Christmas is fast approaching (less than two weeks to go, eek!) and often if you want to make the most of the gluten free offerings, you have to get in there fast! I quite often find that gluten free Christmas foods appear at the beginning of November, but as soon as Christmas is close by, they have all gone!
Christmas parties can be a coeliac's worst nightmare. Confined to the cheese and pineapple sticks, you end up sat in a corner glowering at everyone else guzzling filo pastry and breadcrumbed snacks, the mulled wine hitting you hard on an empty stomach. But year-upon-year, I see more gluten free Christmas party food appearing, so here is a guide to make sure you never have to go hungry...
Party food packs
Marks and Spencer
The easiest and simplest option appears to be to go for a selection pack. Marks and Spencer ruled the roost last Christmas, providing a whole range of frozen goodies, and this year they have delivered again! Their free from offerings include:
- Bacon and sausage rolls
- Tandoori prawn platters
- Sweet bites party selection
- Quiches and scotch eggs
I haven't had a chance to properly go and browse their range yet, but I know M&S never fails to deliver so I will be popping in there soon to stock up! I have had loads of comments on my Facebook page praising the huge gluten free selection of party food in Marks and Spencer, so I look forward to checking it out!
This year, Tesco have really upped their game in the Free From stakes, with loads of new foods added and the introduction of their Free From party packs. Handy for the office do, you can now grab a frozen sweet or savoury pack of gluten free party food, without having to worry about buying a number of different items.
The savoury Free From party pack features mini Thai fishcakes, mini southern fried chicken bites and mini Mexican bean bites. It sounds really exciting and certainly something a bit different!
The sweet Free From party pack includes gluten and wheat free bite-sized cakes, including chocolate, almond, coconut and chocolate with caramelised nuts. I can't wait to try these!
Tesco Finest also have a brand new range of gluten free cookies and gluten free stackers.
The new cookie range includes Belgian white chocolate and cranberry (a colleague bought me these and I ate the whole pack - SO GOOD!), triple chocolate, oat and raise and dark chocolate and stem ginger.
The stackers include Belgian chocolate brownie, millionaire shortbread (amazing, I ate the whole pack of these too - thanks Tesco for ruining my diet!) or rocky road. Well worth a try, and the sophisticated packaging means they don't stick out like a sore thumb as a blatant Free From product.
Over at Asda, you can now get party packs from Feel Free. Their Eastern Party Packs include gluten free finger foods with a spicy twist - onion bhajis, spring rolls and samosas, featured in 315 stores in the UK.
Sainsbury's was first major UK supermarket to introduce a Free From range, and despite having a good offering it doesn't seem to have any specific 'party food' packs for gluten freers! You can options in the frozen range such as gluten free chicken nuggets or Dietary Specials sausage rolls, which are always handy. In the Free From aisle you can find various gluten free classics such as mince pies, jam tarts, mini Christmas cakes and yule log-bars, as well as chocolate fingers and teacakes from other brands. However, I think it's about time they upped their game and joined some of the other supermarket names in producing their own gluten free party food packs.
Everyone's favourite gluten free-friendly online supermarket, Ocado, has a whole variety of Christmas foods to make party season more manageable. Some favourites I have spotted include No G pastryless gluten free mini quiches, Bannister's loaded potato skins, rice crackers, selection boxes, Christmas cakes and loads of dairy free chocolate goodies too.
Top party foods
And a party just wouldn't be a party without these key items...
- Gluten free mince pies - you can buy own brand Free From products from most supermarkets, as well as other delicious offerings from Tesco, Sainsbury's, M&S and one of my favourites, Baked to Taste (review here).
- Chocolate fingers - You simply cannot have a party without them - thank you Trufree for saving us coeliacs!
- Chocolate teacakes - Anyone remember these when they were younger?? I used to love them and these Kelkin gluten free chocolate teacakes available at Tesco look just like the 'real' thing.
- Scotch eggs - The buffet staple is now available gluten free from M&S and they are A-MAZING.
- Quiche - Pick up a selection of flavours from No G or M&S do a couple of yummy gluten free quiches too.
- Sausage rolls - Dietary Specials do a frozen pack of sausage rolls, essential at any gluten free party table.
What's your favourite gluten free party food? Share your tips below!