Over 40% of Brits with a dietary requirement or preference have eaten something over Christmas they shouldn’t have for fear of upsetting the host or being seen as 'fussy'. Rather than having guests suffer in silence, we need to do more to make sure everyone feels at-ease around the table, no matter their diet.
Across the country, Christmas dinner means juicy turkey, crispy and fluffy fat roast potatoes, rich gravy, a kaleidoscope of veg and a sweet and fruity pudding. But for the 6 million Brits that have never had a Christmas dinner, the most important dinner of the year means something very different.
As the number of dietary requirements and preferences continues to grow, our Christmas tables will follow-suit, adapting from the traditional dinner to something inclusive for everyone – only 28% of hosts currently ask guests if they have a dietary requirement or preference.
As a result, 70% of Brits with a food requirement or preference have been given food they can’t eat, with a third of guests forced to go hungry at the table, and 30% of hosts stating they’re unsure what they could possibly cook at Christmas for those with a specific diet.
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Tips and Tricks
Asda's Innovation Chef, Andrew Johnston, has a few handy tips for inclusive cooking this Christmas:
1. Don't forget the yorkshire puds
No Christmas lunch is complete without Yorkshire pudding, so for a gluten and dairy free option, try using cornflour, eggs and dairy-free milk. Just remember not to open the oven whilst they’re cooking, otherwise they’ll go flat!
2. Think of alternative but easy canapes
Canapes can be quite fiddly, especially if you have a large group of people coming over. Try your hand at making a vegan pâté, or Asda has a delicious new Extra Special Vegan Pâté with Roasted Parsnip, Chestnut and Sage.
3. Things to watch out for
If catering for someone with a gluten free diet, key watch-outs are gravy, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing and roast potatoes (as they’re often cooked in flour). Always good to keep free from versions of Christmas staples, like Asda’s range of Extra Special festive stuffings.
4. Finish with a sweet
Every Christmas lunch of dinner needs to finish with a big sweet bang. For vegan diets (or anybody, really!) Asda’s Extra Special Vegan Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pots are the perfect treat to finish any feast with.
You can make some very simple swaps if catering for those with intolerances at Christmas...
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For Christmas parties:
1. Delicious, bite-size canapés are a must at any festive gathering. If catering for vegan diets, swap your spring rolls for our moreish Asda Party Mexican Bean Bites, with a crispy crumb and blend of warming spice.
2. No Christmas party is complete without a spread of cheese. For delicious dairy and gluten free fromage, pile cheese boards with our Free From Mature Cheddar Alternative, Free From Garlic and Chive Cheddar Alternative and Free From Wensleydale Alternative...all perfect for perching on our Free From Cheese Crackers.
3. For a sweet treat at the end of seasonal soirées, nothing beats a fruity mince pie. Our delicious Free From Mince Pies are perfect for gluten and wheat free feasting, and for any vegan diets, our regular Asda Mince Pies are suitable for plant-based diets!
4. Nothing quite says Christmas cheer like popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly. For bubbles without the booze, try our Nosecco or Be Free Sparkling – both tasty tipples for the growing number of Brits going booze-free this Christmas.
For Christmas lunch:
1. A golden, bronzed turkey may be the traditional table centrepiece at Christmas, but for any guests following a plant-based diet, swap the turkey for our succulent Extra Special Vegan Mushroom and Chestnut Nut Roast with Cranberry Star Butter. For those with a hankering for something without Christmas flavours, we even have a new range of vegan pies, perfect for those cold winter evenings.
2. Trimmings are always required at Christmas, and for those requiring gluten free food, we have a couple of scrumptious stuffings for any Christmas spread: Extra Special British Pork, Sage and Caramelised Onion Stuffing and Extra Special British Pork, Cranberry and Orange Stuffing.
3. For some, Christmas lunch is all about smothering meat and veg in rich gravy. For any free from diets, our Asda Free From Gravy Granules are perfect for gluten, dairy and wheat free feasting.
4. The pièce de résistance of any Christmas lunch is, without a doubt, the sweet and sticky Christmas pudding or cake. Full of rich, spiced fruit, our Extra Special Free From Christmas Cake and Extra Special Free From Christmas Pudding are delicious desserts without gluten.
5. For any vegan guests, our delectable Extra Special Vegan Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pots are the ideal sweet treat, with indulgent dairy free chocolate ganache and runny caramel. Perfectly topped with gold iridescent glitter for that Extra Special festive feel, these decadent pots are sure-fire hits with everyone around the table.