OK In Health - Gluten Free Goodness

Gifts for the Gluten Free on Your List - November 2022

Gluten Free Gift Giving

By Cathy Lauer

gluten free cook books

It is the beginning of November and you probably don’t want to think about Christmas yet. However, you may have people on your list who are on a gluten free diet and the usual box of chocolates, Christmas cookies or cake, or restaurant gift card is not something you can give them this year. So what can you give to someone on a gluten free diet that they will really use and enjoy? Let’s look at some possibilities.

I’m not saying that restaurant gift cards aren’t a good idea for those on a gluten free diet, because they are. You just need to be sure that they are for a restaurant that the receiver can actually eat at and one that they like. You could directly ask them if there is anywhere they particularly like to eat that has a gluten free menu they enjoy. This is a valid question as many restaurants now offer gluten free options, so eating out has become much easier for those on a gluten free diet. You need not say why you are asking, just tell them you are curious. If you don’t want to ask them directly you can always go to  www.theceliacscene.com  and check out what’s available in their city or their area of the city. Gift cards are great gifts because they give the user the opportunity to choose a dining out time that is convenient for them.

If you know they don’t eat out a lot but prefer to cook their own food then maybe a gift card to their favourite health food store or grocery store. Sometimes favourite gluten free items can be too expensive to buy on a regular basis so a gift card would allow them to treat themselves to something they may not otherwise buy. At this time of year there are always a lot of parties and events to attend, so being able to pick up something at a store may for them be very helpful indeed. 

If you know what kinds of gluten free foods they regularly buy, why not make up a gift basket? Put together some gluten free crackers with fruit and cheese add a bottle of wine and your gift is ready to deliver. A market basket with fresh fruit and vegetables from a local farmers market or specialty market is also a great idea especially if they like to cook and eat at home. The possibilities are endless with fresh produce.

For something completely different, how about a baking gift basket. This is a great idea for someone newly diagnosed. In this basket I would suggest a new muffin pan with muffin papers and a cookie sheet. Browse the baking aisle at the local health food store for some of the higher quality gluten free muffin and cookie mixes and add one or two of those. If the person you are shopping for is a baker buy them a gluten free cookbook and xanthan gum instead of the premade mixes. My all baking cookbook is always a great gift for someone new to gluten free as it includes recipes for gluten free flour mixes that turn out a product very close to wheat flour. The recipes are for basics like bread, muffins, cakes and cookies. All the things those on a gluten free diet crave.

an>If the person newly diagnosed is someone you would normally purchase a large gift for buy them a Kitchenaid mixer. It is the most useful thing in my kitchen and if you are going to bake gluten free bread you will need something with power. I use mine almost every day. It is a worthwhile investment and a very welcome gift. At this time of year many stores will have one model or other on sale, so shop around for the best deal.

If baking for themselves is not on the top of the list, check out your local gluten free bakery. You could either purchase a number of items to add to a gift basket or buy a gift card so they can come and choose the items they like. Either way it will be a welcome gift especially with the holidays just around the corner.

If you would prefer not to buy food because you are not sure exactly what they like to eat, then how about a book for them to read. There are a lot of books on the market now about living on a gluten free diet. Stay away from the fad type diet books and look for something informative with accurate information. My favourite is “Living Gluten Free for Dummies”. It is funny, informative, and easy to read and use as a reference when you need to find information quickly. It is also not hard on the budget and is a great resource for the newly diagnosed. For those who want a more technical read try “Hidden Epidemic” by Dr. Peter Green and for those who entertain gluten free friends but don’t know what to serve, look for “A Celiac is Coming to Dinner” by Leslie Orser.

If chocolates are what you have always bought as a gift, and you want to continue to do that, here are a few tips to make sure you are giving a safe gift that can actually be eaten by the person you are giving it to. First and foremost is read the ingredients. If the label says gluten free or wheat free read the ingredients anyway. It may contain oat flour, which is not gluten free, and although some celiacs can eat wheat free oats, others cannot. Watch out for malt, malt extract and malt syrup. These are not gluten free. After the list of ingredient you may find an allergen alert saying “may contain traces of” or “processed in a factory that processes” wheat. Some celiacs will eat these but others may not. It is always best to err on the side of caution. It may take you a few minutes more to pick out the gluten free chocolates but the person you give them to will appreciate that you took the time to ensure they would be able to enjoy the gift.

Shopping for the gluten free eaters on your list need not be a stressful event for you. You don’t have to stretch your gift giving budget past its limit or buy junky stuff just because it says “gluten free”. Think how much more the receiver will enjoy your gift when they know you took the time to make it something special just for them.

Book Ideas for Gifts:

A Celiac is Coming to Dinner www.aceliaciscoming.com

Cathy’s Creations All Baking Cookbook  www.cathysglutenfree.ca


Cathy LauerCathy's Bio: Cathy Lauer has been cooking/baking gluten/dairy free for 17 years. She has written 3 all baking cookbooks and has a gluten free baking blog/store. In her spare time she loves to garden in a big way with fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. She is a classically trained singer and loves to read and collect recipe books. She homeschools her youngest son (11) and has 3 grown children and is grandmother of 2. Cathy's Gluten Free Creations Ltd. Gourmet Gluten Free Baking. Cookbooks and Baking Mixes. 250-758-5232 - Cathy Lauer Website - Email

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