We all have foods we can’t imagine going without on Christmas day but luckily for celiacs most of the traditional Christmas meal is naturally gluten free. This however does not mean that we can stop being careful. Making a gluten free christmas meal is simple but we still must be aware of hidden sources of gluten which could result in not such a merry christmas for our gluten free loved ones.
Some common contamination pitfalls and how to avoid them
- Ensure your meat (if you’re having meat) is 100% meat and that nothing additional has been added to or injected into it. Natural flavourings in turkey and glazings in ham can be a hidden source of gluten. If you can’t find a meat without anything added, contact the manufacturer for clarification on what these flavourings or glazings are.
- Check your stock is gluten free. Many stocks are an unsuspecting source of hidden gluten which can be easily avoided by choosing the right brand. I tend to use Bouillon in the UK when cooking because it’s pretty easy to find and it’s gluten free. Making your own gluten free stock is another option.
- Regular stuffing is made from breadcrumbs and therefore is not gluten free. If you can’t imagine your christmas without stuffing, buy or prepare your own. Various companies sell gluten free stuffing, some of it better than others. I’ve tried it made with gluten free breadcrumbs and also made from rice flakes. If you would prefer to make your own their are tonnes of simple recipes out there. All you will need is gluten free breadcrumbs and some veggies and spices depending on what kind of stuffing you like.
- Keep your meal 100% gluten free. This way the celiac in your family won’t need to worry about contamination and will instead be free to relax and enjoy the meal. If it isn’t completely gluten free then be sure to keep gluten filled foods away from the gluten free food to avoid cross contamination.
- Beware of crumbs in the oven. If you are are cooking meat or baking christmas cookies or mince pies and it’s not a completely gluten free kitchen, ensure you reduce the risk of cross contamination by lining baking trays or roasting pans with parchment paper or foil.
Taking a few simple precautions will ensure that you and your family enjoy a wonderful, gluten free (and sickness free) Christmas dinner!
What do you do to ensure your Christmas meal is safe and cross contamination free?