Passover is creeping up and the gluten-free Passover business is in full bloom.

It wasn’t that long ago that my GF friends and I used to stock up on Passover products to keep the year round pantry full. These days, with so many fabulous flour options and combination possibilities I’m not so keen on all that potato starch that is so famously used for Passover.

Along with the traditions of having two Seders, spilling drops of wine and welcoming Elijah there is also the annual panic-a-thon, that OMG – we can’t eat chometz for eight whole days! While many feel restricted during the leaven-free days of Passover, I’m over it. And so are my kids.

We thoroughly enjoy eating all the proteins, fruit and vegetables that are fine to eat over the holiday. We just make those the centerpieces of our meals to avoid stuffing ourselves with starch from morning to night.

Many companies have naturally gluten-free products or have developed a gluten-free line alongside their traditional Passover line. Still I urge you to be careful when making your Passover order. Just because it is Kosher for Passover doesn’t mean it’s free of gluten. Matzo, matzo meal and cake meal all are made from wheat, so unless it says GF, don’t buy it. Also, many kosher made desserts say gluten-free on it, but please call up the company to ensure it is not produced in a facility that ALSO makes cookies with matzo meal. Cross contamination still exists and many owners of kosher bakeries have no idea what the laws really are. They are simply unaware.

Yehudah matzah

Since it’s a holiday time and we receive people and enjoy around the table, desserts will be an important part of your festive meal. I have my favorites and have posted these recipes in the recipe section of my site. Please do check it out!

A couple of good guidelines: If the product says non-gebrokts, you can be sure it is gluten-free as it will only contain starch and no matzo. You may also find some of the products for purchase have a GF symbol on them, which assures they are strictly Gluten free and tested.

If you have nut allergies, you may find this holiday extra challenging as most Passover bakeries use almond flour to produce most of their goods. Just make sure you do your due diligence and ask.

With regards to matzo there a re many varieties that also come with a wide range of prices, for example:

Yehudah Matzahs are $8.49 for a 300 g box and come in 3 varieties,

Manischewitz has a 284 g box of matzah for $4.39 and is available in plain or garlic and rosemary.rosemary matzah

Kestenbaum’s makes an oat matzo with more grams (454 g), but it’s $18.73 per box. My kids cannot eat oats – atleast not yet. This oat matzah is considered shmura matza (acceptable as a replacement for matzo at the seder) but it’s not great tasting!

There are matzah crackers at Costco which are pretty yummy and many other flat crisps available at the kosher bakeries and grocery stores. Infact, today you can find matzah crumbs, pasta, matzo balls, macaroons, cookies, cereal and cake mixes galore – all gluten-free!

Here is a list of stores to shop in Montreal:

IGA Cavendish, Cote St Luc Rd. and Van Horne

Metro Queen Mary and Darlington

Esposito Marcel Lauren

Kosher Quality Bakery

Montreal Kosher Wilderton

Paradise Kosher

Patisserie Adar

Mimimelon

Loblaws St. Jacques, Pierrefonds and St Croix

Montreal Passover Kosher is a gluten free facility that has a store in the front starting 10 days before Passover on 5495 Paré (514) 738-3600

Warehouse on Darlington corner Bates that opens once a year – this year they only have accessories for kitchen including all disposable dishes, servers, curlety, cloths, etc…

If you celebrate Passover, I hope you have a Chag Sameach!  For those who do not celebrate, go and check out these strange ingredients and recipes and delight in something fun and new! (I have many customers from all religions who love MATZOBALLS!)

tiramisu slice

passover brownie photoPassover Caramel Matzo with Chocolate Drizzle