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A Delicious Gluten-Free Christmas Meal? Yes!

gluten free christmas mealLiving gluten-free is becoming easier and easier these days thanks in part to better consumer education and the bounty of gluten-free products hitting supermarket shelves. Christmastime can be a bit tricky, however, as not everyone may be on the wheat-free bandwagon.

But fear not, there are several ways in which you can whip up a delicious meal without wheat. Take a look at some of these ideas that will keep your guests satisfied and asking for seconds.

 1. Appetizers and Finger Foods

Whether the entire evening is comprised of finger food fare or you just need some snacks scattered about to keep the company from raiding the kitchen too early, the holidays are all about appetizers. Ditch your traditional cheese and crackers and instead try some of these.

  • Ceviche in small glass is an easy yet elegant treat. Also look to serve snacks that speak for themselves and don’t require crackers or other dippers like shrimp cocktail or bacon-wrapped scallops.
  • Lettuce wraps eliminate the need for bread and will bring some Asian flare to your festivities.
  • You can often substitute gluten-free crackers or rice cereal for breading in dishes like crab cakes or stuffed mushrooms.
  • Swap out crackers or pretzels for raw veggies with your hummus and dips. The cool crunch of carrots or celery contrasts perfectly with warm dips.

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2. The Main Meal

Many homes will celebrate December 25 with a turkey dinner. But, that doesn’t mean a stuffed turkey needs to be your only option.

  • Serve a seafood meal consisting of lobster or crab. It’s a decadent and unique twist to a holiday meal that will certainly impress your guests.
  • This may be a good time to try out the turkey-frying craze. It’s an excellent technique that eliminates need for a stuffed main course.
  • If skipping the stuffing just isn’t an option, you can always use gluten-free breadcrumbs to prepare your own.
  • Take the emphasis off of stuffing and breads altogether by offering up a wide range of gluten-free side dishes. Roast hearty winter veggies or sauté up your greens. Replace dinner rolls with homemade cornbread and your guests will be so impressed with the spread they won’t know the difference.

3. After-Dinner Desserts

By the time everyone has feasted on your gluten-free Christmas menu, it’s a wonder there will be room for dessert. Nevertheless, a sweet treat is the perfect ending to a decadent meal. Serve up some of these gluten-free desserts to cap off your wheat-free Christmas celebration.

  • Swap out wheat flours for the gluten-free variety in your Christmas cookies or brownies. Or you can go flourless altogether with a raw chocolate cake made with beans. See recipe below
  • Cornbread can be spiced up a bit by adding pumpkin pie spices and filling to the batter for a tasty seasonal treat.
  • Serve up something that you won’t have to worry about a substitute like puddings, fruit, homemade ice cream or a yogurt parfait.

 Black Bean Brownie Recipe

Try these delicious and nutritious raw brownies for a sweet ending to your holiday meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans (no juice)
  • 2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of quick oats (gluten-free are best)
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut crystals
  • 1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup organic dark chocolate chips
  • Crushed walnuts, for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place all of the ingredients minus the chips in a food processor.
  3. Process the mixture until it is completely smooth.
  4. Stir the chips into the mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 8×8 pan (use organic coconut oil for greasing).
  6. Cook the brownies for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.
  7. Add crushed walnuts on top.
  8. Let the brownies cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
  9. Serve brownies with warm coconut milk.

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