6 Tips for a Gluten Free Christmas
Gluten Free Christmas Christmas means many things to many people. Most would agree that, somewhere amongst the wrapping paper, friends, family and gift giving, food is a big part of many Christmas traditions. Whether by choice or necessity, if...
Christmas means many things to many people. Most would agree that, somewhere amongst the wrapping paper, friends, family and gift giving, food is a big part of many Christmas traditions. Whether by choice or necessity, if you are avoiding gluten this Christmas, here is some good news for you: holiday treats can still be part of your Christmas. In fact, many Christmas foods and indulgences are naturally gluten free. Here are six must-have indulgences to include in your gluten free Christmas this year:
- Cheese Plates: They show up everywhere, from the workplace Christmas party to the impromptu get together with the neighbors. Most cheese, with few exceptions, is gluten free when unprocessed. The crackers that accompany the cheese are probably not gluten free, however. Check this list for some naturally gluten free cheese options. Another great thing about cheese plates is that they also usually have vegetables on the side, which are also gluten free.
- Gingerbread: Take a look at this recipe for extra-extra-gingery gingerbread men/women using rice flour. The tang of spicy ginger and molasses means you will not have to miss out on a holiday tradition while avoiding gluten this year.
- Christmas Candy: Since most candy is naturally gluten free, skimping on Christmas candy is probably not a dilemma you will have to face. From See's candy boxes to those highly-addictive chocolate covered cherries, gluten free candy options are the norm and not the exception, which is good news for the gluten free foodie.
- Coffee House Treats: Catching up with old friends at a coffee house doesn't have to derail your gluten free Christmas. While baked goods such as loaves, muffins, and biscotti will probably not be gluten free, most of the coffee drinks are. Around the holidays, many coffee shops have seasonal flavors that will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Thankfully, most baristas will happily chat with you about anything while they prepare your beverage, so feel confident that asking them about gluten in your coffee drink probably won't be a bother.
- Christmas Ham: Most meats are gluten free, but always be sure to check labels. Christmas ham, even the spiral-cut hams in a common supermarket, is almost always gluten free. So, enjoy ham at Christmas dinner, and then enjoy a plethora of gluten free recipes using the leftovers afterwards, such as split pea soup with ham, or ham and eggs.
- Christmas Beverages: Finding yourself at the cash bar of yet another Christmas party might be discouraging. Gluten free beverage options can be scarce. Try ordering a club soda splashed with fruit juice -- something red, like cranberry juice -- for a festive-looking beverage without the gluten. The good news is, the calories you will save by not drinking alcohol can be applied elsewhere, such as on that cheese tray or on an extra serving of Christmas candy.
Remember the reason for the season. If you have followed all the advice here and still feel that your gluten free Christmas is depriving you of the joy of the season, take a minute and recognize that there is more to celebrating than indulging in food. There are many ways to express joy and partake in celebration outside of eating and drinking. Try to embrace other avenues for Christmas celebrations this year. Remember, ice skating and caroling are also gluten free.
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