12 South’s Five Daughters Bakery gets my vote for the best gluten-free doughnut in Nashville.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their glorious Paleo Crusher doughnuts in a Gluten-Free Friday post. These are the things of legend, basically, and I love them very deeply.

There are many wonderful things about Five Daughters: The convenience of their 12 South location, the quality of local non-GMO (genetically-modified) ingredients used in all of their products, and the fact that it’s family-oriented.

For us gluten-free folks, arguably the best part is that they craft DELICIOUS paleo doughnuts. Yes, craft. These are no ordinary doughnuts. They’re not even ordinary gluten-free doughnuts. They are also grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, making them significantly lower in carbohydrates than most doughnuts, and, as a result, much less guilt-inducing. And, perhaps most importantly, they taste great.

Let’s be real: gluten-free baked goods have come a long way. Sadly, there are still the occasional “flops” like sweetener-less, grain-free blueberry muffins or gluten-free cupcakes that don’t quite taste like anything. Praise God for Five Daughters Bakery, a company that gets gluten, grain-free and paleo baked goods right!

Five Daughter’s Paleo Crusher doughnuts are moist, flavorful and perfectly sweet. The Paleo diet, inspired by the supposed diet of cavemen, doesn’t allow any gluten or grains. As a result, people on paleo diets often bake with nut flours, like almond flour, starch flours or tapioca flour, in place of typical gluten-free grain blends. Five Daughters’ Paleo Crushers use a blend of almond, tapioca and coconut flour in the base of their paleo vanilla doughnuts.

For sweeteners, Five Daughters uses honey and maple syrup in their paleo doughnuts. Five Daughters employee Erin expounded on the bakery’s commitment to using local ingredients.

“We [have] local honey and local maple syrup that we use to sweeten all [the paleo doughnuts],” Erin said.

Five Daughters’ owners know what it’s like to feel restricted by certain dietary lifestyles.

“They opened this for their daughters,” Erin said. “Two of their daughters have allergies…one of them has an allergy to gluten. So that was the inspiration behind offering vegan and paleo pastries. There was a lack of that in Nashville.”

Paleo Crusher flavors abound. The chocolate chip sea salt, my mom’s personal favorite, was one of the first paleo flavors Five Daughters offered.

When asked about the inspirations behind other paleo flavors, which vary monthly, Erin said the staff is allowed to give ideas for future flavor experiments. A manager thought of the Chocolate Sunbutter flavor, a paleo doughnut that ended up on the May menu.

In addition to their Paleo Crushers, Five Daughters also offers gluten-free cookies, called Snowcap Cookies. These aren’t dairy-free, sadly, but they are delicious. And, of course, the vegan (but not gluten-free) and other gluten and dairy-filled doughnuts are tasty and beloved as well.

Five Daughters is an absolute win in my book. It caters to the gluten-free and the gluten-full, leaving neither with any room to feel left out.

However, the price is relatively steep, at around $5 for a Paleo Crusher. The high quality of the fresh, local and healthy ingredients, not to mention the unique flavors and love that goes into each doughnut, is worth it for me.

October’s Paleo Crusher flavors include Chocolate Pumpkin, Huckleberry, Samoa and Chocolate Chip Sea Salt. Five Daughters’ 12 South location is located at 1110 Caruthers Avenue.


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