory for “mac and cheese” and “macaroni and cheese” to find certified gluten-free packaged options. Then dig in. Yum!
December 6 | National “Cook for Christmas Day”
Call this a “dress rehearsal” or a teaser for the big holiday meal. Test out a few never-tried-before holiday meal recipes to make sure you get it right when you’re cooking for others. Popovers can be tricky to get just right. The right timing and the right gluten-free flour blend can make all the difference in the world. Why not make a practice batch on this day to ensure perfection for the big day? Here’s an easy recipe to follow. Good luck!
December 7 | National Cotton Candy Day
Oh, the childhood memories that the fluffy, spun sugar called cotton candy conjures up, usually with the sound of carnival music in the background. Did you know cotton candy was popularized in 1904 at the World’s Fair and was called “Fairy Floss?” And did you know that you don’t need a cotton candy machine to make this sugary treat? Check out Jacques’ Homemade Cotton Candy on the Food Network website. Note that this recipe calls for food coloring paste and vegetable baking spray so make sure that the ones you use are labeled gluten-free – not all food coloring for baking or sprays are free of gluten.
You’ve made it through the first week. Keep reading for three more weeks of December food holidays to celebrate gluten-free.
December 8 | National Brownie Day
Whether you’re making them from scratch or from a box of gluten-free mix, brownies are a rich and delicious dessert or anytime treat. Whether you’re an outer edge brownie person (crusty!) or an inner piece person (gooey!), almost nothing beats a warm brownie with a scoop of ice cream. Here’s a gluten-free brownie recipe from Mama Knows Gluten-Free with a dairy-free option as well. Don’t forget to search the GFCO.org/product-directory for “flour” for certified gluten-free baking.
December 9 | National Pastry Day
Pastry dough is said to have originated with the Egyptians who would wrap meat in a simple paste of flour and water. The pastry was popularized in Medieval Europe then a variety of pastry techniques were developed in the 1600s such as short crust (no leavening agent so it doesn’t rise), flaky, puff, filo phyllo (more common?) and Choux made only with butter, water, flour and eggs. Today, when we think of pastries, we think of sweet fillings inside flaky dough. (Search the GFCO.org/product-directory for “flour.”)
December 10 | National Lager Day
To be a beer lover and gluten-free. Not always a compatible combination, especially with the confusion over what constitutes a gluten-free beer. We put together an easy explanation of the difference between fermentation and distillation to explain the gluten-and status of beer and spirits. ARTICLE HERE. To be extra certain you’re drinking a true gluten-free beer, make sure it is GFCO-certified.
December 11 | National “Have a Bagel” Day
Celebrating this food holiday today or any other day? Yes, you can have your bagel – and cream cheese, too. There are several GFCO-certified gluten-free bagels on the market today. If you’re feeling creative and ambitious, you can also make your own.
December 12 | National Cocoa Day
2000 years ago, the Mayans created the first chocolate drink. Want to enjoy a guaranteed gluten-free hot cocoa today (or any day)? Cocoa mixes should be gluten-free but could be made in facilities that manufacture products with gluten. To be totally safe, go the DIY route. Gluten-Free Palate has a delicious, made-from-scratch recipe that includes a dairy-free option. We love the optional touch of vanilla. Great idea! https://www.glutenfreepalate.com/hot-cocoa-mix-with-dairy-free-option/
December 13 | National Popcorn String Day
Did you know: The current Guinness World Records title for the longest popcorn string measured at 1049ft 10in long? Fact. While we think popcorn string is meant for decoration and not eating, we’re probably not the only ones who munch on the popcorn as we’re making the string! By nature, popped corn is gluten-free, but like any crop, cross-contact can happen. Look for certified gluten-free popcorn, unpopped or already popped and seasoned. Search the GFCO database for some popular brands. Happy decorating!
December 14 | National Biscuits and Gravy Day
Ready to make a batch of gluten-free biscuits topped with gravy, a popular Southern dish? Gravy is traditionally based on a roux or flour and fat mixture for thickening with added milk, but you can do it up gluten-free as well. Here’s a sausage-based gravy and biscuit recipe, all gluten-free, from Life After Wheat: https://thereislifeafterwheat.com/2018/08/gluten-free-biscuits-and-gravy/
December 15 | National Lemon Cupcake Day
The cupcake, referred to back in 1796 as “a cake to be baked in small cups,” is a favorite treat for anyone who loves cake, icing optional. We’re not sure why lemon cupcakes get their own food holiday, but we’re game! Noshtastic has a gluten-free lemon cupcake recipe you can try: Don’t forget the lemon zest!
We’re halfway there, but keep scrolling for more December Food Holidays to Celebrate Gluten-Free…
December 16 | National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
All you chocolate lovers out there: What gluten-free foods do you like to eat covered in chocolate? We’ve got a few ideas including bananas, strawberries, apples, pineapple, marshmallows, gluten-free pretzels, cookies or brownie bites or even angel food cake pieces. Here is a fun twist to chocolate fondue – the interactive way to cover foods with chocolate from MyGlutenFreeKitchen blog . This recipe adds in peanut butter. Chocolate and peanut butter? A winning combination!
December 17 | National Maple Syrup Day
Pure maple syrup is naturally gluten-free. Celebrate the day with this simple, sweet, and tasty Maple Rice Pudding!
4 c. milk
2/3 c. arborio rice
½ c. maple syrup (up to 2/3 c.)
¼ c. raisins
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
- Combine 1st 4 ingredients in medium saucepan.
- Bring to boil over medium heat, stir frequently.
- Reduce heat to low; cook 30 – 40 min or until rice is tender/mixture is creamy, stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.
December 18 | National “I Love Honey” Day
Here’s a day for honey lovers everywhere! Is honey gluten-free, you ask? Yes, naturally so. You can also buy certified gluten-free honey. Just buzz over to GFCO.org and search the product database.
December 19 | National Oatmeal Muffin Day
Can you safely celebrate this food holiday if you’re gluten-free? Inquiring minds want to know! Yes, there’s been some confusion over the safety of oats for those avoiding gluten. Check out our post about oats and oat flour. This should clear things up for you and give you peace of mind as you celebrate National Oatmeal Muffin Day!
December 20 | National Sangria Day
In almost every case, wine is gluten-free because it is made from grapes. When making sangria, read the labels on anything you might add such as flavored liqueurs or drink mixes. Fruit schnapps, brandy, cognac and even vodka are usually gluten-free. Go simple and classic, like this easy Red Sangria recipe from Food and Wine.
December 21 | National French Fried Shrimp Day
“French frying” refers to frying in deep fat. When it comes to deep fat frying foods, there’s no way around using some kind of coating or batter. If you’re celebrating National French Fried Shrimp Day, what you use to cover your shrimp can be gluten-free. This recipe uses brown rice flour and cornstarch to give you that satisfying crispy coating.
Take Note: Gluten-free food that is fried in oil where gluten-containing food was also fried means it is no longer gluten-free.
You’re almost there. Keep reading for more December Food Holidays to celebrate gluten-free!
December 22 | National Date Nut Bread Day
Dates and nuts are naturally gluten-free and are perfect additions to baked goods to add texture and flavor. On National #DateNutBreadDay, why not try this gluten-free date nut bread recipe. It calls for a little rum, but you can substitute it with vanilla extract if you prefer. Be Aware: Some chopped dates are rolled in oat flour to prevent sticking so may not be gluten-free unless the oat flour is certified as such.
December 23 | National Bake Cookies Day
Get out your cookie sheets, mixers and more! It’s National Bake Cookies Day, and we’re warming up our ovens. Technically, it is also National Pfeffernusse Day, celebrating a specific German spice cookie made with ground nuts and spices and covered in powdered sugar. And yes, there are gluten-free recipes for Pfeffernusse, like this one.
December 24 | National Eggnog Day
Eggnog is a popular drink this time of year – a chilled dairy-based drink usually made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon or pumpkin spice and – if you’re old enough – spirits like rum, brandy, vodka, or bourbon. If you are lactose intolerant, you can find or make eggnog with milk alternatives like soy and almond milks. Want to get creative? Try this Gluten-Free Eggnog Pie from My Gluten-Free Kitchen.
December 25 | National Pumpkin Pie Day
Pumpkin pie, as a sweet dessert, dates back to the 1600s. You probably think Pumpkin Pie is something to enjoy only on Thanksgiving. Well, surprise, surprise – today is the official National Pumpkin Pie Day (but who needs an excuse to have more pie?)! Here’s a gluten-free recipe with a dairy free option for this seasonal treat.
December 26 | National Candy Cane Day
Got a surplus of candy canes? Don’t let them go to waste! Garnish ice cream, gluten-free chocolate cake or brownies, or a cup of hot chocolate with those red and white striped treats. Or get fancy and make Peppermint Bark Macrons (made with almond flour). NOTE: Candy canes are typically gluten-free – mostly sugar and corn syrup – but watch out for added flavors.
December 27 | National Fruitcake Day
Oh, the beloved fruitcake. This holiday traditional baked good dates back to ancient Roman times and is typically made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts, and spices. Fruitcake can also come soaked in spirits such as spiced rum, brandy and liqueurs. Here’s a gluten-free fruitcake recipe from GF Jules made in a bundt pan!
December 28 | National Chocolate Candy Day
How do you celebrate National Chocolate Candy Day? We vote for “Eat Chocolate!” Heads up: While pure chocolate is considered gluten-free, some brands add emulsifiers, flavoring agents, and other additives that could contain gluten. Read the label before you indulge. Or search the GFCO database for certified gluten-free chocolate indulgences!
December 29 | National Pepper Pot Day
Nothing like a warm dish on a cold winter’s day. A Pepper Pot is a strongly-flavored, thick stew with meat, vegetables, pepper and other seasonings and spices. While there are variations from West Africa and the Caribbean using cinnamon or cassareep derived from cassava root), there is also a more “Americanized” version with diced bell pepper, black pepper, allspice and paprika. More traditional versions use tripe or cow stomach lining but stew beef works, too. Here’s a recipe in the style popularized in 19th century Philadelphia.
December 30 | National Bacon Day
Bacon is so popular it has both a National day (today) and an International day (Sept 4, 2021). We like to say “Every day can be Bacon Day.” While most bacon is gluten–free, you may prefer to seek out a certified-gluten free bacon to indulge on this special day. Look no further than the GFCO product database.
December 31 | National Champagne Day
Our December food holiday countdown is winding down. Let’s toast National Champagne Day! Champagne is made using a two-step fermentation process: 1. Grape juice is fermented into alcohol; 2. the liquid is then bottled to trap CO2 gas to form bubbles. BONUS: Champagne is naturally gluten–free. Cheers! Learn more about the process to make gluten-free alcohol here.
That was 31 December Food Holidays to Celebrate Gluten-Free. Check out our website for more gluten-free recipe’s and more.