Top gluten-free tips to make Christmas easier

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    Top gluten-free tips
    Whether you’re the host or a guest, these handy tips will make your holiday season easier — and tastier!
    • Focus on what’s naturally gluten-free, like meat, fish, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, fresh herbs and dairy. Working with gluten-free whole foods like these is the most straightforward way to make a coeliac-friendly dinner.
    • Familiarise yourself with the gluten-free options out there before you start planning your menu. A good way to do this is to consult the most recent edition of the Coeliac Society of Ireland Food List. There are more gluten-free versions of breads, pastry, sausages, puddings and many other foods than ever before.
    • Always read labels. There can be hidden gluten in things you would never expect. Some of the most surprising culprits include flavouring extracts, cooking oil sprays and even some types of chocolate chips and sprinkles.
    • Biscuits without gluten can be quite fragile, so take extra care while packaging and transporting them.
    • Use cornflour or arrowroot starch to thicken gravies; these can actually be better thickeners than many wheat-based flours anyway, as they tend to be less lumpy.
    • You don’t have to avoid stuffing simply make your own breadcrumbs by whizzing up your favourite gluten-free bread.

    Gluten free stuffing Easy Food Easy Gluten-Free Christmas dinner tips

    • When icing your Christmas cake, be sure to double check that the marzipan and icing are gluten-free as well. These can sometimes contain flour to prevent the icing from becoming too sticky.
    • Make sure to check that any beer or fizzy drinks you’re buying are gluten-free. Wine and sparkling wine are naturally coeliac-friendly, as are most distilled spirits. (Flip to p.96 for more information about gluten-free alcoholic beverages.)
    • Don’t be afraid to let your friends and family know about your dietary requirements before you visit. If you’re going to be a house guest, consider bringing some gluten-free bread (and, if necessary, your own toaster/toasting bags) and perhaps some gluten-free goodies that can be enjoyed by everyone.
    • If dinner is served buffet-style, coeliac diners shouldn’t hesitate to go first, before the possibility that serving spoons are transferred from one dish to another.

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