With Thanksgiving already passed, the holiday season is in full swing. Although it’s not the only reason, most people love the holidays for the food. Turkey, chicken, stuffing, cranberry sauce, carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and pies. Well take a second and imagine the holidays without being able to freely gorge your face with anything that’s set on the table.
This past summer, two of my good friends became gluten-free. Neither of them have celiac disease (the autoimmune disease triggered by gluten) but they are gluten sensitive. About 1 in 133 people in U.S. have celiac disease and growing. Going gluten-free is not a fad weight loss diet. People with celiac and gluten sensitivity physically can not tolerate having gluten in their system. Simply put, gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. I’ve known that people who eat gluten-free can not eat bread and grain products essentially, but until this year I never realized how many foods actually contain gluten in some form.
It’s been a challenge for me to become conscious of my friends’ new diets. Several times I’ve suggested going out for pizza or I’ve brought cookies to the library as a study snack (not the healthiest option, but when mid-terms were stressing me out, I caved). I always feel bad when I realize I’ve slipped up or they have to remind me. Thankfully I’ve been getting better!
There are limited options offered by our on-campus dining service for gluten-free students. Our Dining Commons (the DC) has a very small G-Free section with a mini-freezer, microwave, cutting board, and toaster. I could never imagine being so significantly limited on what is offered for me to eat. Because both my friends live in traditional style housing, they don’t have kitchens to cook their own meals. Plus, they’re paying thousands of dollars for a meal plan and they can’t even eat anything.
One night, Sarah made gluten-free Annie’s Mac n’ cheese in our apartment. I thought it was delicious – very cheesy which is always a thumbs up from me. But some of my roommates later admitted they didn’t really like it. I thought to myself, “Is going G-free as hard as it seems?” A fellow RA on campus who works with Sarah went G-free for a whole week to take a walk in her shoes. She really appreciated it, but I think it was challenging with the DC’s options.
With the holidays season in full swing, I’ve thought what a G-Free Holiday dinner might look like. Here are 7 staple holiday recipes that are safe for celiacs, including biscuits, corn bread, pie crusts, stuffing, gravy, dessert crumble topping, and mashed potatoes! The gluten-free goddess blog shares a mix of traditional and non-traditional festive winter recipes, but also some quick and easy gluten-free holiday tips.
In my family, Christmas morning wouldn’t be the same without waking up to cinnamon buns. Granted, my dad usually makes the Pillsbury rolls from a can (as far as I know) and these aren’t gluten-free. However, gluten-free girl shares a homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe that looks delectable!
Seems like a gluten-free holiday could be easier than I thought. There are many websites and personal blogs online that provide all the resources one might need to enjoy a delicious holiday meal. Please share any gluten-free recipes you know of below in the comments! Happy holidays!