Christmas isn’t always straightforward, if you can’t eat gluten. And even more complicated if there are other things excluded from your diet, for whatever reason.
Most manufacturers of gluten free products are working hard to produce things suitable for Christmas, and every year there are more things available.
Turkey is naturally gluten free – but you must check everything that you add to it. Stuffing, for instance is made from bread, so you will probably want to make your own version. Bread sauce is, um, made from bread, and I’ve never seen a premade gluten free variety of this. If you want it, you will have to make it yourself. Cranberry sauce is gluten free.
If you’re having a ham on Boxing day, make sure it isn’t breaded.
Many people like sausages, sometimes wrapped in bacon … you can get gluten free sausages, but you will have to work at it. Marks and Spencer do gluten free cocktail sausages; I’ve ordered some from a local organic box scheme, Northern Harvest.
Vegetables are naturally gluten free, but if you want to add a sauce (e.g. cheese sauce to cauliflower) you should either make one using gluten free flour (I use cornflour for this) or buy a gluten free variety – Tesco stocks one of these, and so do Morrisons.
Gravy, too, will have to be checked – making it yourself is probably the best way, but we use Bisto Best chicken flavour, which is gluten free.
Because I don’t eat meat, and my coeliac daughter is practically a vegetarian, I will also prepare a vegetarian, gluten free, main course as a separate option. When I’ve decided, I’ll post the recipe for you …
You can get a gluten free Christmas pudding these days from a number of different places; I’ve bought one from Tesco. Brandy butter is gluten free – or should be, since it’s just butter, sugar and brandy! Any sort of custard or white sauce will have to be checked and/or made from scratch. Cream is gluten free too.
Again, gluten free mince pies are available in a number of different places – or you could make some. Mincemeat is gluten free, though you may also want to check that it is vegetarian (not all are). You can buy readymade gluten free pastry from Lifestyle, or make it yourself.
This year, for the first time, there is a source of gluten free profiteroles (Gluten Free Foods Direct)and of gluten free panettone (Johnsons Provisions). Both these online stores have a good range of gluten free products.
Gluten free Christmas cake is also available at many supermarkets, or from the stores mentioned above. Or you could use my recipe for christmas cake.
All confectionery should be checked too, but there are lots of gluten free chocolate and sweets available out there.
And of course, Christmas isn’t all about food – though to judge from the list of goodies above, you would think so!
I’ve written a book summarising what we’ve learnt over 20 years of dealing with the gluten free diet, and it might be just what you’re looking for. It packs the lessons we’ve learned into what I hope is a helpful and straightforward guidebook. It’s available on Amazon, as a paperback or for your Kindle…