Gluten Free and Food Allergies
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Allergy Free Chanuka
Who doesn't love sizzling latkes? These Chanukah potato delicacies are devoured by the dozen during Chanukah. What about Sufganiyot, those deep fried donuts infused with sticky jelly? How about a game of dreidel and sweet chocolate "gelt"? Each of these Chanukah classics poses allergy risks. Learn how to find allergy friendly versions of these holiday goodies.
Most latke recipes call for eggs and wheat flour. These two ingredients are in the top eight of the most common food allergens. The bad news is that many latkes will be off limits to those with these allergies. The good news is that you can make fabulous latkes without wheat or eggs. A quick search for gluten free vegan latkes will yield many mouth watering recipes.
Latkes can be made quite easily without eggs. They may be a little denser but they'll have all of the great latke flavor from the onions, potatoes, salt, and oil. Since most recipes only call for a minimal amount of wheat flour you can easily omit this ingredient as well.You can also add more interest (and nutrition) by adding grated carrots, sweet potatoes, or zucchini to the latke batter.
If making latkes from scratch isn't an option, there are a few lines of packaged gluten and eggfree latkes. Look for them in the refrigerator or freezer case of your kosher grocery.
An additional note of caution about latkes, beware of the sour cream. Dairy sour cream is off limits for the milk allergic but non-dairy soy sour cream would be perfect.
Another common latke topping is applesauce. Apples are well tolerated by most with food allergies, hooray. Why not make your own homemade apple sauce to ramp up the homemade factor.
On to those sinful fried Chanukah donuts, "sufganiyot". Skipping the wheat here is a bit more challenging but doable. Gluten free recipes and packaged products have come a long way in both variety and quality. You can actually purchase Gluten Free Donuts as well as Eggfree Donuts. If you're up to a big mess in the kitchen, you can make them from scratch with a good allergy friendly recipe that utilizes gluten free flour. Following directions meticulously is critical with gluten free baking.
Thanks to several dedicated kosher gluten free bakeries, wheat free sufganiyot are a reality. Order online or look for them in your local kosher store. You can have your allergy friendly donut and eat it too!
Sweet chocolate gelt is the last of our decadent Chanuka goodies. The food allergy issues here are milk and tree nuts. Some varieties of gelt are dairy (so look for a pareve designation if you're milk allergic). Many brands of chocolate coin have "may contain traces of nuts' statements. You'll want to avoid these and opt for nutfree gelt. Yes, you can find nutfree gelt online and in stores as well.
Let's face it living with food allergies and sensitivities is rough. It is not, however, impossible. With some research and preparation so many foods can be prepared without allergens.Have a delicious, allergy free, Chanukah!