Gluten free Christmas gifts show that you care. Having celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, should not mean you have to go without!
It is easier than ever to source foods that are gluten free both in your local grocery store and online.
If you have time before Christmas, you can put your own gift basket together, bit by bit. If you have left things a bit too late for that you can order ready made gluten free gift baskets or hampers online.
So how do you go about creating your own?
Throughout the year, you can buy something for the basket each time you go shopping.
Start with the non-perishables.
Your gluten free Christmas gifts can include pretty serviettes, ornate jugs, candles and holders, bottle stoppers, pizza cutters, a recipe stand and of course gluten free cookbooks.
As December draws in, you can start adding food products, but do check the sell by dates. You don't want anything to be out of date before you give your gift to it's recipient!
You don't have to stick with store bought items. You can make your own homemade products. Below are some ideas for things you could include from your own kitchen.
These are simple to make, and make wonderful gifts. First you will need to get some suitable bottles, that you can seal with a cork.I found a set of 12 attractive glass bottles and some individual Italian Swing Top Glass Bottle Flasks on Amazon, which would be great for the purpose.
Then decide if you are going to make flavored olive oil or spirit vinegars (steer clear of malt vinegar). You can purchase 1 Gallon Extra Virgin Olive Oil online, which would be enough for a number of gifts.
There are numerous herbs from your garden that you can add to your oil or vinegars, for example...
You can also use other flavorings such as...
To create your gifts, sterilize the bottles, pop in the herb or flavoring of your choice and fill the bottle with olive oil or boiled vinegar, leaving a gap at the top.
Once the vinegar is cool push in the cork, and keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks while the flavors mingle. Add a pretty label and tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle to finish it off.
These vinegars and oils can be used in salads, sauces and home made mayonnaise.
If you are looking for a gift for a celiac with a sweet tooth why not make them some homemade treats.
These can take many forms, from fruit segments which have been dipped in melted chocolate which is then left to set, to the making of marzipan fruits.
A selection of these, in an attractive box, will not only show off your prowess as a gluten free chef, but are also delicious!
Why not try some of the gluten free sweets recipes below..
Grease a 20cm / 8inch shallow square tin.<p>
Place the butter, sugar, cream, milk and water (or substitute) into a large heavy-based saucepan. Heat very gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, until the fudge reaches the soft ball stage.
To determine when this has happened, if you don't have a sugar thermometer, drop a spoonful of the mixture into a bowl of very cold water.
If you can roll the cooled mixture into a ball in the water, and it does not keep its shape when lifted out, then you are there.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and beat thoroughly until the mixture starts to thicken and become opaque.
Pour the fudge into the prepared tin, being careful, as it will be very hot!
Leave to cool, until it is almost set. Using a sharp knife mark the fudge into small squares and leave in the tin until quite firm.
Turn the fudge out onto a plate, then turn the plate upside down onto a board, leaving the fudge the right way up. Using a long bladed knife, cut into neat squares.
To decorate you can either dust with icing (confectioners) sugar, or drizzle with melted chocolate.
This would certainly be one of my favorite gluten free Christmas gifts!
Bring the cream to the boil in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, then stir until it is melted. Stir in the butter and the brandy (as applicable) then strain into a bowl and cool.
Cover and chill overnight.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.Using two teaspoons (or a Melon Baller) form the chocolate mixture into about 20-30 balls and place on the paper. Chill if the mixture becomes soft.
There are a number of coatings that you can add to these truffles to make them extra special.
Some ideas are listed below...
Or you could decorate them to look like small Christmas puddings with marzipan. To do this, roll out the marzipan and cut out a circle and a flower shape. The circle makes the base and the flower represents the custard on top of the pudding. Then add colored marzipan holly leaves and berries.
There is a great temptation to keep these goodies for yourself! Remember that the original idea was to make them for other people. Of course you could always make extra so that there is some for you too.