Since I have had to avoid gluten for my health, I have come to empathize with others that have to avoid gluten in their diet.  I have a major sweet tooth, so it is difficult to imagine never eating a cookie or a piece of cake ever again.  That is why I have come up with this simple list of tips you can use to create amazing and delicious desserts while still staying gluten-free.

1.) Use gluten-free flours to create cakes or muffins:  Almond, tapioca, and rice flours are examples of gluten-free flours that can be used to make cakes, cookies, waffles, and more, but not all gluten-free flours are created equal.   You cannot necessarily replace wheat flour in baked goods recipes at a 1:1 ratio since gluten is the protein that usually holds all of your ingredients together. King Arthur Flour has a great article that contains some great tips on how to bake with gluten-free flour.

nuts and seeds2.) Use simple no-bake dessert recipes: Oats have become a go-to for me to create delicious no-bake treats. Use ingredients such as honey, mashed bananas, cocoa butter, maple syrup, or nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter as the glue that sticks all of your ingredients together.  Mix in dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes, nuts, chia seeds, dried fruit, cocoa powder, or spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. If you don't like oats, you can also use various combinations of the mix-ins listed above Pan-fried apples Pic to create delicious recipes such as the ones I found on RealSimple's website.

[Note: be sure to use regular, not quick cook oats, and always check the label to be sure they are not processed around wheat since not all oats are considered completely gluten-free]

3.) Use fruit as the star of your dessert: Fruit desserts can range from sliced apples, pears, or bananas with nut butter to roasted pears with nuts, or pan-fried apples. Other fruit-based sweet treats that I love include chilled sliced bananas with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, frozen seedless grapes, or sliced strawberries over some low-fat Greek yogurt.

4.) Create healthy trail mixes: Be creative! Mix together ingredients such as granola, nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, dried fruits such as raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, or apricot, and dark chocolate or peanut butter chips, to create delicious and portable sweet treats. Keep it simple with a handful of almonds tossed with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa.