Hosting Christmas Day is stressful enough, without finding out that one or more of your guests has specific dietary requirements. While you may think it easiest just to prepare an entirely separate meal for your gluten-free guests, simply changing a few ingredients is all it takes to makeover your Christmas menu so that everyone can enjoy the same meal.
#1 - Makeover the Nibbles
Make your party platters entirely gluten free by swapping out wheat-based crackers for snacks that are naturally gluten-free, such as crisp crudités, avocado, nuts, olives, fruit and rice crackers. Jazz these up with gluten-free brands of dips (e.g. Yumi's) and crackers (e.g. Carman's or Mary's Gone Crackers). Or, if you are feeling creative, why not whip up a batch of these easy, low-carb and naturally gluten-free Seedy Tamari Crackers?
#2 - Go DIY with Salads
Leave salad dressings, sauces and croutons on the side, since they can often contain gluten. Guests can then dress their individual serves of salad as they wish. Just make sure that any ingredients that do contain gluten are clearly labelled. To dress up salads, try alternative flavour boosters such as fresh herbs, savoury cheeses, and toasted nuts or seeds.
#3 - Skip the Seasoning
The safest option is to buy cuts of meat or seafood that are unseasoned, as glazes, marinades and sauces can all contain gluten. Whip up your own seasoning using fresh or dried herbs and spices, or if you really want to purchase a pre-packaged turkey or ham, be sure to check the label, as manufacturers are required by law to label foods containing gluten.
#4 - Bring a Plate
Consider asking your guests to bring a plate – perhaps a gluten-free side dish or dessert. That way there’ll be plenty of gluten-free options to enjoy without the burden falling entirely on your busy shoulders.
#5 - Pass the Gravy
Flour is usually used to thicken gravy, so try using gluten-free plain flour or cornflour instead. Or, if you’re pressed for time, there are plenty of gluten-free gravies available at the supermarket – just check the label.
#6 - Stick with Tradition
Gluten is what gives cakes and breads their soft, springy texture, and without gluten they can be dense and dry. Fortunately for us, Christmas puddings and fruit cakes are naturally dense and heavy, so this is one time you can be confident that a gluten-free flour will give a great result. Checkout these delicious gluten-free Christmas recipes from the Australian Healthy Food Guide: