Many people think eating “gluten-free” is just a temporary fad, but while only less than one percent of the U.S. population can become terribly ill from gluten, a growing number of Americans are beginning to adopt a wheatless lifestyle. According to a recent survey, 30 percent of adults are going gluten-free and have found that eliminating wheat in their diet improves their energy level and makes them feel better.
Thankfully, Los Angeles is a dietary restriction-friendly town. The ratio of juice bars to gyms and number of health-conscious restaurants her are testament to that. But while gluten-free baked goods are slowly becoming more commonplace in local grocery stores and restaurants, they still get a bad rap. The words gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and sugar-free have long been associated with sub-par offerings, but as this list proves, wheatless snacks don’t have to be nasty.
1. Babycakes NYC
If you found a Babycakes treat out of context, chances are you’d have no idea it’s gluten-free or vegan. This New York transplant is our number-one pick for wheatless snacks because all of their treats are wonderfully decadent — even without the use of milk, butter, or flour. They rotate between garbanzo fava bean mixes, rice flour a la Bob’s Red Mill, and oat flours. Rice and coconut milk are used in lieu of soy and cow milk and sweeteners are made from agave nectar and evaporated cane juice. Located in Larchmont and (un-coincidentally) sandwiched between a yoga studio and a fresh juice pressery, Babycakes has a delicious repertoire of cupcakes ($4.75), cookies ($1.75) and a mean salted caramel donut ($3.95) that’s more cake than donut but wonderfully moist and light in texture.
Get the rest of my picks here on KCET.