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

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


  • 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.


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