Festive Free From Favourites

This time of year you would think would be hard for someone who is both gluten and dairy free. But I have to say it does seem to get that little bit easier every year with so many great products now on offer for us Gluten and dairy free-ers!

Now that me and my boyfriend have moved in together he’s had to adjust a lot eating wise for me, but also seems to get very excited when he spots new products that I can eat, he’s been too kind to me this festive season with so many great treats, including a Moo Free chocolate Advent Calendar for a daily advent treat – which is why I wanted to share my ‘supermarket’ festive favourites with you. I’m not sure my waistline will thank him as much in January – but hey tis the season for indulgence and all that jazz and the next few days just don’t count do they?? Everyone should be able to indulge and I hope I’ve given you a couple of days before the big day to get out and pick up a few of these gluten and dairy free festive saviours if you don’t have time for baking or creating yourself!

Chocolates and Treats

One of the main things that inspired this post was a box of choccies that James came home with the other day. Having done a bit of research this has actually been around for a while so I’m not sure why I haven’t come across it before but he picked up this amazing Tiffin selection box from Lazy Days Foods in Sainsburys the other day. I later realised that I have had Lazy Days treats before but this orange box threw me because its quite different from their usual packaging. But it would make a lovely gift to give to someone who can’t have dairy or just to be shared over the holidays. The Orange and cranberry squares were my favourite by far, really great flavour and melt in the mouth, with a lovely tang in the dusting they have on the top. After a bit of investigating I found that Lazy Days also do a box of just the orange and cranberry tiffin and I would definitely get that as a future treat.

If you are looking to give a box of chocolates to someone who’s dairy free that’s perhaps something a bit smaller – or scoff them yourself?! I also recommend Choices Caramel chocolates – available at Holland and Barratt but I think I’ve spotted these in Tesco and Sainsburys too?

Sticking with the tiffin/biscuit based theme – I’ve also been loving Asda’s Free From Millionaires shortcake squares, these are really great, crumbly biscuit with great thick chocolate and caramel layers.

Traditional essentials for the Big day

For the big day – aside from the turkey there are some essentials you need for Christmas Lunch and to make the day complete – Mince Pies and Christmas Pudding being key! My favourite Christmas pudding is Tesco’s Free from Pud, they do a big full size on and smaller one portions too – but I honestly don’t think anyone would notice it was gluten and dairy free if you served the big one to the table, it’s also Nut free if that helps anyone further? In an ideal world my hot pudding would be drenched in cream – but my dairy free go-tos are Alpro soya cream, which is also long life so you can stock up and store OR Swedish glace Vanilla ice cream which is great to see you can get in the supermarkets now and even some Tesco locals too. I tend to avoid soya as much as I can – but we are treating ourselves right? In terms of mince pies – which I have probably eaten FAR too many of already, and we’ve still got a few more days to go until the big one! I’m actually an addict and this time of year I struggle to stop so I’m glad they are not around most of the year or I’d be in trouble. My go-to favourite Mince pies are Sainsburys free from. I also discovered Aldi Mince pies that I’m sure taste exactly the same (basically great!) but for a fraction of the price – but when I went back to find them again they weren’t there, whether this is an Aldi change around thing or that they were so good they sold out I don’t know?? As much as I have thought Tesco have come out with a fantastic free from Christmas range this year, with gingerbread kits, cake kits and all sorts of fun things, I don’t love their mince pies which is a shame.

If Christmas pudding and mince pies are not your thing – I think you do either love them or hate them, I was really please to discover Asda’s extra special Chocolate yule log, which looks gorgeous and also tastes delicious as a great alternative for those not a fan of the fruitiness.

As I said Turkey is a big part of the traditional Christmas lunch and I usually make my own gravy using stock, finely chopped onions and seasonings and meat juices but its great to see that Bisto are now doing gluten free gravy for time saving or just adding to your own gravy to thicken. I also used a bit of Asda’s own gluten free gravy granules to thicken up my gravy last weekend and that also worked well.

I’ve also noticed this year that most of the supermarkets are going gluten free on their sausages – maybe not cocktail sausages just yet, but M&S and Aldis pigs in blankets are both gluten free sausages which makes life easier and can be shared with the whole family without being ‘gluten free special ones’

Party Snacks

Whether your hosting or making for yourself it’s great to see Tesco’s doing some great party ranges that are free from, what was great to discover this year was Gluten free pastry cases – making life really easy for us gluten free-ers and you can make up your own lovely fillings for them and make them delicious and fillings that work for you also.

I’m a big fan of roasted corn which I’ve said in a previous free from favourites post and these are lovely party snack alternatives to crisps which often have gluten and/or dairy but I also always thought Co Fresh Balti and Jalfrezi mix, which can be bought so cheaply in the supermarkets ‘world food’ aisle was not gluten free, but in fact it’s made with gram flour and I’ve been enjoying these as my party snack, something a bit more interesting. Pop corn is also always a great option if you pop it yourself in oil and you can add your own flavourings. My final party snack which is a great discovery this season is the Gingerbread Tortilla Rolls from Coop. Something a little bit different – we had they at the nurses station a couple of weeks and I was surprised to see they didn’t contain any gluten or dairy and was just a really interesting flavour experience.

On The go – Christmas shopping fuel?

It’s a busy time of year and we are often running around and on the go – we need fuel for this and being gluten and dairy free and running around all day often requires planning – but it’s getting easier out there and you can even pick things up on the go now that are free from and festive. A couple of my faves are M&S’s Turkey Feast sandwich (cannot find a link to it I’m afraid – but it IS in stores) on gluten free bread and without any butter which is great and also gives a contribution to Shelter. If you need a sweet pick me up Costa do a great Christmas Cake slice and also a single Mince Pie which is gluten and dairy free.

Happy Festive ‘free from’ treating! xxxx





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