Ah, the holidays: when friends and family come together and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Many people enjoy getting together over a holiday meal. If you are cooking a meal for a group, or even bringing a dish to a party, you should keep food allergies and sensitivities in mind. Your friends and relatives may have allergies you – or they – don’t even know about. Here are a few ingredients to avoid, their alternatives, a fun allergy-friendly holiday recipe, and information on what to do if you or your loved one is struck down by an allergy attack, despite your best efforts.
Common Ingredients That Trigger Allergies and Sensitivities
Some of the most common ingredients that create symptoms in those with allergies include gluten (found in most bread products and much more), dairy (milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, etc.), and nuts. Many holiday treats like cookies, cakes, and candies include some or all of these ingredients.
Fortunately, there are many alternatives on the market today for these ingredients. You can find gluten-free versions of almost anything, including bread, cookies, and crackers at your local grocery or health food store. If you are baking from scratch, you can simply switch out the ingredients that contain gluten, like white or wheat flour, for a gluten-free alternative, such as almond flour.
There are also non-dairy versions of popular dairy items like milk, such as almond, soy, or coconut milk. If your loved ones are allergic to nuts, simply leave them out of the recipe or substitute another tasty ingredient for the same satisfying crunch, like chocolate chips!
Hypoallergenic Christmas Recipe
Here is a recipe for sugar cookies that contain no gluten, dairy, or eggs!
4 ¾ cups gluten-free flour of your choice (such as almond or tapioca flour)
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
2 tbsp fruit pectin
Pinch of salt
1 cup dairy-free butter alternative, slightly melted
1 ½ cups sugar
6 oz coconut yogurt (yogurt made from coconuts, not coconut-flavored yogurt)
¼ cup coconut, soy, or almond milk
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all the dry ingredients except sugar in a bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whip together the sugar and softened butter alternative. Add in the coconut yogurt, milk alternative, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla to the sugar mixture and mix together. Slowly add dry ingredients to this mixture until blended. Cover in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and sprinkle some extra gluten-free flour on a flat surface.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll to flatten to about 1/8 or ¼ inch thick over the sprinkled flour. Cut into shapes and transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
What Happens If My Loved One Experiences an Allergy Attack?
If your loved one eats something and has an allergic reaction, they may experience swelling in their face or throat, hives or a rash, or other uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms. Do not hesitate to take your loved one to your local urgent care center for treatment of his or her food allergy. You may also call your urgent care center to get emergency advice so you can start taking care of your loved one while you prepare to go to the center.