Enjoying a gluten free Passover may seem like a long shot, but even many traditional foods are far more gluten free friendly than you might think! A tweak here or there with some gfJules All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and the rest are a breeze!
Read on to find out how to make your holiday celebrations both delicious and gluten free, and for my FULL gluten free Passover Recipe Round-Up, don’t miss my post on the historical traditions, modern changes to what may be considered Kosher for Passover, and of course, all the best gluten free recipes!
Gluten Free Passover
I’ll first address gluten free at Passover – and this is not just for those in the Jewish faith. There are loads of foods that are Kosher for Passover and are available this time of year because wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt are forbidden in any form other than matzo. You’ll probably recognize that wheat, barley and rye (and spelt is a wheat cousin) are all the gluten-containing grains!
So what does that mean? It means take a few extra minutes the next time you’re in the grocery store and peruse the kosher section! Look for certified gluten free products or those labeled Kosher for Passover AND “Non-Gebrokts” (“Non-Gebroktz” or “Non-Gebroks”) or “Gluten Free.” The ingredients should show that the product does not include matzo as ingredient.
When you shop, watch for all kinds of Kosher for Passover products made with potato starch instead of regular flour. Good products include potato starch noodles, potato starch cake mixes, Passover cereals made without wheat, and even frozen foods like potato starch pizza crusts, blintzes, waffles and knishes.
Potato Pancakes, or latkes, are another product in a box mix that is fun to make at this time of year.
Eggs (think quiches, omelets and frittatas) and dairy are Kosher for Passover, and many yogurts, cream cheeses, and other dairy products will bear that special certification.
Or go all out and make Gluten Free Blintzes!! This delicious recipe can be made dairy free with my recipe (or use dairy for Passover if you can) and can even be made the night or day before to make your life just that much easier!
Other grains like quinoa are also a wonderful addition to your gluten free Passover menu.
Gluten Free Matzo
While foods containing gluten are generally forbidden during Passover, there is one very important exception — matzo. This unleavened bread actually must be made with one of the aforementioned gluten grains or oats in order to duplicate those used by the Hebrews making bread in haste when fleeing Egypt. Matzo is the oldest and most well-known (edible) symbol of the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian slavery.
According to the Bible, Aaron and Moses warned of 10 plagues sent to cause Pharaoh to free the Jews. When the final plague killed all the first-born sons of Egypt but passed over the Jewish houses, Pharaoh finally released the Jews from their bondage in Egypt.
However, they were forced to leave in such great haste that their bread dough did not have time to rise, leaving them with what we now know as “matzo” (matzah, matza, matzoth, matzot), or unleavened bread. Since matzo is typically made with wheat flour, gluten free folks must think outside the proverbial cracker box for safe and tasty options.
Fortunately, there are now some gluten free “Matzo-Style” oat cracker alternatives available, and of course you can always make your own! Like any other wheat flour recipe we might long to enjoy again, devising a gluten free solution is simple: modify, substitute and perfect using gluten free ingredients.
My recipe for Gluten Free Matzo made with gluten free grains and certified gluten free oat flour, is easy and can be made and baked within 18 minutes to prevent any leavening in the dough. It’s a simple 5 ingredient recipe that takes only 20 minutes from start to finish!
However, Orthodox Jews and others wishing to only serve Kosher for Passover, Gluten Free Shemura (supervised grains, watched from time of harvest to be sure no fermentation occurs) matzo, will need to buy gluten free matzo made in that manner instead.
This matzo is simply made from oats and water, and while not typically certified gluten free, one brand I found appears to be made from something akin to purity protocol oats (“According to the manufacturer, these oats are grown in a unique field in Scotland where there are only oats.”).
Fair warning: gluten free Shemura Oat Matzo is expensive! One 1 pound box can cost $40.00, while regular Kosher for Passover (non-gluten free)
Matzo is generally 14 times less expensive (around $2.75-$3.00/ 1 pound box). Order early, as well, as these tend to sell out close to Passover.
Non Kosher for Passover, gluten free “Matzo Style” crackers made from tapioca and potato are available at a much lower cost, but they are not suggested “as a replacement for matzo at the seder.”
Consult with your family and religious leaders to see what works best for your needs this holiday.
Other Kosher for Passover foods include all fresh fruits and most vegetables, though no beans, grains, pasta, soy products like tofu, or many seeds are allowed during Passover.
Gluten Free Passover Candy List
Here’s a quick run-down of some good gluten free candy options:
- Passover Jumbo Chocolate Frog (“gluten-free friendly”)
- Passover Chocolate Frogs (“gluten-free friendly”)
- Passover Hazelnut Bark (“gluten-free friendly”)
- Passover Chocolate Kos Miriam / Miriam’s Cup (“gluten-free friendly”)
- Passover Afikomon Pop (“gluten-free friendly”)
- Passover Peppermint Patties (“gluten-free friendly”)
- Dark Chocolate Macaroons – Kosher for Passover
- Fruit Slice Candies – Kosher for Passover
For other times of the year, always avoid Whoppers and any candy that contains barley, malt, or barley malt as an ingredient.
Many otherwise safe candies are manufactured in special holiday shapes and the manufacturer uses different facilities for these candies. They will therefore not claim gluten free status for these shaped candies due to the potential for cross-contamination. Check packaging first and manufacturer websites for any products you are unsure of.
Licorice (Twizzlers are NOT gluten free!) nearly always contains gluten, but twisted fruit ropes are a great gluten free option.
I hope you found a few recipes to try this year. Don’t forget to check out my full Gluten Free Passover Recipe Round-Up, and pin this post for later!