A Very Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day CloverPut simply, I don’t think saying “I love all things Irish” even begins to sum up how I feel. I eat, sleep, and breathe Ireland.

My love affair with all things Irish began at childhood. I was raised eating corned beef and cabbage on a regular basis, watching VHS tapes of Riverdance at my grandparent’s house, and learning the great history of my ancestors. For some reason, I gravitated towards my Irish ancestry, even though I am far more German and Sicilian!

Luckily, this Irish connection turned out to be for my own good. As a wide-eyed, red-headed college junior, I packed one big suitcase and jetted off to spend a semester studying in Dublin. While my traveling and coursework was incredible, one fact about Ireland blew me away more than anything else: they have gluten free options everywhere!

I  noticed this on my second day in Ireland. I woke up in my hostel after sleeping nearly 10 hours and headed downstairs for my complimentary breakfast. I thought I was still dreaming when I saw signs for gluten free bread, muffins, and granola! Needless to say, this celiac was in heaven.

I came to learn that Ireland has one of the highest percentages of celiac disease in the world and the government does a lot to help those in need. I felt 100% normal for the first time in my life. I could walk into nearly any pub or restaurant and order a gluten free bun with my burger and know with certainty that the chips (French fries to us) would be safe for me to eat. Those five months in Ireland were hands down the greatest (gluten free) experience of my life thus far!

In honor of how aware the Irish are of the gluten free lifestyle and in celebration of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, I have compiled some delicious Irish treats! Many Irish dishes are naturally gluten free, if not easily made with substitutes. I hope these recipes help you celebrate with pure joy on the 17th!

1.    Irish Soda Bread
This traditional dish is a must for every Irish meal. Whether for breakfast or dinner, soda bread is always present.  Check out this recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess for a tasty version sure to please anyone at your table. Feel free to exclude the currants or raisins if you are making this to accompany an Irish dinner.
Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

2.    Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potatoes
Although there are a slew of great Irish meals, my favorite for St. Patrick’s Day is definitely corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. The reason it’s my favorite is mainly because it’s naturally gluten free and so easy to make! This version of the dish is a perfect traditional recipe.Corned Beef & Cabbage

3.    Rainbow Mint Cupcakes
This list wouldn’t be complete without a dessert! There are so many naturally gluten free Irish desserts out there; the possibilities are truly endless! I included my favorite Rainbow Mint Cupcakes for this special day. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 boxes Betty Crocker® Gluten Free yellow cake mix
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • Red, yellow, green and blue liquid food colors 2 containers (1 lb each)
  • Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting

To complete the recipe, follow the instructions available here. The only adjustment is to add in the peppermint extract with the batter. In no time you’ll have gorgeous, gluten free, colorful, minty cupcakes!

Rainbow CupcakesPhoto by seelensturm

Lastly, don’t forget to include your favorite Irish beverage for guests of legal age! While I was studying abroad in Ireland, I was introduced to my two favorite drinks: Magners Cider and Jameson with Ginger Ale. Both Magners and Jameson are certified gluten free. One important note, Bailey’s is not confirmed gluten free due to the whiskey they use! Be aware.

Have a lovely St. Patrick’s Day! Slainte!

7 Responses to “A Very Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. RHONDA CROWE says:

    WILL UDIS CONSIDER MAKING A GLUTEN FREE SOFT PRETZEL?

    • Wendy Hofstetter says:

      Hi Rhonda – We don’t have any immediate plans to create a soft pretzel, but I will pass this on to our product development team. Thanks!

  2. Katie Hubbard says:

    Great to hear Jameson is gluten free!

  3. Jeannette Pauli says:

    Anyone know where you can order gluten free fish and chips in Delaware or Maryland? Oh how I crave those special golden pieces of heaven. My fav used to be Go Fish in Rehoboth. Miss those days!!

  4. Donna says:

    Just love the recipe idea! Going to make it for my hubby. We’ve been trying the gluten free products and really like them. Thank’s for sharing.

  5. dianne says:

    Use caution with pre-mixed icings because they may contain wheat! I learned the hard way after using Duncan Hines Vanilla icing on g-f cupcakes for a birthday party.

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