I’m not sure if you are like me, but until I started writing this blog Christmas definitely started in the middle of December, about a week before the main event in fact!
I have never been particularly organised in my personal life. I think my brain can only cope with a few things at once and work has always come first!
Now that a lot of my work involves developing recipes I have to be much more organised and think ahead.
Anyway, if like me, you are a last-minute kinda person, I thought you might appreciate me doing some research for you and letting you know what freefrom foods are out there in the bigger shops this year…I have only featured sweet treats although I know that Tesco are also doing ‘pigs in blankets’ that are gluten-free and dairy-free (the Finest pork cocktail sausages in streaky bacon) and many of the supermarkets (along with Tesco) stock gluten-free stuffing and gravy if you don’t want to make it yourself.
So here you go, my (hopefully comprehensive) roundup of the festive selections that those avoiding gluten and/or dairy can enjoy this year…in no particular order.
This year all of Waitrose’s Christmas selection is free from gluten and dairy! Yippee I hear many of you cry! They have woken up to the fact that many people have more than one allergy or intolerance and that often gluten and dairy avoidance go hand in hand.
Gluten and dairy free cider and rum Christmas pudding (100g or 454g)
Gluten and dairy free Christmas cake (330g)
Gluten and dairy free Christmas cake bites (210g)
Gluten and dairy free Christmas cake slices (240g)
Gluten and dairy free mince pies (4 pack)
The website has a specific page for those on the gluten-free diet. Not only does it tell people what products they stock but it also provides some ideas for food on the big day itself! You can find it here.
Unfortunately, I feel the packaging looks cheap…like their value range and therefore not very appealing and finally there is nothing aimed specifically at Children. Having said that, at our tasting test last weekend with other freefrom families, the products were all given a big thumbs up!
This year Sainsburys have also done a whole range that is free from gluten and dairy!
Gluten and dairy free mince pies (4 pack)
Gluten and dairy free iced mince pies (4 pack)
Gluten and dairy free iced fruitcake slices (5 pack)
Gluten and dairy free Christmas pudding (454g)
Gluten and dairy free advent calendar
Gluten and dairy free chocolate logs (5 pack)
Gluten and dairy free panettone style loaf cake (300g)
A good clearly labelled range that looks appealing. The website isn’t particularly easy to navigate to discover the products they have available for those with anything other than gluten-free needs. It would be so much better if you could search under Christmas – freefrom, but hey, I’ve found them for you!
Although there are a couple of products for children, the advent calendar is tiny and would make any child feel different if their siblings have ‘normal’ A4 sized calendars. A shame, but I am glad they are doing a couple of products to help children with allergies and intolerances this Christmas.
Tesco have mainly gone down the route of catering for those on a gluten-free diet with only a couple of their specific products being dairy-free too…
Chocolate coins – gluten, wheat and milk free
Prewetts Christmas Tree Shortbread – from previous experience these are not great although the kids enjoy them! Made with oat flour – gluten and wheat free. Also egg free although not labelled as such
Finest Christmas pudding (100g and 454g) – gluten and wheat free
Chocolate sponge pudding (115g) – gluten and wheat free
Choices chocolate santa bar – gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free. I don’t think these taste good, but the kids always enjoy them. It’s an age thing!
Christmas slab cake (400g) or full cake (907g) – gluten and wheat free
Mini Christmas gift cake (150g) – gluten and wheat free
Mince pies (4) – gluten, wheat and milk free
Don’t forget to visit the freezer section for profiteroles and other treats!
Tesco do not have the widest range but in my view they have gone to the most effort out of all the supermarkets to let customers know what they have in stock. Along with a dedicated freefrom advert that you can see here, they are also providing a special day on Twitter where you can ask them any question about cooking gluten-free this Christmas! It will be on December 14th so get your questions lined up and tweet them to @Tesco with the hashtag #GlutenFreeHelps.
As well as all of that, they have a brilliant section on their website, where you can find the whole freefrom Christmas range in one place. Just visit the Christmas section and there is a subsection for freefrom! Hurrah!!!
Classic Christmas Mince Pies (4 pack) – gluten, milk and wheat free
Apple and Cranberry Mince Pies (4 pack) – gluten and wheat free. They are not labelled as dairy-free but they contain no dairy in the ingredients and do not say that they may contain dairy either!
Shortbread gift selection – a beautiful gold box containing a selection of orange, ginger and butter shortbreads – gluten and wheat free
Belgium chocolate, cranberry and orange tiffin – gluten, wheat and egg free
Christmas cake cookies – gluten and wheat free but they are made from oats
Cranberry and orange cookies – gluten and wheat free but made from oats
Christmas yule log – gluten and wheat free, no milk in the ingredients but the label warns that it is not suitable for those with a milk allergy – everyone in my family has said this is amazing! It even has a holly decoration on the top!
Iced Christmas cake – gluten and wheat free. A whole rectangular cake to serve 8.
Gingerbread men – gluten, wheat and milk free!
Advent calendar – gluten, wheat and dairy free, but another tiny one that will disappoint most kids! However, the picture is fun so might make up for the size!
Christmas pudding – gluten, wheat and dairy free
Chocolate coins – gluten and dairy free
Brandy and Port Slices – Gluten and wheat free
Very impressive range of products with very attractive packaging that makes them look really special and appetising (and not second-rate!). They also have a variety of different items that I haven’t seen in other supermarkets and big stores, including the shortbread gift box which I think is a really lovely touch. Overall I am super impressed and wish we had an ASDA near by!
On the negative side, once again the website is hard to navigate for those trying to find out which of their Christmas products are freefrom…all the products are lumped together in the Christmas section. Their labelling is also inconsistent (as is some of the other supermarkets I must add…but ASDA seems the worst)…so at times they label items milk free and other times, dairy free. In addition some items are not labelled as dairy free but have no dairy-containing ingredients nor do they say they may contain traces of them! For anyone unfamiliar with catering for someone with allergies and intolerances this just adds to the confusion.
Sort your labelling out and your range would be faultless!
HOLLAND & BARRETT
Montezumas selection box – gluten, dairy free and organic but does specify that the syrup is from wheat (as I think most is, for example on glace cherries – but which is deemed suitable for coeliacs)
Cocoa Libre – dairy-free chocolate penguin set
Advent calendar – gluten, dairy and sugar-free
Mini Moos – gluten and dairy-free chocolate selection pack.
Nakd – gluten and dairy-free Christmas pudding flavour bars
Lovemore – milk-free, gluten-free and wheat-free mince pies
Feel Free – 2 individual gluten-free Christmas puddings (do not contain dairy but do not label them as dairy-free!)
Yogi Tea – Christmas redbush tea – a perfect gift for that tea lover!
A small but interesting selection of products from some small producers, which makes a nice change from the ranges usually available in the supermarkets.
I love the fact that you can buy a chocolate selection box for the little gluten and or dairy free people in your life…it means that they don’t have to miss out when it comes to that exciting pack of chocolates that is a tradition in many families.
I also adore the Montezuma’s chocolates (they have my name on them) that are gluten and dairy free too. An incredible treat for any avoiding dairy and or gluten!
Also worth mentioning is that the advent calendar is full-sized so will not look rubbish next to a ‘normal’ advent calendar. It also has the added bonus (in my eyes) of being sugar-free too!
Prewetts Christmas Tree Shortbread – gluten and wheat free but made with oats
Christmas pudding (100g and 454g) – gluten and milk free
Iced fruit cake (5 slices) – gluten and milk free
Big thumbs down! The only products that I could find on their website that were gluten and or dairy free for Christmas were those listed above. And not even a mince-pie in site?! We do not have a Morrisons anywhere near us so I had to rely on the very poor (for searching for freefrom products) website for this piece. I have to say that I am not bothered that I can’t visit one if this is all they are offering!
Gluten-free Christmas hamper containing:
- Classic Claret Bordeaux (75cl)
- Gluten Free Top Iced Christmas Cake Bar (600g)
- Gluten Free Christmas Pudding (100g)
- Gluten Free Mince Pies (pack of 4/205g)
- Gluten Free Wheat Cranberry and Orange Shortbread Bites (150g)
Gluten-free Christmas cake
Gluten-free Christmas pudding
Another dreadful website upon which I could only find the above listed items. Since we do not live near to an M&S I had to rely upon the website and was very disappointed with what I could find. In addition to being a very limited range it was also very overpriced when compared to the other supermarkets, and only catered for those on a gluten-free diet.
My suggestions to the brands for next year!
There are lots of children who have allergies and they tend not to like fruit based products! I would suggest some chocolate treats, like freefrom chocolate Christmas pudding cupcakes, mini chocolate steam puddings and mini chocolate logs. I would also appeal for you to make the advent calendar’s A4 sized so that children with a restricted diet do not have to feel second-rate!
Finally, I would appeal for you all to offer more for those on dairy-free and egg-free diets and to sort your labelling out to make it consistent across all the products!
Apart from that…good job and Happy freefrom Christmas!
What are your views on the ranges this year? Have you found things that I haven’t? I’d love to hear from you!
I was provided with some of these products for free in order to write this post. That did not affect my opinion in any way.