Nothing is cozier than the holiday season, but all that cooking and baking can lead to a lot of food-related obstacles. It’s not only people trying to cut calories who have to navigate the many meals: most traditional Christmas offerings aren’t suitable for those with dietary restrictions like gluten allergies.
The holidays do not have to be hard on those with Celiac disease or other gluten intolerances! With weeks before the holiday season, you have plenty of time to plan – here’s what you can do to prepare a delicious gluten-free meal this Christmas.
Research And Plan Your Recipes Early
If you’re baking and cooking gluten-free goodies and meals for the first time this year, knowing what you can and cannot include in your recipes requires research. Learning what is and is not gluten-free is necessary if you’re baking a dish for someone who can’t digest gluten.
For example, the fresh fruits and veggies – what you’d handpick at your local produce section – are gluten-free, but conventional pre-packaged, canned or frozen options may not be. If they have more than one ingredient, they could easily contain gluten or be cross-contaminated in processing.
Gluten can sneak into many holiday staples, including gravy. Many old family recipes begin as roux, which is a starter made from flour and butter. You can make a rich, flavourful, gluten-free gravy that still sticks with your holiday cooking traditions, though! Start with the delicious juices and pan drippings from your roasted turkey; next, add some certified gluten-free chicken stock, wine, herbs and thicken it with a 1-to-1 Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour (it uses Xanthan gum!).
Stock Up On Essential Gluten-Free Ingredients
If you bake gluten-free goodies at home, you know that you frequently need ingredients other than a gluten-free mix. When it comes to cooking your holiday meal, don’t get caught without ingredients that are certified gluten-free when you need them the most! A lot of gluten-free recipes use ingredients like Xanthan gum, tapioca, and arrowroot flour, so make sure you have these in your kitchen before getting started.
This includes the condiments you may put on the table. Kitchen staples you wouldn’t suspect as having gluten, such as generic soy sauce, were made with wheat. Unless it says gluten-free on the label, don’t trust it without doing a little investigating!
Make As Much Of The Food Yourself As Possible
We’ve already mentioned how gluten sneaks into many homemade Christmas foods and ingredients. You should know that it gets into many prepared foods, too, including some you may not think to check before buying. For example, pre-packaged meat products like bacon, sausages, and ham can contain gluten. The best way to ensure everything is gluten-free while not breaking the bank is by making the food yourself!
Many manufacturers prominently label gluten-free items, but you can trust gluten-free products – and the variety of products available – from stores that specialize in healthy foods. Diet & Wellness makes pulling a gluten-free Christmas dinner together much easier!