A Gluten Free Christmas

13 Dec

This will be my second gluten free Christmas, and it can be a difficult time for us coeliacs.  There seem to be mince pies and Christmas Cake everywhere you look, and you’re constantly having to say no to treats that are on offer.  In addition to this there are those awkward Christmas meals, with very few (if any) gluten free options to try and navigate.  I’ve looked on in horror over the past few weeks at some of the poor Christmas meal offerings that have been tweeted about.  Carly Talbot’s #FruitIsNotAPudding hash tag has been particularly prevalent!


But Christmas doesn’t have to be a bad time, and there are plenty of options out there for us gluten free folk.  Last year for my first gluten free Christmas Marks & Spencer turned out to be the big hero for me.  For Christmas dinner the turkey was stuffed with gluten free sausage meat, there were stuffing balls, pigs in blankets and a pot of delicious pre-made gravy.  All gluten free and all from M&S.

This year I’ve managed to find a local gluten free sausage meat at Plymouth Greengrocer, and they are also stocking a range of Christmas Cake and mince pies.  If you are Plymouth based, it’s well worth a trip out to stock up for Christmas.  You can of course grab all your Christmas fruit and veg while you are there too.  Annoyingly for me I don’t like mince pies or fruit cake, but I have ordered a Chocolate Yule Log from Annie’s Larder, and I’m really looking forward to tucking in to this one!

I am also a big fan of the Mrs Crimble’s Stuffing Mix if you want an alternative to the M&S version.  For an alternative gravy I usually use the Antony Worrall Thompson gravy, though I’ve heard a few people say they find this too salty.  Personally I like it.  Cadbury’s have been my advent calendar and tree chocolate of choice this year and last, though shock horror I’ve got no advent calendar this year.  That’s the first time ever, I must be getting old!  There’s also a great list of suitable Christmas products from Coeliac UK which will give you some further tips.

Good news is that Quality Street and Cadbury’s Roses are both gluten free.  I am not a fan of giving Christmas cards to work colleagues, and for the last few years I’ve taken in a tin of Quality Street instead.  My colleagues seem to enjoy this more than a card, I help save some trees and there are always some gluten free treats on hand.  Everyone is a winner!  Lucky for me I’ve managed to convince my work colleagues that a curry is a good choice for a Christmas meal this year, so hopefully no awkward choices for me.  My pudding may well be a fruit, well cider is made from apples anyway.  On the subject of cider I’m trying to track down some Rekorderlig winter cider, I managed to try some in London and it’s lovely.

Some of my blogging friends have been busy at work providing their gluten free tips, so I will leave you with some pointers to  more great info from them.  If you have tips of your own please leave a comment!

Have a Gluten Free Christmas (Part One) – Wuthering Bites
Have a Gluten Free Christmas (Part two) – Wuthering Bites
My gluten free Christmas – Gluten free cake lover
Bread to Bread: Mince Pies – gluten free b
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! – Coeliac.me.uk
Festive post #1 – gluten free mince pies – Gluten Free Blogger
Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

19 Responses to “A Gluten Free Christmas”

  1. louise December 13, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    I had to cancel going work party due to them not being willing to adapt the menu, even though they say they cater for gluten and dairy free people on the website. It was B.E.D in Plymouth. Being dairy free as well as gluten free is a real hassle so I missed out. ;-(

    • Kevin Gollop December 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Sorry to hear that Louise, that’s terrible! It must be so tough having to deal with the Dairy free side too 😦

      • louise December 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

        Its not easy mainly cheese and cream are my problems i can tolerate butter, It was more annoying as I could of eaten the scallops on there normal menu and offered to pay more for having to have that but they refused. So it put me off going seeing they very unhelpful about it no point risking being ill. I think i might need to try that cider now 😉

  2. Samantha/ The Happy Coeliac December 13, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Don’t forget my book, Gluten-free Baking at Christmas! 🙂

  3. nicola croft December 13, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    The Rekorderlig cider is beautiful I was introduced to it on Saturday at the British Heart Foundation Christmas dinner where I volunteer. I usually have wine and lemonade when I go out but was bored of it. This is also my second christmas as a coeliac and all my family and friends have been great in attempting to feed me, I am the only coeliac in the family.

    • Kevin Gollop December 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      I love Rekorderlig, one of my favourites! It too am very lucky to have a family who pull out all the stops to make sure I can eat properly!

  4. Hazel (@gfhazlenut) December 13, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Very informative Kevin Thank you. Dont forget every year bloggers get together to give ideas for Christmas cooking at the free from and festive section on http://www.glutenfreekblog.co.uk/ I will be adding a new version to the Christmas pudd on Monday 17th there is some great ideas.

  5. sarah December 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Dont worry mum put in an order for a gf pud for christmas day and i have decided on a lemon cheesecake!

    • Kevin Gollop December 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Awesome sis! Can’t wait for that 🙂

  6. Claire Tulloch Positively Coeliac December 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    I discovered M&S’s GF stuffing and pigs in blankets last year too. Made my Christmas!(Well, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration but it does make a difference.) I’m sticking with them this year. My (slightly control freak) way of having a stress free, gluten free Christmas dinner is to do all the cooking myself, so I know exactly what I’m eating! Means I haven’t had a year off in nine years though! 😉 And I usually make a special GF pudding as I just don’t miss Christmas pud so wouldn’t buy the GF version. This year though I’m buying in the Ginger Baker’s GF sticky toffee pudding. It’ll go down a treat with not just me, but also my little girl who doesn’t do Christmas pud either. So those are my tips. Have a lovely GF Christmas, Kevin.

  7. GFreek.com (@GFREEKcom) December 14, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    The 2012 Gluten-Free Gift Guide is always helpful http://www.gfreek.com/Gluten_Free_Gift_Guide.html

  8. Emma Jackson December 17, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    I am approaching my first GF Christmas and I don’t live in the UK anymore so options are very limited. I also can’t take alcohol or pork. I’m struggling. The main meal s fine and Lord knows I don’t need all those extra treats so it’s all good…..but OMG I miss mince pies and turkey sandwiches aaaargh! As a food lover Christmas was 90% about food for me hahaha and now it’s reduced to 10%… Anyone wanting to offer support or help or advice please find my FB page “Gluten free in Malaysia”. I also attempt to bake using a few GF products and record all my successes and failures. I have Orgran GF pastry mix but I’m terrified I’ll get it wrong (for mince pies)….HEELPPPPP

    • Emma Louise Hutchinson December 17, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      Have you seen my most recent blog post? It may help. I will be gluten free as well as lactose free this year and the blog has a mixture of dairy and gluten free recipes, products and blogs http://www.lovelactosefreelife.blogspot.com
      Sadly I can’t deliver to Malaysia but hopefully it will give you some good ideas, Merry Christmas, x

  9. spencer December 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Eight years on Christmas is o problem and need not mean dashing off to various shops. Mincemeat was made last Christmas for this year, follow any recipe and use gluten free suet from a health food shop, same for puddings. Stuffing use Black Farmer sausages and de skin them, gluten free breadcrumbs are easy. Christmas cake was made in Sept as were puddings with Doves flour, its all so easy with a little planning, just like your granny would do!!!!

  10. Sue leaves December 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Kevin
    Just to let you know I’ve looked on the asda home shopping website, and they sell the Rekordelig winter cider, think I will give it a try myself, have a great Christmas and new year. Sue x

    • Kevin Gollop December 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Thanks Sue! Sainsbury’s had it 3 for 5 last week and may still have. They are also serving it hot in Kitty O’Hanlons at the moment

  11. Paul December 23, 2015 at 2:48 am #

    Just a note Morrisons do a selection of gluten free sandwiches now and a sausage roll ! The annoying thing they don’t show up as GLUTEN FREE if I hadn’t been told I would not have found them.
    They have three choices if I remember correctly Tuna and cucumber, Cheese savoury and Ham they are only £2 each.
    I do hope that more coeliacs find out about them before they decide to stop doing them due to lack of sales

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