GF Holiday Food Traditions

Today, I am on a self-imposed fast!

Fifteen years ago when the Christmas celebrating had ended, I would not have gained an extra pound due to my new gluten-free diet. That is not the case today. This year all of my holiday traditions were made with gluten-free ingredients, not just for me but for my extended family and friends.

One week ago at the annual cookie swap, I made cake pops with a festive red and green candy coating. For this recipe, I used a gluten-free chocolate cake mix, Betty Crocker, and store bough chocolate frosting. The Wilton Candy Melts are vanilla flavored and pretty much all sugar! Not only did they look adorable on their lollipop sticks, they were really tasty and everyone wanted to know how I made them.

Then we have my immediate family’s Christmas Eve fondue tradition. My husband makes this dinner which, for me, is the best part of tradition! Our fondue is a gooey pot of sharp cheddar, cream, dried mustard, garlic and a bit of flour. Over the years, my husband has been able to adjust the recipe using gluten-free flour. The first year it was a congealed mess that we had to dilute with milk, but he has figured out how to reduce the amount of flour in his recipe so we get a really thick but not cement-like structure to the cheese.

The baguettes go on separate trays for warming, but it’s pretty tough to tell the difference between the Schar’s gluten free baguettes and the one’s from the bakery. I used to just toast up the bread I had made in my bread machine, but today I have options such as Everybody Eats or Against the Grain or Schar’s baguettes. I have two separate fondue pots so we can all eat without worry!

We had a mix up for the extended family celebration desserts so I brought two, both gluten free! One was my traditional apple crisp with Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats and Mi-Del ginger snaps. The other dessert I brought was gluten-free chocolate cupcakes from a King Arthur mix with a candy cane butter cream frosting and a sprinkling of peppermint sugar on top! We did not have much in the way of leftovers.

I received three Christmas cards where a friend wrote me a little note saying that he or she had just been diagnosed with either a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. My new year’s wish is that everyone who finds out he or she needs to eat a gluten free diet realizes just how far GF food has come in the past fifteen years and they learn that this diagnosis does not mean that they will have to give up holiday traditional foods like I thought I had to fifteen years ago!

However, there is one unintended consequence of all these GF food choices, I am embracing a different type of new year’s resolution this year…”lose five pounds.”

Kendall Egan

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