It has become popular of late to eat a gluten-free or gluten-reduced diet so there are many food products that are clearly labelled as such. But if a guest is coming over who is gluten-sensitive, gluten-intolerant, or has Celiac’s, it can be intimidating. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley but thankfully, fruits and veggies in their natural state are gluten-free as long as you avoid cross contamination! Certain main dishes and baked goods may require a little more effort, but all in all, your gluten-free guests will appreciate your care to ensure their enjoyment and well-being.
Make sure you’re checking labels for ingredients. When you are preparing recipes, be wary of additions you may not have thought about like Worcestershire sauce or dairy products. Some are gluten-free but others are not. For instance, some dairy products may be thickened with wheat based starches.
Here are some gluten-free holiday hacks to serve everyone at the table:
- Plain rice is naturally gluten-free but it’s best to avoid rice packages with flavourings or mixes as all of the ingredients may not be gluten-free.
- Make your stuffing rice-based instead of bread based! Add some seasonal goodies like apple and cranberry and sneak in some kale, and you have a healthy kick to everyone’s favourite holiday dish. You could also make this wild rice and mushroom stuffing to suit both your gluten-free and vegan guests; two birds, with one stone!
- Plenty of dishes are easily made gluten-free. Substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten-free flour in this celery gratin.
- Turkeys are of course naturally gluten-free, so make your own gravy with the drippings (flavoured of course with plenty of root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery while roasting) and use cornstarch instead of flour.
- There are plenty of dishes that are naturally gluten-free: mashed parsnips and potatoes, roasted fennel and potatoes, cranberry scalloped potatoes, cauliflower gratin, and of course caramelized onion mashed potatoes (that are so good they hardly need any gravy!)
- Make your own pumpkin pie gluten-free with this GF pie crust and homemade pumpkin puree.
Gluten is more prevalent in your pantry than you think—be mindful when you’re entertaining that you have lots of gluten-free options. Ring in the new year with some bubbly and excellent finger food for all your friends, including those who are gluten-free!
- Potatoes as all fruits and vegetables are gluten free but be careful of cross contamination. For instance, don’t bake potatoes directly on an oven rack that may have crumbs or remnants from pizza or bread.
- Mix up your holiday dessert game with these candied kumquat coconut tarts
- Whip up some jalapeño corn muffins for your GF guests, you just may have to keep them out of reach of your other guests because they’ll want one too!
- Keep pitas, crackers, and other wheat products separate from the dipping veggies for your favourite veggie dips and hummus.
- Check labels for ingredients. When you are preparing recipes, be wary of additions you may not have thought about like Worcestershire sauce or dairy products. Some are gluten-free but others are not. For instance, some dairy products may be thickened with wheat based starches.
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