Christmas Feasting – A Gluten Free Guide – The College of Celiac

Christmas Eve is today, and that means all around the globe people are beginning to prepare for Christmas Dinner. Whether you are like my family, who have a free for all style buffet Christmas Eve, followed by a traditional dinner on Christmas, or a traditional family who only does the dinner, it can all be very hard to navigate. That is why I have made this list, much like with my Thanksgiving video, in order to assist you in preparing for the holiday!
First off the hams, beware as a shocking number of glazes do unfortunately contain gluten and may lead to a surprise reaction. Our go to on Hams is honey baked, which as far as my research and experiences have shown have, gluten free hams as well as turkeys. If you ensure that the glazes and the hams are prepared in a facility that does not contain gluten, i.e. avoid any meats that say processed on equipment that processes wheat, as well as ensuring that all nutrition labels are free of wheat, barely, or rye, you will be fine. Just take extra caution to make sure the meats are safe, and if necessary stick with Honey Baked or Butterball as traditionally these have been safe options. 
Next up is mashed potatoes, as touched upon in my Thanksgiving video, homemade potatoes are your safest option. This makes sure that it is done in your kitchen, and allows the best shot of avoiding any kind of cross contamination. Of course in order to have a proper gravy this should be made at home too. Sadly for us, the majority of gravies do contain flour in order to maintain their gravy-like consistency. I have found very few store-bought alternatives, often settling for mashed potatoes with butter, or having to make my own from scratch. Also a quick side note with butter, if you are gluten free it is always a safe bet to have a separate container of spreadable butter in order to prevent any accidental crumbs winding up in the foods and causing a reaction. 
As for additional sides, this is more up to the individual family. Usually we make a dinner roll substitute, making enough to feed everyone to prevent cross contamination. Various recipes can be found online with a quick google search. We also usually have a fruit salad to accompany the dish. This adds a nice balance to the richness of the main courses, while also offering a healthier option during the meal. There could also be some sort of veggie dish, though I believe ours is some combination of roasted carrots and other such veggies. Another thing we traditionally make is green bean casserole, however this is often not gluten free due to the usage of onion strings. This can be easily modified to be made gluten free, assuming proper substitutes are used or the strings are omitted. Perhaps try caramelizing onions instead. I will be sure to link my Thanksgiving video as well to offer additional meal ideas!

Finally desserts, these are always a tricky topic. Personally, I love some kind of cake dish to pair with a finishing out of a Christmas dinner. Of course this presents a problem as the majority of cakes are not gluten free. Luckily various recipes can be found online, one year one of my favorite items was a gluten free chocolate cheesecake. This of course is just one idea, there are also holiday brownies, Christmas Candy (Guide for that soon), gluten free sugar cookies, etc. Really the choice is yours, take whatever your favorite holiday dish is, and substitute referencing the Internet for help if needed.

I hope this guide was helpful, as stated before I will link in my video. Thank you all for reading, and as always, enjoy!

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