Hi and welcome back.
With bonfire season and Halloween behind us, I feel I can finally turn my attention to Christmas. It is so cliche to say but this truly is a magical time of year for me. I love the run up to Christmas and finding amazing gifts for my family. Enjoying festive food in the months leading up to Christmas only adds to the excitement for me. This year, I am excited to announce I am taking part in the 12 Blogs of Christmas challenge! Throughout December, I will be posting every other day on my blog giving you lots of festive gluten and dairy free recipes, tips on how to survive Christmas as a coeliac and much more so stay tuned. If you are looking for festive recipes to try now, why not try my gluten free Christmas Cake recipe? You can start it now if you have 15 minutes on a Sunday afternoon and I can guarantee it will get you in the festive spirit. The shops are filling up with some amazing gluten and dairy free Christmas treats that I have already tried and sampled for you. Here are my top picks this holiday season. I hope you enjoy. -x-
Take out lunch – Marks and Spencers Made Without Wheat festive range
I mean, it wasn’t going to be a Christmas gluten free blog post if I didn’t mention this amazing sandwich. I keep trying to find a turkey feast sandwich with gluten free stuffing and cranberry that can top this one, but just no sandwich comes close. Pret-A-MAnger have released their gluten free open top Christmas sandwich that looks amazing, but as it is not safe for coeliacs due to cross-contamination, I worry about trying it. Tesco and Sainsbury also have gluten free sandwich options though sadly, I can never find them in my local stores. The M&S option is one I can always rely on and they have other flavours such as Brie and Grape to try too if you don’t want to eat meat. For me, nothing quite beats this seasonal treat and I look forward to enjoying many more in the run up to Christmas.
There is nothing quite like curling up in the evening with a good hot chocolate and whipped cream as the winter night draws in. My hot chocolate of choice has always been the Options variety as you can get so many amazing flavours too. I seem to have developed a total weakspot for the Salted Caramel flavour. I just love curling up on the sofa with a good book (I am currently re-reading the Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher which is definitely getting me in the festive spirit). In the past, I have also consumed multiple Gingerbread Lattes from Costa over the festive period. Recently, I found a large bottle of the Gingerbread syrup at a local store, and after confirming it is gluten free, have been trying it at home. I love starting my morning with a gingerbread coffee and tomato and mushroom omlette, and to enjoy my coffee dairy free at home without the hefty bill, means I can budget more effectively for Christmas this year. (I hope!) I find myself at the drive through Costa less and am enjoying the festive drink even more in the luxury of my own home. If you are looking for variety with your festive coffee flavours, the Beanies advent calendar is a good option for you. It comes with 48 mini sachets of coffee that are festive flavoured; a perfect treat every day. Stay tuned for my 12 Blogs of Christmas where I am sharing my favourite advent calendars for the coeliac.
Ahh. The holiday staple. The humble mince pie. As a child, I truly hated this festive treat and couldn’t understand why someone would rather eat pastry than chocolate. While I am still partial to a chocolate treat, I am pleased to say my tastebuds have improved over the years for me to truly enjoy this festive staple. It is a staple for good reason and so I am always on the hunt for a good gluten free mince pie. I couldn’t choose just one in this category so I am sharing my top 3 gluten free mince pies.
The first has to be the iced mince pies from Sainsbury Free From range. Adding icing to a mince pie still blows my mind at just how amazing it tastes. I am kind of ashamed to admit I have already devoured at least one box of these amazing goodies since bonfire night and have been stocking up when I go shopping. If you like sweetness with your mince pie, this is the option for you and at only £2 for a pack of 4, they don’t break the Christmas budget either.
My second option has to be the gluten free, vegan mince tart from Costa. I go to Costa less thanks to my gingerbread syrup bottle but it is still a great meeting spot for me and my friends. We enjoy many a happy hour in there drinking coffee, eating sweet treats and catching up. Their mine tart is a tasty twist to the classic deep-filled pie. I love that the gluten free pastry tart is thin but still holds the filling without a problem. There for when I need a pit-stop when I am Christmas shopping, this mince tart has to be one of my top gluten free treats this year.
My third option is my home made gluten free mince pie recipe. I created this recipe last year and my family love them, The pastry is thin and because you can add your own fillings, the taste can be tailored to you. I will definitely be baking multiple batches of these for family and friends this year. You can find my gluten free mince pie recipe here if you are interested. Sadly, I have not yet perfected the dairy free recipe yet but stay tuned.
Every year on Christmas Eve my mum throws a buffet for us all to enjoy. It has become one of the things I look forward to most over the 3 day event and now I live closer to family, something we can actually enjoy this year. My mum will serve hot and cold food, sweet treats and ample servings of snacks and crisps. As a coeliac, I can find myself with a bag of Slightly Salted Kettle Crisps while the rest of the family digs into onion rings, Pringles and other amazing goodies. You can imagine my excitement when I learnt Schar have released gluten free Pringles. They are released in Asda now and I can’t wait to try them. Though my favourite gluten free crisps have to be the Eat Real Hummus Crisps in Sour Cream and Chive or the Sea Salted Lentil Crisps. I love enjoying them with the Holy Moly Guacamole dips. Perfect snack to enjoy over the festive period.
Other Sweet Treats
If you don’t like mince pies, don’t fret. There are plenty of other gluten and dairy free options for you. My personal favourites are the Heavenly Chocolate bars in Salted Caramel or the Sainsbury Free From Ginger Tiffin Bites. I love how the Heavenly bars are gluten free, dairy free and contain no palm oil but still taste incredible. The ginger tiffin bites are so rich and indulgent and the perfect post dinner bite to enjoy if you can’t face dessert. If you are looking for a festive cookie option, I just couldn’t resist the gluten free Deluxe White Chocolate and Cranberry cookies from Lidl. Easily my favourite flavour of cookie, this tasty treat is the perfect combination with a hot chocolate.
So there you have it! My top gluten free foods to enjoy over the festive season. I hope you enjoy! Let me know in the comments below what your favourite festive treats are this year. If you re-create any recipe, please let me know by sharing photos directly to my Facebook page or by tagging me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac. It has been a whirlwind of a year so thank you for bearing with me. Stay tuned for more festive content coming your way with the 12 Blogs of Christmas starting December 1st.
Speak to you next week where I am sharing an update on my No-Spend Challenge.