How to stick to a free-from diet over the festive seasonSo Christmas is fast approaching and with it comes a whole host of lovely treats – sparkly decorations, lavishly wrapped presents under a big fir tree (we can practically smell the pine needles already) and, of course, an assortment of extra special food-based deliciousness. The only thing is, when you follow a free-from diet, enjoying foodie treats over Christmas comes with a bit of extra preparation.
Luckily, we have anticipated that the holiday season will prove a bit tricky for the free-from foodies among us so we’ve come up with a handy guide that covers any festive, food-based scenario, leaving you free to wrap yourself up in the festive flavours…
Spice up your life
For those of us who need to avoid dairy, there’s some good news. Much of the traditional Christmas menu is all about using spices for flavour, which often also serve to replace dairy ingredients.
For meat eaters:
All Christmas birds – turkey, chicken and gammon – are naturally dairy-free and there’s no need to cook the meat with butter, just simply add a dash of olive oil and a handful of spices to season your meat of choice. A pot of spicy cranberry sauce adds yet more flavour and your roast potatoes can also be popped into the oven with just olive oil, thyme, oregano and garlic for a delicious, crispy finish.
The beauty of the meat and the potatoes is that these are also both already nut- and gluten-free. If you or a member of your family is a coeliac sufferer and must avoid gluten entirely, it’s best to order a fresh bird from the local farm as opposed to a frozen option, to be 100% sure that it hasn’t been injected with any wheat-based proteins or preservatives. Homemade gluten-free gravy is very easy to make as well, using cornflour or potato starch cooked with cranberry jelly and turkey or chicken stock. If you’re more into ready-made gravy try Kallo.
For vegetarians and vegans:
Tofo and Quorn aren’t the only options. Check out this range of options from Goodness Direct.
Nice and trim
The most popular traditional Christmas dinner trimmings pose no problem for free-from eaters, as simplicity is often the best option when cooking the festive meal. Brussel sprouts taste delicious boiled with a bit of salt – just add a dash of lemon juice and some fresh salt and pepper to the cooked sprouts for a tasty touch.
When it comes to the veg, you can impress guests by cooking with one of the most popular ingredients and foodie trends of 2015 – maple syrup. Roast your parsnips in fresh rosemary and maple syrup for a delicious natural sweetness and flavour that also avoids the need for butter or margarine.
Free-From Sweets for my sweet
Over to the sweet stuff, and dessert is often free-from dieters biggest Christmas fear. After all, everyone wants to indulge at Christmas and eat until they can eat no more without any concern about allergies.
Our team at Pudology have created some delicious sweet treats that make the perfect addition to the Christmas table. Our Chocolate Orange Pud combines delicate chocolate and orange ganache with Brazilian olive oil for a dessert that will melt in the mouth, and our classic Chocolate Pud blends smooth chocolate ganache with Madagascan vanilla for a delicious, festive flavour. All of our treats are gluten-free, dairy-free and made with natural flavourings – they also come in bright and colourful packaging that will enhance the colourful, festive feel and will always prove popular with the little ones.
More and more high street food retailers are also now offering wheat- and dairy-free chocolate, and special chocolate box varieties. Or you can always get creative and make your desserts fresh at home and add a bit of fun variety to the traditional Christmas desserts. Jamie Oliver offers some great recipes where you can use your dairy-free chocolate to make truffles, mousse or cookies.
We’ve also found the recipe for a lovely, gluten-free Christmas cake – those with nut allergies can use pumpkin or sunflower seeds. This cake is stuffed full of fruit, making your festive indulgence feel almost healthy!
And as no Christmas is complete without hot-from-the-oven mince pies, our present to you is this lovely recipe for gluten-, dairy-, soya- and egg-free Christmas Cake and Mince Pies from the Intolerant Gourmet food blogger. Add a dollop of our natural coconut yoghurts for a sweet flourish. Perfect for that Free-From Diet!
Enjoy your free-from Christmas! And of course, if you have any other tips please let us know.