DON’T RISK A BAD REACTION TO CHRISTMAS DINNER!
With at least nine million people at risk of an adverse reaction to their Christmas dinner Genius Foods, the UK’s leading gluten-free brand, and Lactofree, the UK’s only lactose-free dairy range have teamed up to ensure everyone can enjoy a delicious festive feast.
As many as one in 100 people in the UK are gluten intolerant and research also shows that up to 15% of people in the UK are estimated to be lactose intolerant. Considering there are over 60 million people in the UK, that is a lot of Christmas dinner guests with intolerances!
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, founder of Genius Foods and author of ‘How to Cook for Food Allergies’ said: "Cooking for people with intolerances can be a confusing and daunting task but we have put together some recipes to make sure everyone is catered for. Even if you aren’t lactose or gluten intolerant cutting them out is not dangerous to your health. Some people find that just cutting down on these ingredients can actually make them feel less bloated and more energetic, which following a Christmas dinner is almost unheard of!"
Sian Porter, Consultant Dietitian offers a few top tips for surviving Christmas with a lactose or gluten intolerance:
“When in the supermarket you should take extra time to read food labels – especially as some items such as mince pies are only eaten seasonally, you may be unfamiliar with their ingredients. These often contain both lactose and gluten, derived from dairy and wheat, barley or rye respectively. However, there are gluten free mince pies available. If treating yourself to a creamy homemade desert make it with lactose free dairy to ensure you can all experience the delights of Christmas without the worry of paying for it afterwards.”
“If you’re lucky enough to have Christmas lunch made for you, make sure that the cook knows in plenty of time what foods might contain lactose or gluten as well or suggest that you will bring an alternative for everyone to try.”
Both lactose and gluten intolerances share symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, sickness and cramps. In fact, many intolerances are misdiagnosed and as a result, 38 per cent of people who think they suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) might in fact be lactose intolerant. It is also thought that between 50 per cent to 90 per cent of gluten-intolerance (coeliac disease) cases are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as IBS. So you may find yourself catering for those who don’t even realise they have an intolerance – happy tummy’s all round!
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Chef, founder of Genius Foods and author of ‘How to Cook for Food Allergies’ has devised some tasty alternatives for traditional Christmas recipes that do not include gluten or lactose. Here are just a few of them:
Bread sauce provides an aromatic and creamy accompaniment to the Traditional Christmas roast and is easily adapted for gluten and lactose free diets, by using Genius bread and Lactofree milk
1 small onion, cut in half
500ml/¾ pint of Lactofree milk
2 bay leaves
plenty of fresh black pepper (4 grinds)
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp of salt
4 medium slices of White Genius Gluten Free Bread, whizzed into fine breadcrumbs
30g/1oz dairy free butter substitute
Stud the cut side of the onion halves with the cloves and place cloves down in a medium heavy bottomed pan.
Place the bay leaves, nutmeg, four grinds of black pepper and salt with the milk into the pan and slowly bring the milk to a gentle simmer.
Simmer for five minutes then remove from the heat and leave the ingredients to infuse until the milk is cool. Strain the flavoured milk, through a sieve into a clean pan.
Gently reheat the milk to a simmer and stir in the breadcrumbs. Stir slowly over a low heat until the breadcrumbs are soft and swollen and have thickened the sauce.
The sauce should be creamy in consistency, so add a splash more milk if it is too thick. Just before serving, stir in the butter, taste and season with more salt and freshly ground pepper as necessary.
Apricot, Orange and Chestnut Stuffing
The recipe is for a 5.53kg/12lb oven ready turkey and can be made a day in advance.
1½ onions, very finely diced
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
2 tbsp of oil
2 level tsp salt and eight generous grinds or 1 level tsp of black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
450g/1lb minced pork belly
400g/14oz tinned unsweetened chestnut puree
4 medium slices of Genius white or brown bread, whizzed into fine breadcrumbs
1 tbsp each of finely chopped leaves of fresh thyme, sage and curly parsley
zest of 1 orange
110g/4oz dried ready to eat apricots, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
Place the onion and celery in a pan with the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and gently fry, covered with a lid, until the onion is very soft and sweet. Add the garlic and fry, stirring constantly, for a further 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
When cool, tip the softened onion mixture into a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix together with your hands. Push the stuffing into the neck end of the turkey. Cover with the skin flap and secure with a skewer.
Aunt Libby’s Genius Bread and Butter Pudding
3 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp mixed peel
100ml/3 fl oz rum or brandy
55g/2 oz dairy free butter substitute, softened
7-8 slices of Genius White Gluten Free Bread, thinly sliced and crusts removed
300ml/10 fl oz Lactofree milk
300ml/10 fl oz Lactofree cream
vanilla pod, split down the middle with a sharp knife
3 large eggs
140g/4 oz caster sugar
2-3 tbsp apricot jam
1-2 tsp icing sugar
ovenproof dish that holds 1½ litres of liquid, greased with butter
Soak the raisins and mixed peel in the rum or brandy then preheat the oven to170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.2. Butter the bread, cut each slice in half on the diagonal and arrange in the ovenproof dish.
Pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring to boil with the vanilla pod. Whisk the eggs and sugar together then whisk in the hot milk mixture. Scrape the vanilla pod seeds into the milk and discard the pod.
Sprinkle the soaked raisins, with any remaining rum or brandy and the mixed peel over the bread then pour over the custard.
Place the dish in a roasting tray on the middle shelf of the oven. Carefully pour water into the tray until it comes halfway up the sides of the ovenproof dish. Gently put the roasting tray into the middle of the oven and bake the pudding for 45 minutes or until lightly set and golden brown.
Warm the apricot jam, pass through a sieve to remove the fruit and brush liberally over the pudding. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Gluten Free Christmas Pudding
This Christmas Pudding is made with gluten free flour and Genius Gluten Free breadcrumbs. As a result it is lighter and moister than puddings made with wheat flour. This recipe makes two 1 litre puddings and can be made up to three months in advance. Lovely when served with Lactofree Cream.
85g/3oz mixed peel
finely grated zest of 1 orange and the juice of 2 oranges
finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
150ml/5floz cold Earl Grey tea
6 tbsp brandy or rum
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
85g/3oz blanched almonds, roughly chopped
340g/12oz dark soft brown sugar
2tbsp black treacle
225g/8oz well chilled or frozen unsalted butter, grated
225g/8oz brown or white Genius Gluten Free Bread, whizzed into fine breadcrumbs
55g/2oz rice flour
55g/2oz corn flour
2 tsp of baking powder (gluten free)
1 tsp of salt
5 eggs, beaten
In a large mixing bowl mix all the dried fruit, mixed peel, orange and lemon zest and spices together and soak overnight in the orange and lemon juice, cold tea and brandy or rum. Mix in the grated apple, chopped almonds, brown sugar and black treacle.
In another bowl, mix the butter, breadcrumbs, rice flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt together, then gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture is smooth. Stir into the soaked fruit mixture.
Spoon the mixture into two 1litre pudding basins, greased with butter to two-thirds full, cover with greased greaseproof paper and foil, secured around the edge of the bowl with string. Steam for 8 hours checking occasionally to top up with more water if necessary.
Remove the pudding basins from the pan and leave to cool. To store, cover the puddings with fresh greaseproof paper, foil then cling film and place somewhere cool and dry.
On Christmas day, steam the puddings for a further six hours before serving.