A Gluten-Free Swedish Smorgasbord

StLuciaDayHappy (one-day-belated) Saint Lucy’s Day! December 13 is the feast holiday of Santa Lucia in Sweden, as well as other Scandinavian countries. The celebration is quite beautiful; traditionally a girl in a white dress wears a crown of candles to lead a procession of children carrying candles. Being of Swedish descent myself (my great-grandfather immigrated to NYC from Sweden in the early 1900s), I’ve always been interested in Swedish cuisine and traditions. The food is very hearty, heavy on the cream with a focus on potatoes, fish, and pork. There are a few Swedish foods that require an acquired palate- lutfisk (aka whitefish in lye) and pickled herring are a few Nordic favorites that I’ve never been able to manage. But the following Swedish recipes, presented gluten-free, are quite delicious!

1) Lucia Buns: These saffron buns are a traditional treat on Saint Lucy’s Day. You can use this Lucia bun recipe from the Curious Baker to make your own gluten-free version as seen in the photo.


1) Swedish Meatballs: These creamy meatballs are a favorite in my family. They work great for parties because guests can spear a few on toothpicks, hot from the crockpot. Here’s a gluten-free Swedish meatball recipe from Queen of the Kitchen.


2) Lingonberry Jam: Lingonberries abound in the forests of Sweden, but they’re much harder to find in the U.S. If you can get your hands on some fresh lingonberries, you can use this Lingonberry jam recipe from Allrecipes.com to make your own jam. Otherwise, you can pick up a jar at Ikea or the grocery store; just check the ingredients to make sure it’s gluten-free.

3) Ginger Snaps: I love these spicy cookies!  Gluten Free Girl and the Chef has this tasty recipe for gluten-free ginger snaps.

4) Sjomansbiff (Sailor’s Beef): This hearty gluten-free recipe from About.com can be made in a slow-cooker; simply substitute GF beer to keep it gluten-free.

Anybody else out there have any favorite Scandinavian recipes? We’d love to hear them!

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