31 Ways to Kick off 2021: New Year, New (Gluten-Free) Food

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Published January 1, 2021

It’s a New Year! Time to kick off 2021 in a fresh way. We’re focusing on trying new gluten-free foods and paying attention to our overall wellness this month. Follow along as we reveal a new tip, recipe, blog post or podcast every week. 


January 1st | National Bloody Mary Day

It’s National Bloody Mary Day – but is it gluten-free? Our experts say, “Definitely yes, if you make it from scratch.” Veggies and vodka are gluten-free (click the link to learn more), but Bloody Mary mixes may contain gluten in a flavoring or filler. Stick to fresh everything, and you’ve got salad in a glass! Take out the vodka to enjoy any time.


January 2nd | National Buffet Day

It’s National Buffet Day, and we have one word for you if you are living gluten-free: Cross-contact. Eating at a non-gluten-free buffet creates an increased risk of cross-contact. What is “cross-contact versus crosscontamination?” And while we’re at it, what is “Agricultural Co-mingling?” We’ve got the answers for you: Gluten in Your Food!


January 3rd | National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

The National Confectioners Association recognizes this sweet holiday, so we will, too. Celebrate with one of these classic treats – also known as cherry cordials because they originally were made with a liqueur called kirsch, a type of brandy made from cherries, dating back to 1700s England. Brandy and cherries are gluten-free. Chocolate is, as well, but double check the label for any additives that might be an issue. Otherwise, enjoy one today!  


January 4th | National Spaghetti Day

Some of us remember having to give up pasta before gluten-free pastas were widely available. Gone are the days of sacrifice! There are so many options for spaghetti from big brands to artisanal ones, made of grains like corn, rice and quinoa, and higher protein choices made from beans like chickpeasSearch the GFCO certified gluten-free product database.


January 5th | National Keto Day

The ketogenic diet – or keto, for short – is a low carb, high fat diet. ‍While a keto diet is naturally low in gluten, and is often gluten-free, that’s not necessarily the case. Take care to watch where you may have to make modifications to avoid gluten exposure. 


January 6th | National Bean Day

It’s National Bean Day, and we’re fans! Beans are hearty, affordable, and versatile foods that, in their natural form, are gluten-freeMinestrone soup with beans…chili with beans and ground beef…Mexican rice and pinto beans. Beans are delicious, nutritious, and easy to flavor by adding different herbs & spices and by using them in a wide variety of different dishes. Read about Beans 10 Ways 


January 7th | National Tempura Day

When it comes to deep fat frying foods, there’s no way around using some kind of coating or batter to be true to the recipes. Tempura was traditionally prepared with a batter made of rice flour, egg, and ice water although in the last 40 years, even the Japanese have adopted wheat flour. Be sure to use only gluten-free soy sauce or tamari in the dipping sauce. Try this Gluten-Free Tempura Batter


gluten-free food: tempuragluten-free food: english toffee

  January 8th | English Toffee Day

Did you know that the English Toffee we enjoy in the U.S. is more accurately called Buttercrunch? Genuine English Toffee is made with brown sugar. Buttercrunch is made with white granulated sugar. Both versions are usually gluten-free, but watch out for nuts in Buttercrunch if you have a nut allergy. English Toffee from England never contains nuts. Find a certified gluten-free toffee at on the GCFO website


January 9th | National Apricot Day

If you’re living gluten-free, you can enjoy National Apricot Day worry-free. Fresh fruit is considered naturally gluten-free. Once fruit is processed, you might need to double check on the gluten front. Search the GFCO database for “Apricot” to find a range of apricot products like apricot tea, shortbread, and dried apricots that are certified gluten-free.  


 gluten-free food: apricotsgluten-free food: bittersweet toffee

January 10th | National Bittersweet Chocolate Day

Bittersweet chocolate is about 70% cacao and is typically gluten-free (Semi-sweet is about 60% cacao). As with any chocolate-based product, double check the additives, if any, to make sure they are safe. Otherwise, a quick search of “Chocolate” in the GFCO directory should turn up some delicious results!  


January 11th | National Milk Day

Did you know that in the early phases of celiac disease treatment, or before treatment has begun, you can experience lactose intolerance? Why? The enzyme that digests lactose (lactase) is produced in the intestinal cells that are damaged in people with celiac disease. This usually resolves over time. 

#NationalMilk Day 

 gluten-free food: milkNational Food Holiday Doughnut Day


January 12th | Glazed Doughnut

Yes, you can have your doughnut and eat it, too. While gluten-free doughnuts may seem hard to come by at a regular bakery, seek out a gluten-free bakery or try frozen doughnuts. Try doughnut bake mixes or take a leap and make glazed doughnuts from scratch to celebrate National Glazed Doughnut Day – or any doughnut day for that matter! What’s your favorite doughnut? Find gluten-free options here.


January 13th | National Gluten-Free Day

It’s National Gluten-Free Day. What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced maintaining your gluten-free way of life this year? How have you overcome them – or have you? We’ve compiled 9 ways maintaining our gluten-free lives have been affected by the lockdowns and changes across the country. Find the blog post here. Can you relate?  


January 14th | National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

Packaged pastrami – and most lunch meats – are usually gluten-free, but they could include problematic additives. Always check ingredients. For deli meats sliced at the store, double check that not only ingredients are gluten-free but that their slicer machine is clean and free from gluten particles. For sandwich breads, if you’re living gluten-free, you know how tough it is to find just the right one!#HotPastramiSandwichDay 

 National Food Holiday Hot Pastrami Sandwich DayNational Food Holiday Bagel Day

January 15th | National Bagel Day

According to bagel historians, the first bagel may have been the Polish obwarzanek dating back to the 1300s, a thin ring of dough that was par-boiled then baked. Today, Gluten-free bagels abound, so pull out your cream cheese, or other favorite bagel topping, and enjoy! What’s on your bagel? Search the GFCO database for gluten-free bagels.  


January 16th | International Hot & Spicy Food Day

Fire up your favorite chili pepper or hot sauce. It’s International Hot & Spicy Food Day! While the serious lovers of chili peppers battle it out seeing who can withstand the hottest peppers based on the Scoville heat scale, you can take a tamer approach and simply enjoy something hot, spicy, delicious and gluten-free!  


  Ney Year New Food Hot Spicy Food HolidayNational Food Holiday Hot Buttered Rum Day

January 17th | National Hot Buttered Rum Day

It’s still winter, and cold weather calls for warm beverages. For National Hot Buttered Rum Day, whip up this rum-based drink that dates back to the 1700s. Today’s version includes rum (distilled spirits are gluten-free), butter, hot water or cider, a sweetener such as brown sugar plus spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. For an all-ages mocktail, take out the rum and add a pungent spice like cardamom or garam masala and, voila!  


January 18th | National Gourmet Coffee Day

Hurray! Coffee is gluten-free! Typically, there isn’t gluten in coffee beans. Instant coffee does not have gluten. Gluten could be present in additives found in powdered coffee mixes, flavored coffee, or artificial coffee creamers. To enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee on this day, go for whole bean and a clean bean grinder to release natural coffee oils and flavors. 


 National Food Holiday coffee dayNew Year New Food Popcorn Food Holiday

January 19th | National Popcorn Day

Corn and plain popcorn are naturally gluten-free with a low risk of cross-contamination. Flavored popcorn could contain gluten so read the labels on the packaging to double check. You’ll find a nice selection of certified gluten-free popcorn in the GFCO product directory


January 20th | National Cheese Lovers Day 

Asago, Blue, Camambert… Cheese lovers everywhere are rejoicing on this day. If you are gluten-free, take note: There may be add-ins to a cheese that contain gluten so always check ingredients. Shredded cheese could have a gluten-containing starch added to prevent sticking. Read the labels before enjoying that cheese! #CheeseLoversDay 

Cheese Lovers Day New Year New Food Granola bar Day New Year New Food

January 21st | National Granola Bar Day 

A basic granola bar is typically made from whole grain, usually oats but other grains, such as quinoa or barley, can be used as well as fruit or nuts and for sweetening, honey, molasses, agave nectar or syrup. Look for the words “gluten-free” or a gluten-free certification mark to make sure the many ingredients in that granola bar are safe, even the oats. Wondering more about oats? Click here to read our blog.


January 22nd | National Blonde Brownie Day 

On this day, we honor the Blondie – the sweet treat that substitutes brown sugar for cocoa for a spin on a classic dessert. Gluten-free brownie and blondie recipes abound online. Go a little more decadent with your blondies by adding white chocolate chips, toffee or butterscotch, or drizzling some caramel on top. Check out this easy blondie recipe from Lemon + Zest:


Blondie Brownie Day New Year New Food Pie Day New Year New Food

January 23rd | National Pie Day 

Not to be confused with Pi Day (March 14). According to Wikipedia, National Pie Day was “invented” by a nuclear scientist in the 1970s to commemorate his birthday and later sponsored by the American Pie Council in 1986. Apple, cherry, pumpkin, rhubarb, peach, pecan, lemon meringue, so many pies. What’s your favorite pie? Check out this recipe for gluten-free crust to go with that filling! 


January 24th | National Peanut Butter Day 

Peanut butter was first introduced to consumers at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904, although some historians say the Incas in Peru first ground peanuts into a paste around 1500 B.C. Peanuts are naturally gluten-free and so is peanut butter. What about the possibility of cross-contact with wheat since it is an agricultural product? Read the label on the jar! Check out our 3 Tips for Reading Gluten-Free Labels.

New Year New Food Irish Coffee Day

January 25th | National Irish Coffee Day 

Coffee is gluten-free. Whipping cream is gluten-free, as is sugar. Whiskey is gluten-free (the distillation process removes gluten proteins, even when made from grains containing gluten). This warm-in-the-belly drink checks all the boxes for being an adult beverage that anyone of drinking age and avoiding gluten can enjoy. 


January 26th | National Peanut Brittle Day 

It’s National Peanut Brittle Day! Made of caramelized sugar or corn syrup, butter, baking soda and peanuts, this crunchy treat is naturally gluten-free. Some say the original peanut brittle was created in the South. We say bring it on! A great sweet snack for any occasion. Super Bowl Sunday, anyone?


New Year New Food Peanut Brittle Day New Year New Food Chocolate Cake Day

January 27th | National Chocolate Cake Day 

Chocolate Cake is considered the “World’s Favorite Cake” based on Internet searches for cake flavors. Over 81 countries searched for this rich and delicious dessert! Find a certified gluten-free flour or gluten-free chocolate cake mix on the GFCO Product directory. 


January 28th | National Blueberry Pancake Day 

Start with a gluten-free pancake. Add naturally gluten-free fresh blueberries. Finish with one of your favorite pancake toppings such as maple syrup, whipped cream, or even yogurt. You’re ready to celebrate Blueberry Pancake Day! Find a plethora of GF pancake mixes at the GFCO Product directory.


New Year New Food Pancake Day New Year New Food Corn Chip Day

January 29th | National Corn Chip Day 

White, blue or yellow corn is naturally gluten-free. Corn chips are typically free of gluten, however, some manufacturers add wheat flour to their chip mix. Our advice as you celebrate National Corn Chip Day? Check the ingredients of purchase a brand that is labeled or certified gluten-free. Crunch away!


January 30th | National Croissant Day 

The buttery, flakey goodness of a fresh croissant can’t be beat, but getting the delicate flakiness can be a challenge when going gluten-free, but a challenge worth overcoming! This recipe from Let Them Eat Gluten-Free Cake explains “laminating” dough using layers of butter, the croissant’s secret. 


January 31st | National Hot Chocolate Day 

Hot chocolate, not to be mistaken with hot cocoa (but used interchangeably in the U.S.), is a favorite cold weather drink made of ground chocolate or chocolate powder or syrup, sugar, and milk. Looking for a fresh way to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day? How about whipping up some homemade gluten-free Mexican hot chocolate? The magic is in the chili powder and cinnamon! Get fancy and bake some Simply Gluten-Free’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies