3 Allergy-Free Desserts

The holidays are a time where most of us are more concerned about our waistlines than anything, but for some, holidays can be fraught with unseen allergy triggers. Turning on the heating for the first time of the season or pulling out boxes of decorations can stir up dust and begin a barrage of holiday sniffles. Holiday foods are often full of allergens too. For those with allergies to nuts, fruit, dairy, gluten, or shellfish—good luck with the appetizer tables and dessert trays.
Whether you have food allergies or you’re baking for someone that does, try out any of the delicious, allergen-free desserts described below and you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!
Crust-less Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
This recipe hails from the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness, and caters to those with gluten sensitivities.

• 15 oz. pumpkin puree
• ¾ c. vanilla milk
• ¾ c. liquid vanilla creamer
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
• 4 T apple cider
• ½ c. gluten-free flour (you can use rice flour or another alternative)
• ¼ c. gluten-free buckwheat flour
• ½ c. packed brown sugar
• ¼ c. granulated cane sugar
• 2 whole large eggs
• 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
• ½ tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or ¾ t. nutmeg + ¼ t. cloves)

Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Oil a pie dish and then mix together liquid ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the liquid bowl while stirring until combined. Pour into pie dish, leaving at least ¼ inch below the rim. Smooth with a spatula and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30 additional minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.

Dairy and Nut-Free Fudge

For the lactose intolerant family members, this decadent fudge is easy on the stomach and safe for those with nut allergies too.

• 6 tbsp. vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
• 3 1/2 c. powdered (confectioners) sugar
• 1/2 c. cocoa powder
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/4 c. soymilk

Grease a baking pan and then mix all ingredients in a heat-proof bowl or double broiler. Place the bowl over simmering water and stir all ingredients until smooth. Pour the mix into the prepared pan and let cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is always a treat, especially during holiday times. But with 33% of Americans being lactose intolerant, it’s important to have alternatives on hand. Here we’ll take a look at a dairy-free version of this popular drink.
• 2 c. soy, almond, rice, or hemp milk
• ¼ c. cocoa powder
• 4 squares dark chocolate (make sure the label says dairy-free)
• 3 tbsp. maple syrup
Warm all ingredients in a pot on the stove and stir until mixed and dissolved. Change the sweetness and chocolate influence by experimenting with the ingredients. Any type of sweetener can be added, but maple syrup is a fan favorite for this particular hot chocolate concoction.
Almost any dessert recipe can be altered to accommodate allergies, and a few well-placed questions can help determine which foods are acceptable at an event. Experimenting can be fun and surprising, especially when it comes in the form of these traditional holiday favorites.