The holiday season can be tough for those facing dietary restrictions due to medical conditions and food allergies. It’s tough enough to enjoy favorite holiday dishes without feeling the need to compromise your health by ‘cheating’. Cooking for someone with these restrictions can be equally tough, and many cooks are often stymied, unsure of what to prepare.
If you, a family member or upcoming holiday guest are facing dietary restrictions due to diabetes, celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity, weight loss needs, dairy allergies or any other needs, take a deep breath. We know the holidays can be stressful, but we are here to help.With 10 years experience helping those with medically necessary diets, and a drive to stay innovative in our cooking style, the Savor Kitchen is ready to help you tackle the holidays with confidence. Start with these thoughts:
- Don’t go without. Even though some traditional recipes may be off the menu, there are tons of alternatives and creative work-arounds that can taste just as good (or even better) than their originals. The key is embracing substitutions and being flexible about your ideas about how things are “supposed to taste.” Something may not taste like it used to, but it can still taste really good. For example, if something calls for condensed milk, use refrigerated coconut milk instead– it’s thick, creamy, and delicious just like condensed milk.
- Don’t be afraid to try gluten-free baking mixes*. There are some great ones out on the market. The texture and flavors are great, and they’re all pre-mixed so you don’t have to worry about weights, ratios, and protein levels. One of our favorites is made by a friend that created “Angel’s Recipes” found at Central Market *Remember that a gluten-free “flour blend” usually does not have xantham gum or a binding agent in it but a gluten free baking “mix” does.
- Find trusted sources for recipes. Many magazines, such as Living Without– a magazine for people with food allergies and sensitivities, have their holiday edition out right now. Check them out if you’re in need of inspiration. Or try local groups, like the North Texas Gluten-Intolerance Group. They will often post great recipes and advice on their websites or message boards. You can log-on and ask questions, or exchange recipes with a community of people all experiencing the same struggles.
- Take a local cooking class. There are some classes designed specifically for ingredient restrictive diets. They can arm you with the skills and knowledge to breeze through some of the more complicated substitutions.
- Ask Questions. If it is a family member or friend with a special diet, they’ll likely know a lot about the issue. They may have specific recipes or substitution suggestions that work great for them already. The fact that you are trying will show how much you care and you may even find that you like the new ingredients/recipes better than your usuals.
Or, de-stress even further and leave the work to us. Take the time to enjoy your guests, allow the Savor Culinary staff to prepare and deliver fresh, delicious holiday dishes that meet your specific dietary needs right to your door.