Christmas time can be a gluten-free feaster’s worst nightmare. Eating at other people’s houses can cause endless stress. Buffets can offer very few options – if any at all – not to mention the risks of cross-contamination.
I’m lucky that I don’t have coeliac disease, but a mild wheat intolerance. This means that I know a trace or a small amount of gluten or wheat in my food won’t do me any harm. I couldn’t eat a wheat-based meal though without having a stomach ache for days; whereas the tiniest trace – even a crumb of ‘normal’ wheat flour bread for example – can actually damage the intestines of a person who has been diagnosed with coeliac disease.
Whatever your intolerance or reasons for avoiding gluten or wheat this Christmas, no gluten shouldn’t mean no fun. The rise in awareness of allergies and intolerances to gluten means that the gluten-free food market has boomed over the last couple of years so whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the gluten-free person in your life or simply fancy a little treat for yourself, here are some festive ideas to make sure no one misses out.
I can’t not mention these incredible brownies. My lovely team at work bought me a box when I returned from Zambia and I honestly think they’re the best brownies I’ve ever tasted, gluten-free or not. They were soft, gooey… it’s making my mouth water just thinking about them.
Love Brownies, £24 for a box of eight
If you fancy going all out, why not treat your loved one to a full hamper of goodies? There’s so much awesome stuff included in this that will last for the whole Christmas and New Year period. The box of rosemary and sea salt biscuits sound amazing and there’s a pack of olive, walnut & pimenton toast that would be great with a big ol’ slab of mature cheddar… but then I’ve always had a savoury tooth!
The British Hamper Company, from £65
How about a meal out at London’s first Coeliac UK-accredited 100% gluten-free restaurant? Serving British comfort food like sausage and mash, chicken supreme and beef burgers at reasonable prices, gluten-free diners can relax at Niche in Islington, London in the knowledge that everything prepared and served in this restaurant is completely gluten-free. They have plenty of vegan dishes to choose from too.
Buy gift vouchers for Niche at Open table, from £20
Despite being careful, we all have slip ups and occasionally have to deal with being ‘glutened’. So it’s always good to have a readily available supply of peppermint tea and they come no better than Teapigs. As they use the whole peppermint leaves, the flavour is stronger and fresher than other tea bags.
Teapigs, £9.95 for 50 tea bags / £5.20 for 100g loose tea leaves
Similarly to the peppermint tea, if I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t have and end up with stomach cramps, I’m always reaching for my hot water bottle. I absolutely love this badger one made by Terri Leahy, it’s so cute! She actually has a whole range of different animal covers, all of which come with the hot water bottle itself. It’s got a fleece lining so it feels nice and soft against your skin and I think if you’re feeling a bit rough, a cute face like this is bound to make you smile.
Terri Leahy, £35
Practical and thoughtful, buying your gluten-free loved one their own chopping board helps to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in their kitchen. It’s laser engraved and finished with a natural mineral oil & beeswax polish.
Gluten-free should never be taste free. The brewers of these guys reckon you wouldn’t even know these beers were gluten-free. The beers included in the box change but they’re stocked from breweries such as Monty’s in Wales, Wold Top in East Yorkshire, Allendale in Northumberland and Hopback in Wiltshire. Cheers!
Best of British Beer, £24.50 for a six-pack