Dairy, Wheat & Gluten Free Christmas Fun on a Budget: The experience as it stands…
We’re preparing in our home for a dairy or gluten free Christmas. Why? Well, since last Christmas, our eldest has been on and off dairy products and effectively gluten and dairy free after a nasty bout of illness. This illness left him with a suspected transient intolerance to certain foods. This has meant that for the past 10 months we have being trying to adapt menus and meals to work around an NHS Milk ladder; a method to reintroduce dairy in small steps.
Whilst he has been amazing at restaurants and friends homes when cheese, chocolate and cakes have all been eaten by others; he has missed out on some of those things that we all take for granted. So with that in mind I was really impressed to see the “Free From” aisles growing in most supermarkets this year. Aldi and Lidl had special Gluten Free Weeks with dietary items actually on promotional offers for a change. Meanwhile others, such as Tesco, have now launched some fab festive options to include those who require a dairy free or gluten free Christmas.
This post seeks to share with you some of the newly launched items to make Christmas special while also providing you with some recipes and hacks to made having an intolerance more friendly on the finances and fun to live with.
Dairy, Wheat & Gluten Free Christmas Fun on a Budget: New on the market this year.
This year sees the launch of not only dairy, egg and gluten free mince pies, but also fab bake at home kits. The range includes Vanilla Christmas Jumper Cakes, Gingerbread Star Kits and Chocolate Brownie Christmas Pudding Kits.
Advance warning though, has anyone noticed that Bird’s custard powder, a long standing traditional dairy-free Festive staple has started vanishing from shops? Out of stock in most online stores.
Dairy, Wheat & Gluten Free Christmas Fun on a Budget: 2 Ideas to try at home
I’m really not a fan of Soya millk, so the below recipes make use of the good stuff – Almond or coconut milk! now as my son loved Yorkshires we simply had to make sure we were making dairy free beauties that actually rose like the real things.
Number 1: Gluten & Dairy-Free Yorkshires.
80g Gluten-Free flour
1 medium egg
125ml almond milk (added calcium versions)
salt & pepper
oil to cook
- Preheat your oven to 220ºC, take off 10ºC for fan assisted.
- Heat the oil in a pudding tin in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
- Put all the ingredients into a bowl and then whisk them together to form a thickish batter.
- Take the pudding tin out of the oven and pour the batter mix into the piping hot oil.
- Place it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the puddings have risen and are crispy on top.
Number 2: Gluten, Egg & Dairy-Free Homemade Mince Pies.
For the mincemeat you can make your own but Robertson’s Traditional mincemeat is made with vegetable suet (Rice flour based), so is perfect for dietary needs. Making your own pastry though easily out does the naff shop bought versions.
For the pastry (Makes 12-14 pies)
60g dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
25g soft brown sugar
75g ground almonds
50g gram (chickpea) flour
50g rice flour
A pinch of salt
- To make the pies, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease the hollows of 1 or 2 cake tins with margarine.
- Cream the margarine and sugar together, before adding all the dry ingredients. Mix well to form a dough. Remembering to roll out a small amount thinly for star shapes for the tops, if you want the homemade feel.
- Cut the remaining pastry into equal lumps. Smooth the lumps around the inside of the tins rather than rolling as Gluten-free flour is a nightmare to roll then lift. Think of them as being a little like the old-fashioned “raised pie” cases.
- Spoon mincemeat into each pie and place a star on top of each one.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until the pastry has turned golden. Leave them to cool before easing them out gently with a knife and dusting with icing sugar.
Looking for low budget versions? They’re not gluten free but if 12p per pie is of interest, check out my low budget mince pie recipes.
Dairy, Wheat & Gluten Free Christmas Fun on a Budget: Why the heck use soya when you can make your own yummy almond milk.
You know I hate soya milk, so when using diary free recipes why not keep a bulk bag of almonds at home ready to make your own nut milk? It’s really easy and fin to do with the kids! Plus if you’re struggling with the budget for special diets, look to the cheap staple ingredients to bulk things out like rice, baked potatoes, 50% water/50% nut milk mixes, and even using a little of an expensive (but good) dietary flour like Doves Farm to thicken sauces works well if you control the amounts you add carefully.