Naturally Gluten Free Holiday Celebrations

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

December 14th, 2018

Here come the holidays. Are you ready to handle them gluten free? Whether it’s your first gluten-free celebration or you’re a seasoned gluten free host, we’re here to help get you through smoothly. For one, entertaining for gluten free guests has gotten progressively easier. With an abundance of new and improved gluten free items on the shelves combined with naturally gluten free foods you’ll be sure to serve a successful and delicious holiday meal.

Eat Well Tip: A gluten-free diet is free of all forms of wheat, rye, barley, and some oats. When using oats be sure to select brands labeled “gluten-free”.


What to serve to Gluten Free Guests:

Appropriate side dishes include potatoes, quinoa and rice. All fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free so be sure to have an abundance of these available for your guests. In addition, proteins such as meats, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs are also safe for your gluten free guest. Always be mindful of cross-contamination; never use the same kitchen utensil from a gluten containing food in a gluten-free food.

Gluten Free Desserts:

Tasty selections for dessert include candied nuts, baked apples, rice-marshmallow treats, and chocolate covered strawberries. Consider trying out some newer gluten free items such as GF Graham Cracker crusts, Animal crackers and GF pie crust to create amazing pies.


Find your nearest Foodtown grocery store to stock up on everything you need for the week. Be sure to download our digital coupons to take advantage of ongoing savings!


Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

NOBODY will guess this is gluten-free! Lightly spiced, creamy and totally luxurious. The perfect crowd-pleasing holiday dessert! 

Prep: 15 minutes

Bake: 55 minutes

Serves: 8-12



 For the crust:

  • 1 bag Glutino® Graham Animal Crackers
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted 

For the pumpkin filling:

  • 3 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

For the topping:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream



For the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor, add the Glutino Graham Animal Crackers and walnuts. Process until the mixture resembles sand. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Remove the food processor blade and stir in the melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Place the springform pan on a foil-lined larger baking pan and bake for 6-8 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden and toasted. Let cool before adding filling.

For the cheesecake:

  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer, add the cream cheese and sour cream and whip until fully incorporated. (Be sure the cream cheese is softened!) Add the cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and mix until evenly combined. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Smooth the top and return the oven (keep the pan on the foil-lined baking sheet). Bake for 45-60 minutes until the edges are set and the center jiggles just slightly. Let the cheesecake cool completely to room temperature.

For the topping:

  • In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, nutmeg, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and combined. While mixing on low, slowly add the whipping cream over 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed and whip until fluffy. Spread evenly over the cooled cheesecake.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or up to a day. Garnish with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.

Source: Meaningful Eats