I want to say I’ve listed these in order of importance, but I haven’t. All of the points are valid and worthy of a #1 spot, so to be fair I’ve entered theses in no particular order. Please enjoy my randomly listed Top 10 Ways to Stay Gluten Free During The Holidays:
10. Offer to make gluten free versions of your holiday favourites. Most dishes can be converted so roll up your sleeves and let your inner Betty Crocker out.
9. Double check what the ingredients are in the foods you’re about to start shovelling into your face. Yes, your friends might start getting annoyed with you constantly asking the finer details of how they prepared their foods. Oh well, it’s better to ask than to not ask and suffer for the next 24hr to 6weeks, in some cases.
8. Be aware of cross contamination. Foods that come into contact with gluten, whether directly or indirectly are no longer safe to eat. Indirectly could be as easy as a food that was fried in the same oil as something that was breaded. Direct contamination could be as blatant as a buffet style meal where the same serving utensil is used in more than one dish (whether accidentally or intentionally). One suggestion is to put the gluten free foods on a separate table from the other foods.
7. Focus on foods that you know are safe. Fruits, Vegetables and meat are all naturally gluten free. So unless those foods are schmeared with sauce or have been prepared in a way you’re unsure of, then just eat & enjoy! Oh, and wine is gluten free too, so skip the beer and enjoy a glass (or two!) of red!
6. Avoid the foods you know are NOT safe. Bread? Skip it. Gravy or Sauce? Probably a good idea to skip it. Anything breaded? RUN! I think you see where I’m going with this.
5. Let your host know your dietary needs. Most people are pretty understanding when it comes to accommodating their guests. Some people even enjoy the challenge of feeding someone with food allergies and intolerances. So give your host a heads-up.
4. Chose whole foods or home-made over processed ones. Anything premade or from a can will likely have ingredients that are unsafe. A gravy or sauces made from scratch can be made safely with gluten-free flour, whereas those convenient (and oh so yummy!) packaged gravies that you just add water to are definitely not safe.
3. Don’t eat it if you’re not absolutely sure it’s safe. Is that amuse bouche calling your name, but you don’t know if you can trust it? If you have any doubts about the gluten free status of anything you’re considering eating, then just skip it. It won’t kill you to miss out on one of the dishes at the meal, but it could make you (possibly violently) ill if you do indulge in something you shouldn’t.
2. Be part of the planning…. or better yet…..
1. Be the host. When it’s your party you have full control over the menu. When you know what’s safe to eat you can focus on spending time with your family & friends.