Rachel Begun

Stocking holiday products for special diets

With more and more people following special diets these days, whether by choice or for medical reasons, pleasing everyone at the holiday dinner table is a little more challenging than it used to be. Check out the recommendations and product picks below to make sure your shelves are stocked with products and ingredient alternatives that allow hosts to accomodate the entire spectrum of eaters.

For vegans and vegetarians

  • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth when making stuffing, soups, and other side dishes.
  • Prepare protein-rich side dishes that stand in for the roast or turkey. Vegetarian stews, stuffed peppers or squash, and bean and grain side dishes can be a center-of-the-plate item for vegans and vegetarians.

For dairy-free eaters

  • Use silken tofu in lieu of milk and cream in desserts and cream-based soups.
  • Olive oil and dairy-free milks are excellent alternatives to regular milk and butter for mashed potatoes. Roasted garlic makes a flavorful and creamy addition, too.
  • Most grocery stores now carry myriad delicious dairy-free ice creams and whipped toppings, making dessert easy for any guest.

For gluten-free eaters

  • Substitute rice flour or corn starch for wheat flour when making gravy and other sauces.
  • Excellent gluten-free breads are now readily available for making gluten-free stuffing; simply toast GF bread cubes in the oven until dry, and then crumble to make your favorite recipe. Several manufacturers also offer gluten-free stuffing mix.  
  • You’ll find several gluten-free pie crust options, too (both premade and mixes), but you can also set aside some pie filling to make crust-free parfaits for the gluten-free eaters.

Product Picks

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pie Crust Mix: Just mix with butter and water for a pie crust that’s flakey and delicious. SRP: $4.39

Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain Bread: Ideal for gluten-free stuffing; simply toast and tear or crumble, then use in your favorite recipe. SRP $5.00

Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Stock: A gluten-free, vegan broth with balanced vegetal flavor from onion, celery, and carrots. SRP: $5.16

MimiCreme Healthy Top: An amazingly tasty, no-soy, dairy-free whipped topping made with coconut oil and cashews. SRP unavailable

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