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How to Have a Gluten-Free Holiday Season

Happy holidays, friends!

As we head mid-way into December, many of us have already begun to celebrate. Staff Christmas parties, holiday bake exchanges, luncheons and big family gatherings are all happening in full force. The best part about the holiday season is the time spent with friends, loved ones, and all the yummy eats that come with that!

Traditionally at a holiday gathering, you would be presented with big smorgasbord of all kinds of good appetizers and treats, as well as turkey and all the trimmings. While many people get to participate in these gatherings and indulge in all the goodness without batting an eye, they usually end up going home feeling full and temporarily uncomfortable.

However, for those living with gluten sensitivities or allergies, this can be a stressful time of year because the risk of feeling uncomfortable at the end of the evening, quite simply, is not an option. It can be awkward and inconvenient to make gluten-free requests to the hosts preparing food for a crowd, and equally difficult knowing if a restaurant will be able to cater to your dietary needs.

Lately, the good news with restaurants is that they seem to be figuring it out with a large portion of the general population needing to know about their gluten-free options.

For those who are trying to have, or need to have a gluten-free holiday; we have some suggestions that might make your life easier:

Help Your Hosts

Offer to bring a side or a dessert that’s gluten-free; many people are appreciative and receptive to this sort of gesture. The other guests will understand and probably won’t even know the difference! Think about it and put yourself in your host’s shoes. Feel good about calling ahead, and giving a heads up by offering to help!

The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies

The greatest part about a traditional turkey dinner, is all the accompanying vegetable dishes! Brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, peas and mashed potatoes are usually around during a holiday dinner. Whoever isn’t serving at least four sides of vegetables, isn’t serving a traditional turkey dinner!

When you can’t bring a dish, stick to what you know. Go ahead and load up on the vegetables…but don’t be tempted by the gravy, which usually contains wheat flour. (There are actually lots of gluten-free flour options to make gravy, so no need to worry if you’re making your own turkey dinner.)

Turkey: the Main Event!

Warm, tender, delicious turkey meat is thankfully gluten-free! Keep in mind that we’re talking about the large roast out of your own oven; not the processed deli meats at the grocery store which often do contain gluten. Again, pay attention to the gravy and the stuffing, which are gluten-filled as opposed to gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Desserts

You don’t have to have a dessert free holiday to have a gluten-free holiday! There are hundreds of recipes online for perfect holiday treats to bake. In fact, we shared a few recipes for our holiday baking here, and a couple of them are gluten-free!

Dessert is a great dish to contribute to a holiday gathering, especially when it’s homemade with love. Here is one way to please a crowd and wow them with healthier ingredients. A wrapped-up package of gluten-free treats also makes for a great hostess gift, teacher gift, or perfect for the group bake exchange.

NutraCleanse™ is a perfect, naturally gluten-free product (though not certified gluten-free; our five ingredients—flax seeds, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder—are naturally free of gluten) to add to many recipes out there for added source of fibre and healthy nutrients.

Don’t feel stressed or worried about having a gluten-free holiday this year! We’re here to help.