The season of cider mills, donuts, and pumpkins is upon us – but those of us on a gluten-free diet may be approaching the season with more caution than our gluten-friendly counterparts. We understand your fear (Donuts! Biscuits! Pies!), but in reality, fall is a pretty great time to be gluten-free. Trust us, there’s a bountiful harvest of gluten-free indulgences just waiting for you, follow our lead.
As soon as the leaves begin to change, your weekends will be packed with trips to cider mills, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches. For those of us who are GF, a darkness looms in the background of these usually fun-filled trips: cider mill donuts. Passing on these deliciously greasy little treats is enough to make you call the whole thing off, but thanks to the great minds in the gluten-free food industry, there are several GF donut options out there – and they’re good. Celiac Specialties (a local Michigan company) offers old fashion, glazed, cinnamon sugar, powder sugar, and coconut donuts that are a great companion to fall’s apple ciders, and are bound to attract an uncomfortable number of bees – just like everybody else’s. Kinnikininick, the gluten-free gurus that offer an array of certified GF alternatives, have crafted several varieties of donuts including pumpkin spice, maple glaze, and cinnamon sugar donuts, available both online and in select stores. So, grab a paper bag, wrap the donuts in wax paper (it keeps the sugar and glaze intact), and indulge in the season.
CIDER (For Day and Night)
We have the best news of the fall season: apple cider is gluten-free! Most cider mills and orchards that you’ll visit this fall naturally have a “dedicated facility,” since the process of making apple cider is so straightforward. If you BYOD (Bring Your Own Donuts), you can purchase your cider right from the mill, worry-free. But come nightfall, as you carve your pumpkins (also gluten-free, FYI!) you might want to upgrade to a hard cider. There are so many gluten-free hard ciders out there; you could easily sample a different style each day of the season. If you’re hitting the bars, you’re most likely to come across Woodchuck, a certified gluten-free hard cider that offers year round classics like the sweet and crisp Amber, and seasonal varieties including a Fall cider that’s spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. A few smaller companies, like J.K. Scrumpy’s and Crispin Hard Cider are gaining notoriety for their organic ingredients and superior craft quality – consider them a must-try this fall season. In case you haven’t noticed, a big time player is new on the cider scene: Michelob recently introduced an Ultra Light Hard Cider that has fewer than 120 calories and a lighter, crisp taste (has anyone tried this? if so, please leave a comment below).
This is our gluten-free fall survival guide, and with pumpkin donuts, fresh apple cider, and organic apple spirits all in the line-up, we think it’s shaping up to be a pretty good season. Got Halloween on the brain? Check out our massive candy list where we investigate all kinds of candy and their corresponding gluten-free confidence scores. We’ll be sending out an email next week with more details and info on Halloween candy, so stay tuned.
Have a happy gluten-free fall!
– Your friends at The GFB