As someone who was diagnosed with celiac disease as an infant, I’ve lived my entire life on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes. Millions of people around the world have celiac disease, a condition that prevents us from being able to digest the proteins that make up gluten. Fortunately, the world has come a long way in gluten-free cuisine. However, sometimes the best recipes are the ones that have been passed down for generations and are naturally gluten-free. In fact, you can find classic and delicious gluten-free recipes in every culture. Here are some beloved recipes from around the world.
The French first began using buckwheat to make crepes in the twelfth century. It is just as popular and just as gluten-free today as it was back then.
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup water
- Add milk, eggs, butter, buckwheat flour, and salt together in a large bowl and mix or blend until smooth
- Place a pan over medium-high heat and brush it with melted butter.
- Pour just enough batter into the pan so that it thinly covers the surface when the pan is swirled.
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the edges of the crepe begin to curl up slightly and the crepe lifts easily from the pan. Use a spatula to flip the crepe.
- Cook the second side for about 1 minute then transfer to a plate.
- You can eat these crepes with any number of savory fillings, although they are often eaten for breakfast with eggs and bacon inside.
Recipe adapted from foodiewithfamily.com.
You can find Pad Thai on the menu in any Thai restaurant. Because the dish is always made with rice noodles, it is a perfect gluten-free dish.
- 8 ounces of rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce*
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 medium lime)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
- Boil a large pot of water and add rice noodles. Cook the noodles until they are soft but not soggy.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs lightly with a fork. Pour them into a skillet and lightly scramble them. When the eggs are cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the scrambled eggs. Add the noodles and toss to coat in the sauce.
- Sprinkle the green onions, cilantro, and peanuts over the noodles. Toss lightly to combine. Serve warm.
*Be sure to check the ingredients to make sure that the soy sauce you’re buying is gluten-free!
Recipe adapted from epicurious.com.
Arepas are a traditional Venezuelan and Columbian bread. They are primarily made using corn and are perfect to use as bread for a sandwich.
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon shortening, butter flavored, melted
- 2 cups instant corn masa flour
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place water, salt, and shortening in a large bowl. Slowly add flour, mixing well.
- Once most of the flour is added, start mixing the dough by hand until it is just combined.
- Cover arepa dough with a moist towel and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Scoop out 1/2 cup of arepa dough, roll into a ball, and flatten into a 4–5 inch diameter and 1/2 inch thick circle. Repeat this step with the remaining dough.
- Set a griddle to a medium-high heat and place 1 tablespoon of butter or shortening on it. Once the griddle is heated, add the arepas one by one.
- Cook each arepa for 3–4 minutes or until it begins to brown. Flip the arepa and cook for an additional 3–4 minutes on the other side.
- After all arepas have been seared on both sides, place them on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12–15 minutes.
- Slice arepas in half and stuff with your favorite sandwich-type fillings.
Recipe adapted from evolvingtables.com.
Brazilian Coconut Cookie
Brazilian recipes often use coconut as a staple ingredient. These coconut cookies are no exception, and because they are made with coconut flour, they’re naturally gluten-free.
- 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
- 2 whole egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl, cream butter with egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.
- Combine the cornstarch with the shredded coconut. Alternate adding the coconut milk and the cornstarch mix into the creamed mixture. Then add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of coconut extract. Mix well until dough is soft but not sticky.
- Roll balls of dough and place them on a greased baking tray.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until cookies feel tight when pressed in the center.
- When ready, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.
Recipe adapted from tastykitchen.com.
All photographs purchased through shutterfly.com.
—Natalie Ann Davis