Today I was looking at a flyer for 'free from' products full of gluten and dairy free christmas treats such as mince pies and christmas cake. It brought to mind when I first went gluten free, eight years ago, having to devise my own recipe for a gluten and dairy free christmas pudding.
Back then it was a real trial to buy dairy and gluten free alternatives and now we're spoilt for choice with whole 'free from' sections in the supermarkets.
Whilst this is great for anyone with intolerances it is worth noting that, other than missing the allergens, a gluten free mince pie is no healthier than a regular one - it will still be high in sugar, fat and refined carbohydrates. So going on a gluten or dairy free diet isn't license to start eating packets of 'free from' custard creams and hunks of garlic bread (yes you can now get gluten free garlic bread!).
I save all these foods for treats and infact there are very few items that I buy regularly from the 'free from' sections. These tend to be pesto, pasta, pita or wholemeal bread, and milk.
But when Christmas comes around it's so nice to be able to enjoy the traditional treats ... especially given the shop bought 'free from' Christmas pudding is a lot tastier than my attempt!