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How to spoil your gluten-free partner on Valentine’s Day

Four tips for pulling off the perfect day for your sweetheart.

Written by
Robyn Harrison
Published on
February 5, 2023
Time to read

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if your partner follows a gluten-free diet you may be wondering how to make the day extra special. A classic Valentine’s Day (some might say cliché) might be: a love note; flowers and chocolates or candy; dinner and dessert.

Thankfully, love notes are naturally gluten-free (ha!). For candy, dinner, and dessert, though… that’s what this post is for. 😉

With a bit of planning, you can make an evening that is both special and safe. Here are a few ideas on how to make the perfect gluten-free Valentine’s date night.

1. Gluten-Free Chocolates & Candy

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolates and candy? 🍬 🍫 Thankfully, in this day and age, many stores are stocked with a variety of gluten-free candy options, making it easier than ever to find something to satisfy a sweet tooth while still adhering to dietary restrictions.

Still, it's important to follow Rule #1 of living gluten-free: read every label, every time. You need to ensure that the candy is actually gluten-free and that there are no hidden ingredients that could cause an immune response or adverse reaction.

If you want a refresher on reading gluten-free labels, I highly recommend watching my video, A Complete Guide to Gluten-free Labels:

To make things super easy: if you’re American, you can read the Celiac Disease Foundation’s approved gluten-free candy list; if you’re Canadian, check out the Canadian Celiac Association’s list.

2. Bake for your partner

If you want to go the extra mile, bake your partner something special. It'll be a surprise that they won't forget! Not only is it a unique way to show them you care, but it's a great way to get them something that is hard to find gluten-free in a store.

Here are a few ideas:

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies from Robyn's Gluten-free Baking Courses

Bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies from The Essentials Course. Simply use red or pink M&Ms (double-check they’re gluten-free!) to add a pop of colour!

Gluten-free chocolate Swiss roll with candy-cane cream

Bake a chocolate Swiss roll from The Holidays Course. It has a candy-cane cream but there’s also a delicious chocolate-orange cream variation, too (think Terry’s Chocolate Orange, but gluten-free). And of course, you can play around: chocolate with raspberry cream, anyone?

Maple syrup being poured on gluten-free French toast with Robyn's gluten-free cinnamon raisin loaf

Bake a loaf of gluten-free cinnamon raisin or brioche bread from The Bread Course. You can then use it to make the world’s most delicious French toast! 🥹

Whatever you decide to make, your partner is sure to appreciate the effort you put in to bake them something delicious and safe.

3. Booking a Restaurant

If you have a favourite place that’s safe to eat at, go for it! But Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to try something new. Why not look for a place that you've never heard of before? It's an excellent way to explore a new culinary experience and have a unique and memorable time with your sweetheart.

It's best to look for a restaurant that is fully gluten-free; the next best thing is a restaurant that offers solid gluten-free options.

How to find gluten-free restaurants

I recommend the Find Me Gluten-free app to find restaurants near you. (This isn’t sponsored, I’m just a fan!) It shows you reviews and ratings from other people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, so you can quickly get a handle on how safe it will be.

If the app doesn’t have any recommendations in your town or city—it doesn’t for my town!—then Google is your friend.

Gluten-free, not “friendly”

If you can find a completely gluten-free restaurant, that’s the dream! It means that your partner is completely safe. And, speaking as someone who has celiac disease, being able to order anything off a menu is a magical experience after years of picking between two salads. (I’m also vegetarian, though, so that limits my choices.)

If you can’t find a completely gluten-free restaurant, I recommend calling in advance to ask about both their options and their protocols. Some places say they have gluten-free options, but it’s actually “gluten-friendly” (which is the bane of my existence).

As an example: they may have a gluten-free bun that’s toasted on the same surface as the other buns… which means it’s… not gluten-free.

Another example: ask if they use a separate pot of water for the pasta. True story: I once worked at an Italian restaurant that served gluten-free pasta that was boiled in the regular pasta water… which means it’s… not gluten-free.

Doing your research beforehand will give you assurance that the restaurant has options that will work for your date and that they know how to safely prepare gluten-free food.

4. Cook together

If you’re looking to save a little money (who isn’t these days?), cooking dinner at home is the way to go. If your partner loves cooking, plan out a meal and make it together. Quality time while saving money is a win-win.

Pasta is always a classic! I love the Rummo brand—until my pasta course comes out next year. 😉 You can take it to the next level by serving it with garlic bread (made with my gluten-free French bread from The Essentials Course).

For a fun twist on dinner, why not try pizza night? It's easy to make and you can customize it however you like. Add your favourite toppings or get creative with the crust.

Heck, I’ve taken to making a double batch of the crust so I can have two different kinds of pizza and leftovers the next day. No matter what you choose, it's sure to be a hit.

Learn how to bake gluten-free at home

Homemade gluten-free pizza sound daunting? Never fear, that’s why I’m here! When you sign up for The Essentials Course, you and your partner can follow along with the step-by-step instructional video to create your perfect pizza. No fancy equipment or expensive flour blends needed.

It’s basically like taking a cooking class in the comfort of your own home—and most importantly—cooking something that you can both enjoy together. How romantic! 🥰

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether it’s enjoying gluten-free chocolates or candy, baking for your partner, booking a restaurant, or making a dinner together, with a bit of planning and research, you can have a perfect—and safe!—gluten-free Valentine’s Day.

Robyn Harrison

Robyn is a baker based just outside of Toronto, Canada. She comes from several generations of award-winning bakers. After her celiac diagnosis in 2016, and her doctor's advice to “Say good-bye to bread!”, her gluten-free journey began. She is the founder of Robyn's Gluten-free Baking Courses and Robyn's Gluten-free Living. Her mission is to raise the bar for gluten-free baking; “good enough” is no longer good enough.