By Leigh O’Connor.
With many of us having specific dietary requirements – myself included as I am lactose intolerant – the festive season can present a few problems when it comes to the all-important Christmas lunch or dinner.
Enter Becky Excell who has put together the ultimate guide with her new cookbook ‘Gluten Free Christmas’.
This gorgeous book is full of scrumptious ideas to show you just how simple it is to recreate all your festive favourites gluten-free, from Christmas Eve nibbles to the main event and sweet treats, edible gifts and even a Boxing Day feast.
Becky is a best-selling author and gluten-free food writer with a following of more than 1 million on her social media channels and more than 1 million monthly views on her award-winning blog, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday.
She has been eating gluten-free for nearly 15 years and has made several TV appearances, showing how easy it is to make delicious gluten-free food. Giving up a career in PR and marketing, she focuses full-time on developing recipes which reunite those gluten-free with all the foods they can no longer eat.
In her fifth cookbook, Becky delivers more than 80 fuss-free, simple recipes to see you through the festive season that all the family will love, showing us that Christmas can be enjoyable and easy without having to miss out on anything.
Gluten-free has gone mainstream and most large supermarkets offering gluten-free options, there is no excuse not to make these delicious tempting dishes.
Let’s start with Dad’s Excellent Turkey – as long as Becky can remember her Dad has been in charge of the Christmas turkey, from picking it up to preparing it, basting it, carving and even personally placing the slices on the family’s plates.
"Though this probably makes him out to be our very own personal Chef, he actually rarely cooks a single thing the rest of the year unless it’s on the BBQ! However, that doesn’t seem to hinder him serving up the world’s best, golden turkey that’s super-moist and succulent every year without fail. Oh, and in case you didn’t realise, it’s ‘Excell-ent’, because that’s his surname too!” she explains.
The secret is in the lemon butter which the turkey is basted with and making sure to defrost the turkey four days before Christmas if you are buying a frozen bird.
Everyone loves Christmas mince pies, right? These frangipane or crumble-topped delights will be a sensation with family and friends. You can choose to use store-bought mincemeat, or Becky has provided a gluten-free version that combines, mixed fruit, with spice, citrus and apple along with the ultimate shortcrust pastry recipe.
These stained-glass decoration biscuits not only add glitz and glamour to the Christmas tree, they taste pretty good too.
"If someone made these for me, I’d be the happiest gluten-free gal in the world! Remember that the biscuits will start to soften when hung on the tree for more than 2–3 days, so it’s best to enjoy them sooner rather than later,” Becky says.
"Also, please ensure that they’re not hung on your tree alongside anything containing gluten or on a tree that has had gluten-containing biscuits (for example) hung on it before. I never thought I’d have to mention cross-contamination of Christmas trees, but there you go!”
With beautiful photography by Hannah Rose Hughes, this cookbook is sure to become an essential part of any gluten-free celebration!