What to make a coeliac for Christmas dinner

What to make a coeliac for Christmas dinner

12/12/2021

It’s tough being a coeliac – for obvious reasons.

Meals that no one gives much thought to, other than cooking it, can be problematic for those with coeliac disease; a condition where the immune system attacks tissues when you eat gluten.

A traditional Christmas turkey roast is one of those dishes.

But there are easy ways to make this mighty meal tolerable to those living with the condition so that everyone is included and can enjoy the food.

Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart, a nutritionist and psychologist, tells us that festive feasting has been difficult for ‘decades’ for those with gluten-free diets.

‘Feelings of dread when you plan to go out for a meal or to a friend’s house for dinner, would have been par for the course,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘But over the past 10 years or so, there has been a spotlight on coeliac disease, and this has led to a massive amount of coeliac friendly food products becoming available.

‘Coeliacs everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief as finally it’s easier to avoid gluten and actually enjoy eating out.’

What should you cook a coeliac on Christmas day?

‘When it comes to Christmas dinner, a coeliac will be aware that many typical Christmas foods will contain gluten, and these are not always obvious food items,’ Naomi warns.

‘For example, plain turkey is absolutely gluten-free. But stuffing and gravy will usually contain gluten. So it’s really important to consider every item of food before you prepare Christmas dinner for a friend with coeliac disease.’

You need to go through each step of the cooking process, rather than seeing the finished turkey as one thing.

Every step that goes into preparing and flavouring it is separate and a chance to eliminate gluten.

Starters

‘Gluten-free starters are very easy – crisps and dips such as guacamole, salsa and sour cream are always a winner,’ says Naomi.

‘Do check crisps for gluten and sometimes flavourings will contain gluten. Corn chips are usually a safe bet and are delicious.

‘If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then cheesy stuffed mushrooms or gluten-free cocktail sausages are good options.’

Meats

If you’re buying pre-made bacon products, this is another place to be eagle-eyed and spot any gluten additions.

Naomi says: ‘If you are using ham or bacon, just make sure you check the ingredients as some flavourings or additives might contain gluten.

‘If you are making a traditional turkey Christmas dinner, think about a gluten-free stuffing that everyone can enjoy, or cooking the stuffing separately.

‘You can also buy or make a gluten-free gravy by substituting the flour for a gluten-free flour. It will taste the same but be suitable for everyone at your dinner table.’

Vegetables

All vegetables are fine for a coeliac as they are naturally gluten-free, but again, just take care to check any sauces for hidden gluten.

‘Roasted parsnips, carrots and potatoes with olive oil and seasoning are ideal and taste great,’ Naomi notes.

‘All side salads will be naturally gluten-free too and balsamic and olive oil can provide the some flavour.’

Dessert

To stay traditional, there are gluten-free mince pies and Christmas puddings available to buy at supermarkets.

Alternatively, Naomi suggests making a gluten=free cheesecake or chocolate mousse, with gluten-free recipes from Jamie Oliver being her favourite.

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