As guests descend on your holiday party, are you prepared for the growing list of food allergies, dietary demands and menu requirements? For instance, the number of people eating gluten-free has grown to more than 20 million households, so it's likely that you will receive a gluten-free RSVP. By relying on a few simple changes and substitutions, hosts can feel good about serving delicious and festive dishes everyone will love.
First, gluten-free breads and other products have come a long way in the past several years, making them delicious enough for everyone to enjoy. By finding a gluten-free baguette for appetizers or dinner rolls for family meals, no one will have to worry about separate foods. This makes hosting simpler and removes the guesswork for gluten-free guests, so everyone can enjoy each other's company and savor this festive time of year.
Celebrity chef and author of the New York Times best seller "Now Eat This! Italian," Rocco DiSpirito, uses this strategy in his dishes. "Bringing people together at the table is one of the great joys of being a chef. But finding delicious options that are safe for everyone at the table is often a challenge. When you do, there's a greater sense of community and connection," DiSpirito said. "I like Udi's Gluten Free because they taste like the real thing, so no one notices the difference."
When planning a holiday menu, here are some other useful tips for less stress and more celebration this season:
* Focus on foods that are naturally gluten-free. Satisfying side dishes featuring fresh vegetables or hearty sweet potatoes are always crowd pleasers.
* Be careful of hidden gluten traps like bread crumb toppings or certain marinades and salad dressings. Read the labels to avoid ingredients like soy sauce, malt and modified food starch; or simply make your own.
* Make an impression with a signature drink. Since beer is not gluten free, create a signature cocktail. Give it a fun name that fits the holiday season for even more festivity.
And, try this recipe for Apple Cranberry Cobbler, which is completely gluten-free. The naturally sweet fruit pairs perfectly with a golden brown biscuit topping made from Udi's Gluten Free blueberry muffins. More recipes for entertaining during the holidays - and anytime - are available at www.udisglutenfree.com.
Apple Cranberry Cobbler
Recipe by Rocco DiSpirito
Nonstick cooking spray
5 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons apple butter
1 Udi's Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin, torn into 16 even sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 325∞F. Spray eight 3 1/2 x 2-inch ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.
In medium bowl, mix together apples, lemon juice, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, cranberries, and apple butter. Pour fruit into prepared ramekins.
Place 4 pieces of muffin evenly over the fruit and drizzle with remaining liquid from apple mixture.
Bake cobblers until fruit is tender and biscuit topping is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serving size: One cobbler. Fat Grams 2.5, Calories 166.5