The holiday season and the opportunity to finally gather with friends and family is fast approaching. Today we’d like to help you feel better equipped to cater to one of our biggest customers – people requiring a gluten free diet.
Most people are aware that gluten is found in most bread, cereals, cakes and biscuits (unless otherwise stated, like our Gluten Free Snack range), but did you know that cross-contamination is also a problem for people with coeliac disease?
It can sound overwhelming to cook a meal for someone in your home kitchen that can’t digest gluten, especially as for many of us, the foods they need to avoid have touched every surface and saucepan in the house but it doesn’t have to be this way.
We think the best first step is to never assume anything but to directly ask the guest you’re catering for. While we might think we know what they need, it’s always best to ask. It also gives you a chance to find out any other dietary requirements – there’s not much point preparing a beautiful gluten free BBQ if your guest is a vegetarian!
Our second easy tip is to plan a menu that includes many gluten free items rather than limiting your guest to just one dish. Having a variety of safe foods available to them isn’t hard when you consider the many delicious vegetables, cheeses and proteins that are naturally gluten free (be sure to check for ‘certified gluten free’ or messaging confirming safety for coeliac disease if purchasing any packaged food). It can also help to write down, or take a photo of each recipe on your phone, so your guest can review the ingredients for their own peace of mind on the day if requested.
Our third tip, after washing all your kitchen tools thoroughly, is to prepare all of the gluten free items on the menu first. This ensures no cross contamination. It can also help to set aside a separate workspace for gluten free items so there’s no mix up.
And our favourite tip for ensuring all your guests are comfortable? Make sure you plate shared gluten free dishes, such as antipasto items or side dishes, on a different coloured plate to the rest of the menu. This way when your guest arrives you can quietly mention that all the dishes prepared gluten free are on the blue plates, allowing them to relax and have fun, which we all want for everybody!