News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

  • Category Archives: Recipes

  • Gluten Free Halloween Cookies

    The popularity of Halloween appears to be growing in our neighbourhood with residents decorating homes with spooky flare – lots of spider webs, skeletons, pumpkins and the odd fake graveyard. I guess any activity that involves dressing up and eating lollies is bound to be welcomed by most. I had fun making these sweet gluten free treats for Halloween in our house. I used a bat shaped cutter for these biscuits, but you can use a stencil or cutter of your choice to create your own ghoulish creatures.

    300g gluten free all-purpose plain flour
    ½ cup gluten free icing sugar
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    160g butter, chopped
    1 egg white

    Place sifted flour, xanthan gum and icing sugar in food processor.  Add chopped butter and using the pulse button, process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add egg white and pulse until combined. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
    Roll out pastry to required thickness. Cut to shape and place on an oven tray, lined with baking paper. Bake at 170C for 15-20 mins until pastry is golden. Cool then decorate.
    Note: I used Queen brand gluten free Ready-to-Roll fondant icing in classic white to cover these biscuits.  It worked really well. I then piped red icing to complete the bat look! Have fun.


  • Gluten Free Polenta Bites

    Hello sunshine! Spring is here and in Melbourne it’s time to party. If you need inspiration for gluten free snacks to serve at your gathering, try these golden gluten free polenta bites.  I love polenta, it is so versatile and delicious when served this way especially if you have quite a few mouths to feed! The polenta base can be made in advance, then cut to size and served on the day with your favourite topping.

    200g yellow polenta
    1 litre stock (vegetable or chicken)
    75g parmesan, finely grated
    5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
    Pinch salt

    Bring stock to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly until mixture returns to the boil.  Cook over low heat, stirring regularly, for 20 minutes, or until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and stir through grated parmesan and fresh thyme. Taste and add salt if required, season with black pepper. Pour into a 30cm x 20cm slice tray, lined with baking paper. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool slightly then refrigerate till firm. Cut into 2cm x 5cm pieces to make 60 bites!

    Options: Shallow fry polenta in vegetable oil to make polenta chips, dusted with sea salt and fresh thyme leaves. BBQ polenta and top with marinated vegetables, or some feta softened with lemon juice and finished with black olives. Roast polenta, as recipe below.

    Polenta bites with roasted haloumi and prosciutto
    180g haloumi
    12 slices prosciutto
    Makes 24 bites: Heat oven to 180℃. Slice haloumi in half lengthways, then working down the length, cut 12 pieces from each half.  Depending on how long your strips of prosciutto are, cut into two or three pieces widthways. Place haloumi on polenta and wrap in prosciutto. Place on oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for 10 minutes until prosciutto is crisp. Serve scattered with some fresh thyme leaves. Polenta bites can also be made without prosciutto if preferred. Simply top the polenta with a slice of haloumi and roast. Serve with small strips of marinated capsicum.

  • Gluten Free Eggplant and Walnut Dip

    My summer eggplant bushes may still be in the seedling stage, but I’m hoping they’ll produce lots of juicy Lebanese eggplants when the time is right. I love eggplant, or aubergine – in dips, chips, pickles and salads. This dip is light and delicious, it doesn’t contain tahini and is not quite Baba ghanoush but similar in taste. It may be best to ask the resident BBQ guru in your life to assist, if barbecues are not your thing. Serve with your favourite GF flat bread, corn chips or biscuits.

    1 large eggplant
    50g walnut pieces
    1 large clove garlic, crushed
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
    Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    Good pinch salt
    Ground black pepper
    Gluten free flatbread to serve

    Wipe eggplant with a damp cloth to clean surface. Use barbecue or stovetop gas burner to blacken the whole eggplant, so the fruit will develop its distinctive smoky flavour. Continue cooking until flesh is soft and cooked through, placing in the oven for 10 minutes at 180° if necessary to achieve this. Set aside to cool, then gently remove skin and discard.
    Roughly chop eggplant and place in food processor with walnuts, crushed garlic, lemon juice, creme fraiche and parsley. Blend until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.
    Delicious served with a drizzle of best quality olive oil, garnished with fresh parsley or coriander and  gluten free flatbread, warmed on the barbecue.

    Follow recipe to prepare eggplant, then place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix 5 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula and repeat 5 sec/speed 5, or until desired consistency is reached.

  • Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Slice

    Sweet, sticky, homemade chocolate caramel slice – it doesn’t get much better. This gluten free version is a delicious treat and is often requested for parties and special school events. I used Orgran multigrain self raising flour for this batch, which resulted in a very tasty biscuit base. It is quite rich, so I suggest serving in small slices!

    1 cup gluten free self raising flour
    ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    Pinch salt
    1 cup dark brown sugar
    1 cup desiccated coconut
    140g butter, melted
    1 tin (395g) condensed milk
    60g butter, extra
    2 tablespoons golden syrup
    200g dark cooking chocolate

    Preheat oven to 170℃. Line a slice tray (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and xanthan gum into a large bowl, add sugar and coconut. Stir to combine. Add melted butter and stir until the mixture resembles crumbs. Press mixture firmly into the slice tray, using fingers or the back of a spoon to smooth surface. Bake for 15 minutes.
    While the base is cooking, gently warm 30g butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until butter is melted and mixture combined, careful not to burn! Spread the filling over the cooked base and return to oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Cool the slice completely. 
    To make topping, melt the chocolate and 30g butter together until smooth – either in a microwave, or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Pour over slice and allow to set before cutting into slices. 

  • My best gluten free banana bread

    Until recently we always had dark brown over-ripe bananas dripping from our fruit bowl. Perfect for banana bread. But recently one daughter who had refused to eat bananas since toddler-hood, (now a teen) decided the nutritious fruit tastes ok after all. And there goes my supply of cooking bananas. This banana bread is the best I’ve made. It can be enjoyed for breakfast with maple syrup, fruit and yoghurt, sliced and spread with a little butter, or served warm with toasted walnuts, caramel syrup and ice-cream for dessert. Now that’s what I call versatile.

    140g butter, softened
    180g brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 very ripe bananas (approx. 350g), mashed
    2 tablespoons sour cream
    200g gluten free plain flour
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp mixed spice
    Pinch salt
    1 cup walnuts

    Preheat oven to 180℃. Grease a 10cm x 25cm loaf tin and line with baking paper. Mash bananas or puree in a blender then whisk in the sour cream. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until pale.  Add eggs a little at a time and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla and bananas with sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and gently fold in to batter. Transfer to loaf tin and sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.


  • Gluten Free Sweet Potato Fritters

    It’s Father’s Day in Australia this Sunday, and what better way to start the day than with a delicious home cooked breakfast. These tasty gluten free sweet potato fritters are easy to make. If you prefer, you can cook a batch in advance and simply re-heat to serve with your favourite toppings. Not just for breakfast, these tasty morsels make a great vegetarian lunch or light meal with some quinoa and salad on the side. Happy Father’s Day dads!

    400g (approx.) fresh sweet potato, grated
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    ⅓ cup gluten free plain flour
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    Salt, ground black pepper
    Vegetable oil for cooking

    In a medium size bowl combine grated sweet potato, parsley and eggs. Add flour and cumin and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
    Heat a small amount of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add ½ tablespoons of fritter mixture to pan, gently pressing flat with the back of spoon. Fry a few minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Lower temperature if the fritters are browning too much. Drain on absorbent paper then place in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure fritters are cooked through.
    If you prefer a larger, round fritter you can cook mixture in a greased egg ring. Fry on one side, then carefully remove the egg ring and flip to cook the other side.
    Serve with your choice of eggs, bacon, avocado, feta, wilted spinach …. or for lunch with quinoa and salad. 

  • Easy Gluten Free Pancakes

    We love pancakes at our place. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to whip up these delicious gluten free pancakes. This simple recipe will deliver a lovely pancake for your favourite toppings. Use less milk for a thicker American-style pancake, or more milk for a crepe consistency. You can do as my Mum does and make the batter the day before you need to cook, ready to feed hungry grandchildren the next day. Make pikelets out of any left-over batter for a lunchbox treat, or to enjoy any time.

    200g gluten free plain flour
    1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
    Pinch salt
    40g caster sugar
    2 eggs, at room temperature
    275ml milk
    20g butter, melted

    Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine using a hand whisk. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk eggs and milk. Add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter. Whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 10 minutes. You can add more milk to loosen batter for a thinner, crepe style pancake if desired.

    Using medium heat, warm some vegetable oil or butter in a non-stick frypan. Pour batter to desired size. Cook pancake on one side until bubbles appear. Flip and cook the other side until cooked through. Be careful not to burn! Serve with your favourite topping.


  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Fritters

    Not all kids like pumpkin, but mine love these gluten free pumpkin fritters. We tested recipes during the recent school holidays and decided on this version, flavoured with cumin and chickpeas. I’m very happy to add that they are now on the request list for school lunches! They also make a great light vegetarian meal served with salad.

    350g butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
    400g can chickpeas
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 small onion, finely diced
    1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
    2 tablespoons fresh coriander, leaves picked
    3 tablespoons plain gluten free flour
    Salt & ground black pepper
    Olive oil

    Cook pumpkin in salted water until soft. Drain well, mash and set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add onion and stir over low heat until soft. Add cumin and stir for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat.
    Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add half to a large bowl and mash until smooth. Add pumpkin, onion, egg, flour, coriander and remaining chickpeas. Combine well and season with salt and pepper.
    Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add ½ tablespoons of fritter mixture to pan, gently pressing flat with the back of spoon. Fry a few minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Drain on absorbent paper. Delicious served warm with a little natural yoghurt flavoured with ½ garlic clove and squeeze of lemon. If saving for lunches, keep chilled in an airtight container for three days.  Makes approx 25 fritters.


  • gluten free madeleines with caramel sauce

    Reading Shannon Bennett’s guide to Paris, inspired this gluten free version of classic French petite madeleine cakes. They are very simple to make, but may require the purchase of a madeleine tin to create the distinctive shell shaped cakes. This version can be served fresh from the oven with caramel dipping sauce on the side. If you prefer to keep it simple and less sweet, add the zest of one lemon to the cake mix and go without the caramel sauce.

    130 grams butter
    120 grams caster sugar
    3 eggs, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon honey
    120 grams gluten free plain flour
    60 grams ground almonds
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

    Gently melt butter and set aside to cool. Using an electric mixer whisk sugar, eggs and honey 3-4 mins until pale and frothy.
    Gently stir in almonds, using a wooden spoon. Fold in sifted flour, baking powder and xanthan gum. Gradually stir in the melted butter until the batter is smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate batter for one hour. The batter can be left overnight if desired.
    Heat oven to 180℃. Grease a madeleine tin, (I used a  mini-madeleine tin), alternatively use a mini muffin tin. Place small spoonfuls of batter in the shell shaped moulds and bake for 8 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with caramel dipping sauce. Madeleine cakes are best eaten on the day they are made, but will keep for a few days in an airtight container.

    Simple Caramel Sauce
    ½ cup caster sugar
    1 cup pouring cream

    Place the sugar in a heavy based saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar begins to dissolve. Cook without stirring until sugar melts and a deep caramel forms.  Give the saucepan a gentle shake to encourage the sugar to melt. If you have ‘hot spots’ where the sugar is browning more quickly, move the position of the saucepan around over the heat, giving it a gentle shake. Remove from heat.
    In another saucepan heat the cream until almost boiling, then carefully pour into the caramel, stirring quickly. Take care as the mixture will spit.
    Return mixture to heat and stir until a lovely smooth consistency.  Serve sauce in a side bowl to accompany madeleines, or cool to room temperature. The caramel sauce will keep for a week and is delicious with ice-cream, or other sweet treats.

  • Crunchy Gluten Free Choc Chip Biscuits

    We’ve been munching our way through numerous batches of gluten free Choc Chip biscuits and finally my young taste testers have given this recipe the go-ahead. It’s been a challenging task eating biscuit after biscuit, but they managed. The recipe makes thin and crunchy biscuits that taste fantastic. We’ve tried white and milk chocolate chips (too sweet for me, but kids disagree) and settled for the dark chocolate version. Best eaten warm from the oven when chocolate is gooey, but they will last for days in an airtight container. It’s worth visiting a health food shop or specialist supermarket for the brown rice flour and an Asian grocer to buy the other fine rice flours, as the combination will give a better result than substituting with shop bought GF flour blends.

    140 grams butter, softened
    ½ cup white sugar
    ½ cup soft brown sugar
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    170 grams dark chocolate chips
    ½ cup brown rice flour
    ½ cup fine white rice flour
    ⅓ cup glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour) *see notes
    ⅓ cup tapioca flour
    1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    Pinch salt

    Preheat oven 180℃.
    Cream butter and sugars using a mixer, or by hand. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until well combined.
    In a separate bowl sift tapioca and rice flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir to combine.
    Add to the butter mix along with chocolate chips and combine with a wooden spoon. Use hands to bring dough together into a ball, if needed.
    Place the dough
    on a piece of plastic wrap and smooth into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
    Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls (makes 
    approx. 2 dozen) and place on oven trays covered with baking paper.  Flatten slightly, allowing room for spreading.
    Bake 15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.  

    *Glutinous Rice Flour. This is finely milled sticky rice flour, it does not contain gluten. In Australia many Asian grocers or supermarkets carry Erawan brand glutinous rice flour.  It is also available in health food shops and online. Erawan also produces tapioca flour and fine white rice flour.

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