February is upon us, and gluten-free dieters are doing what they do whenever any food-related holiday starts to creep up: wondering what in the world is gluten-free!
Never fear! Whether you're searching for a gift for your sweetheart, picking out candy for your kids to pass out at school, or just want to indulge in some sweets at home, we've got you covered. Not only will we let you know which Valentine's Day treats you can enjoy, but we've got some handy-candy tips and a delicious gluten-free Valentine's Day recipe for you as well!
First Things First - Some Pointers About Candy
Seasonal Candy: Holiday candy shelves are sure to have lots of seasonal candy options, such as pink and red Hershey's Kisses for Valentine's Day. It is important to remember that these seasonal options are often outsourced - meaning they are manufactured separately from the traditional candy. Don't assume these seasonal products are gluten-free even when their counterparts are. Added ingredients and separate production lines can be a recipe ripe for gluten to make its way into the candy. As always be diligent about reading ingredients, especially when checking out seasonal and specialty products! For the record - pink and red Hershey's Kisses are gluten-free.
Chocolate: While pure chocolate is gluten-free, it's important to be vigilant and read chocolate wrappers. Chocolate, even when labeled "pure, 100% chocolate," can have barley malt added as a sweetener, therefore making the chocolate off-limits. Chocolates can also have things like crushed up cookies and candies hiding inside. Long story short - always read labels, even when you are confident that you don't have to!
Holiday Packaging: Because Valentine's Day is such a gift focused holiday, you're going to see a lot of special packaging for candies, including huge, heart shaped tins and bags of chocolates and candies. These prepackaged gifts are often manufactured in different facilities than the regular packaged candies, so buyer beware! Always make sure you read the ingredients and allergen warnings on these packages, as even candies that you know are gluten-free (like M&Ms or Hershey's Kisses) may contain cross-contamination risks if packaged this way.
Disclaimer: Our candy list applies to candy sold in the United States only. Different countries use different manufacturers and different standards for gluten!
Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Candy List
Dove Milk Chocolate
Gimbal's (jelly beans, sour jellybeans, sour heart shaped gumdrops, heart shaped cherry candy, heart shaped cinnamon candy, scottie dog liquorice)
Hershey's Kisses (milk chocolate, pink and red kisses, caramel and cherry cordial creme filled)
Jelly Belly Conversation Jellybeans
Betty Crocker Fruit Snack Valentine Minis and Valentine Hearts
Lifesavers Candy & Stickers
Pink & Red M&Ms
M&Ms Sweet Sayings
Peeps Valentine Marshmallow Products (by Just Born)
**Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Tootsie Rolls with conversation messages and Valentine's Pops
Starburst Candy N'Stickers
Wonka Laffy Taffy Valentine's Candy
Charms Valentines Pops
Pez Valentines Candy
Jolly Rancher Valentine Candy
Mike and Ike Valentine Treats
**Reeses Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Cups and Heart Shaped Butterfingers are NOT gluten-free! Also be very wary of other brands that manufacture peanut butter cups as there are many variations around holidays and they are not necessarily gluten-free.
Dove Dark Chocolate Truffle Hearts
Milk Chocolate Cherry M&Ms
Ghiradelli Boxed Chocolates
Lindt Lindor Truffles
Lindt Chocolate Mints
Mrs. Fields Assorted Chocolates
Russel Stover Boxed Candy
Mayfair Conversation Hearts
Brach's Conversation Hearts
Balmer Cuddly Cuties Chocolate Teddy Bears and Dogs
Elmer Chocolate Boxed Valentine's Candy
Wonka Nerds Valentine Candy
Heart Shaped Resees Peanut Butter Cups
Heart Shaped Butterfingers
Valentine's Day Gluten-Free Cupcakes
- water, butter and eggs (called for on the cake mix box)
Easy Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- up to 4 tablespoons milk
Gluten-free red and pink sprinkles, candy hearts or red and pink M&Ms
Heat oven to 350. Place liners in 16 regular size muffin cups. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, butter and eggs. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
2. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3. Frost cupcakes. Add Valentines Day topping of your choice. Enjoy!
Hope you all have a sweet, gluten-free Valentine's Day!