By Coeliac UK

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Christmas is a time for sharing with our loved ones, which often means eating together. So how do you manage a gluten free Christmas without feeling left out?

Coeliac UK has launched its new Tales from a Gluten Free Christmas campaign to help people who need to live gluten free find the information they need, and to show friends and family how to cater for a gluten free guest. They share their top tips.

(Please check the latest Government guidance on the coronavirus situation before meeting people outside of your household or planning a meal out).

Prepare in advance

If someone else will be catering for you, talk to them in advance and explain your requirements. This will give them more time to prepare and ask questions to help you relax on Christmas Day. If you’re hosting, make a list of the gluten free products you need and, if possible, shop early to avoid disappointment.

Get inspired

Coeliac UK has all the seasonal product and recipe tips for you to share and enjoy. Take a look at the charity’s Christmas List to find gluten free products from your favourite brands, or visit their Home of Gluten Free Recipes to learn how to make your favourite Christmas dishes.

Practice makes perfect

Baking gluten free cakes and pastries can be a little trial and error, because gluten free flours absorb more liquids and may need more wet ingredients. You might find it useful to do a trial run if it’s your first time.

Explain cross contamination

It would be a shame for someone to go to the effort of cooking gluten free, only to make the mistake of cross contaminating! Make sure your friends and family understand that gluten free and gluten containing food should be kept completely separate, and all surfaces, utensils and equipment should be cleaned before use. It is really easy to forget to use a different utensil when juggling a busy Christmas kitchen so do make sure you mention this. And do request separate serving utensils, you are not being picky – you’re looking after your health.

RELATED: Seven tips for a diet free from gluten and dairy

Call ahead before dining out

If you’re planning a meal out at Christmas, be sure to call the venue in advance and let them know your requirements. Coeliac UK’s gluten free Venue Guide lists thousands of venues that provide gluten free options.

Be confident

It can feel isolating and lonely if you’re the only one on a gluten free diet, but you shouldn’t feel bad about something you can’t control – after all, Christmas is a time when family and friends should come together and support each other.

Visit Coeliac UK’s Christmas Market

Coeliac UK has brought all of their Christmas advice, information, recipes and inspiration into their online Christmas Market. You can find everything you need to have your best gluten free Christmas ever. Visit today, where you can also download their infographic on how to have a gluten free Christmas from here: Don’t forget to follow Coeliac UK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Gluten free vegetarian Stir up Sunday online cookalong by Jane Devonshire

STIR up Sunday falls this weekend on Sunday, November 22, and is traditionally the day for making your Christmas pudding and sharing a moment with family and friends as you stir your ingredients and make a wish for the forthcoming year!

So why not grab your ingredients – see details below - and join me, Jane Devonshire MasterChef champion and Coeliac UK Ambassador this weekend, for my online cookalong showing you how to make a delicious Christmas pudding which is both gluten free and vegetarian. It is jammed with flavour and is ideal for everyone, whether you are gluten free, vegetarian, both or neither!

The event is part of Coeliac UK’s new Christmas campaign ‘Tales from a Gluten Free Christmas’. The new campaign is shining the spotlight on real life Christmas experiences from our community to help people understand the importance of safely catering gluten free during the holidays.

Split over two days, the online demonstrations will guide you through preparation at 11am on Saturday 21 November, then take you through the next steps and steaming the pudding at 11am, on Stir Up Sunday (22 November). The videos will be broadcast from Coeliac UK’s Facebook page - so don’t forget to like and follow it in advance!

I’m so thrilled that my Christmas pudding recipe has been released exclusively to Coeliac UK ahead of publication, from my new recipe book, Vegetarian Hassle Free Gluten Free, which is out on 24 December 2020 and produced in association with Coeliac UK. Find out more on how to watch and download the recipe from here: Stir Up Sunday so you have everything you need before we get started.

Please be aware that the pudding needs to be steamed for 7 hours on Sunday, and you mustn’t let the pan go dry – so make sure you have put aside enough time for this. Whilst you are waiting for it to cook, why not check out Coeliac UK’s Christmas Market , which is packed with interesting case study stories, testimonials and tips as well as festive product information, Coeliac UK’s GF accredited venue festive offers and more delicious gluten free recipes.

Although this Christmas might feel very different, it will be lovely to kick off the festive mood with my cook along, so I do hope you will be able to join me over the weekend. If you can’t, or don’t have all the ingredients in yet, then don’t worry - the charity, will also be uploading the videos to their website so you can watch them in your own time here Stir Up Sunday.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!

Vegetarian, Hassel Free, Gluten Free by Jane Devonshire out 24th December 2020 (£22, Bloomsbury Absolute)

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