Prepare for the holidays with these gluten-free products
Happy Halloween everyone! While it may feel a little early to start talking about the winter holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the like – they will be here faster than we think. And so, here are some gluten-free products to help you prepare for the holidays. From staying healthy to keeping your pantry stocked for quick meals to entertaining guests and buying gifts for your gluten-free friends and family, this list is full of ideas.
Staying healthy for the holidays
In order to celebrate, you’ve got to feel great – right? Here are some products to help maintain proper nutrition during the busy holiday season and to support your immune system.
Paleo Pro makes protein powder, protein bars, collagen powder, and more. Personally, I love to add collagen to my daily coffee or smoothie. This is particularly great for anyone over the age of 25, as our bodies are no longer producing all that wonderful collagen after that age. Collagen helps keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy, yes – but it also helps with tendons, cartilage, and tissues, so it’s a great overall product to keep things moving as they should, looking as they should, and feeling as they should. Paleo Pro’s multi-collagen is made from grass-fed and pastured beef collagen with 5 types of collagen and protein sources including wild-caught Alaskan pollack and cage-free chicken bone broth. You can also add collagen to recipes, like these gluten-free crepes.
LivOn Labs makes supplements that are delivered differently and absorbed much better, especially for those with a damaged gut or with celiac disease. Their supplements come in this sort of liquid jelly that you squeeze into a shot glass of water (or juice) and drink it in one gulp. These liposomal supplements bypass the usual route that other supplements take. To learn more about science, click here. Their vitamin C is excellent for this time of year to help keep your immune system operating at its best. Many of us at Simply Gluten Free have taken LivOn Labs supplements for a while and love them because we can feel the difference.
Paleo Valley was created by a couple that followed the Paleo diet to help with digestive and other health issues. They loved the diet so much that they started Paleo Valley to offer up solutions for on-the-go foods like meat sticks and superfood bars. They also added supplements to the mix. Paleo Valley’s superfood bars are perfect for those busy days of holiday gift shopping, outings with your out-of-town guests, traveling to visit family and friends, and more. These bars are nutrient dense, with 10 powerful superfoods and 9 grams of protein in each bar. They come in chocolate, lemon meringue, apple cinnamon, and limited-edition pumpkin spice. Also check out their NeuroEffect supplement, which helps with concentration and memory and is also great for the immune system since it’s jam-packed with a variety of mushrooms like cordyceps, lion’s mane, reishi, and more.
If you don’t have time to cook because you’re running late for that holiday gift exchange with your friends, how about fitting in something like a banana and a protein shake? There’s no need to skip meals entirely when you have a bag of protein powder in your pantry. True Nutrition is our editor’s protein powder of choice (this is a TRUE statement) because you can customize it and at its base it contains very minimal ingredients. It’s just plain protein powder of choice (whey protein, pea protein, egg white protein, etc.) and then whatever flavor you want, which contains either stevia or sucralose depending on what you choose. You can opt for add-ins like collagen, amino acids, and more. Protein powder can often contain a lot of unnecessary ingredients like excess sugar, artificial flavors, even food dyes. With True Nutrition you’re getting only what you need.
Keeping stocked for quick and easy meals
You’re running errands, you’re shopping for gifts, you’re entertaining family from out of town, or you’re busy hitting up all the parties and get-togethers you’ve been invited to. You’ll likely need lunch before rushing out the door or need a hearty breakfast before a busy day, so be sure to keep your pantry stocked with products that will help you get quick and easy meals on the table.
Milk is such a staple in most homes – from a splash in your morning coffee to the accompaniment to your favorite cereal to an essential in baking, milk does it all. Every day, cow’s milk seems to be increasingly becoming a thing of the past, replaced with nut milk and oat milk and more. The level of nutrition and wholesomeness you get from some milk alternative isn’t always up to par with cow’s milk, but do you know which milk is? Goat’s milk! In fact, goat’s milk is more popular than cow’s milk in every part of the world except the United States – and for good reason. Goat’s milk is easier to digest thanks to its low lactose and milder proteins and is wholesome and delicious. Stock your fridge with Summerhill Dairy goat milk, which is certified humane and comes from a farm that cares.
Stock your freezer or pantry with treats and muffins from Flax4Life so that you have snacks and grab-and-go breakfast items ready for those hectic days. Flax4Life’s products contain – you guessed it – flax! Flax is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, so it’s nice to have a treat that contains it. It’s an easy way to have your treat and nutrition, too. Their Cranberry Orange Muffins have the perfect flavor for this time of year and they contain 4350 mg of omega 3’s, 7 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of protein. Plus, they have individually wrapped singles, which are perfect for grab-and-go needs.
Gluten Free Prairie
Oats are an excellent food to keep on hand in your pantry. From hearty oatmeal topped with berries and nuts in the morning to keep you fuller longer (perfect before a busy day of Christmas shopping!) to an ingredient in baked goods, oats are a must-have. If you haven’t been able to have oats because you react to them, know that oats can often be cross contaminated, so you might be reacting to traces of gluten that can get onto the oats from field to factory. Gluten Free Prairie is a favorite here at Simply Gluten Free because of the care and quality behind their oats and each of their oat-based products. Their oats are purity protocol oats, which means they are grown in clean fields that haven’t had wheat, rye, or barley grown in them for at least 4 years. Their farmers also use designated equipment to harvest the oats. And finally, the oats are processed in a facility that only works with these oats, so there is no cross contamination.
This product line might seem pretty specific for some of you, as it is free from tomatoes and other nightshades. However, these products aren’t just good for people who are allergic to or avoiding nightshades for health reasons, they are all-around really delicious products and they’re a great way to get certain veggies and fruits into your diet via your condiments! Let’s start with their Carrot Marinara. This one is delicious, very reminiscent of actual tomato marinara, and gives you a healthy dose of carrots, beets, and more. Other favorites include their Carrup, a carrot-based ketchup replacement that is hearty, savory, and fabulous with fries. All of their sauces are not just gluten-free and nightshade free, but also Paleo friendly and AIP friendly. If you’re on or have ever tried an AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet, you know how tough it can be to find suitable foods to enjoy, and having classic sauces like marinara, ketchup, and barbecue sauces to help you create quick and easy meals is so nice! These would also make a fun food gift for those in your life who like to try new foods.
When you’ve been shopping all day or out running errands to get ready for that holiday party you’re hosting, it’s nice to come home and pop an appetizer or meal into the oven while you shower and unwind. Starlite Cuisine products are there for you, waiting in your freezer for you to get home. Their taquitos and enchiladas are their two gluten-free products (avoid the rolled tacos, as those use flour tortillas). Their taquitos and enchiladas are not just gluten free but also vegan, which is great news for those who are also dairy free, as many people with celiac disease are also dairy free. Serve these with salsa, a side of refried beans, and some homemade guacamole and you have yourself an easy and complete meal.
With holiday dinners and cocktail parties on the schedule, be sure to plan your menu well ahead of time. These products will help you feed a hungry crowd and quench their thirst, too!
Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
Shots! Shots! Shots! Just kidding. We’re less about binge drinking and more about balance here, but hey if the holiday spirit takes over who are we to judge? All jokes aside, ‘tis the season for some special occasion imbibing, and Bärenjäger is a great liqueur to add to your bar cart. This honey liqueur dates back to 18th Century Germany, and the recipe is said to have been formulated to lure bears out of their dwellings by hunters. You might not be looking to lure a bear out of hiding, but perhaps you want to lure yourself out of that hermit shell you understandably created during the pandemic and would like to feel a little more social around your family and friends. A hot toddy with Bärenjäger or some crisp apple cider with Bärenjäger are both fantastic choices to warm your body and relax your spirit during these chilly winter holidays.
Mozart Chocolate Liqueur
If you want an after-dinner cocktail, Mozart Chocolate Liqueur is where it’s at. It goes beautifully in coffee, can be used to create decadent dessert cocktails, and can even be used in making an actual dessert. Created in Austria, Mozart combines two favorites: chocolate and spirits. Europe is known to have amazing chocolate manufacturers, and Mozart takes its part in that tradition by using high-quality chocolate in its chocolate liqueurs. They are available in a range of flavors, dark chocolate, white chocolate, white chocolate strawberry, chocolate cream, chocolate coffee, and pumpkin spice chocolate. You really can’t go wrong with any flavor you choose, and the recipe options are endless. They’ve put together many delicious “choctails” on their website, as well.
A good cracker can go a long way at a holiday party. From dipping to spreading, whatever way you serve crackers, Breton gluten-free crackers from Dare Foods have you covered. Their gluten-free crackers have a wholesome taste and a tender-crisp texture that makes them indistinguishable from their gluten-filled counterparts. That means your guests won’t question your crackers! Their gluten-free line comes in Original with Flax, Herb and Garlic, White Bean with Salt and Pepper, and Black Bean with Onion and Garlic. Each one is delicious! Check out their fun Festive Brie and Cranberry topping idea, which is absolutely spot-on for Thanksgiving.
Gem City Fine Foods
Three words: gluten free cheesecake. Four words: gluten free chocolate torte. Many other words: Gem City Fine Foods makes amazing desserts to share with your guests this holiday season. If you’ve never tried Gem City’s gems, it’s time you do. They have cheesecake in multiple varieties like pumpkin and triple berry streusel, plus the most decadent flourless chocolate torte you’ve probably ever had. And if dairy or eggs are an issue, don’t worry! They have a couple of incredible gluten-free vegan options – chocolate cupcakes and chocolate cake. If you’re tired of the typical pumpkin pie, change things up with Gem City’s tasty options. (Note: as of writing this, their products are only available in stores. Check their website for current availability.)
Gluten Free Nation
Pie is an important staple in any holiday dinner menu, am I right? Of course I am – who doesn’t like pie? Gluten Free Nation makes a killer pecan pie that will turn any gluten-free naysayer into a fan of gluten-free treats! It’s delicious, has fantastic texture, and is everything you want in a holiday dessert. If pie isn’t your thing, that’s ok, too. Gluten Free Nation also has the most tender, moist pumpkin bread (think pound cake) which would pair beautifully with a hot cup of coffee after dinner. Gluten Free Nation’s products are certified gluten-free, made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. They have other baked goods like English muffins and cookies – great for serving breakfast to your guests or sneaking treats into stockings, respectively.
Gifting GF goodies
Whether you’re looking for a hostess gift, stocking stuffers, or the gift that keeps on giving, these products are sure to please.
Mrs. Bickel’s Brownies
Create a fun gift basket with gluten-free goodies like Mrs. Bickel’s brownies and blondies. A collection of tea or coffee plus some brownies and cute teacups would make a fun hostess gift for the holidays! Mrs. Bickel’s is a gluten-free baking company that makes brownies, blondies, pizza crust, and more. Right now, they have a seasonal pumpkin spice blondie, which is really yummy! My favorite, though, is their classic Gluten-Free Radical Brownies. These are everything a brownie should be: rich and fudgy and packed with delicious premium chocolate chips and your choice of walnuts or nut free.
Dr. Liia Cosmetics
Formerly known as Epilynx, Dr. Liia cosmetics make for fantastic stocking stuffers for those who like a bit of luxury and want safe, allergen-friendly skincare and makeup. Dr. Liia herself suffered from psoriasis, so she knows how important it is to keep irritants out of skincare and makeup, that’s why her products are free from the top 14 allergens. Formulated by a doctor, formulated for beauty, Dr. Liia cosmetics include luxurious skincare creams and serums and vibrant, bold makeup. You can purchase individual items for stocking stuffers, pick and choose a group of products to create your own gift, or choose one of their beauty bundles for those true beauty lovers in your life.
Simply Gluten Free Magazine
A subscription to Simply Gluten Free Magazine makes a lovely gift for those in your life who are new to gluten-free or for the GF veterans who feel uninspired with their current rotation of recipes or who want to keep up to date on the latest celiac news. Our magazine is full of 30+ recipes per issue, lifestyle articles, health and nutrition articles, information about gluten-free products, helpful tip sheets like allergen-friendly substitutions and flour blends, and so much more. Subscriptions start at $9.95 for digital-only and $29.95 for 1-year US print subscriptions (which includes a free digital subscription). They’re also available for international subscribers, too. Please note that new subscriptions (for yourself or your giftee) will begin with the January/February 2022 issue if you subscribe by November 2, 2021.