A new survey has shown that a staggering number of British households will be catering for special dietary needs this Christmas
New research from gluten-free food brand FREEE has shown that when we get together for Christmas this year, we may not all be eating the same meal.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed, around half said that they were expecting to host someone with a dietary requirement.
Around 1 in 6 (16%) said they’d be catering for a vegan guest this year. A similar number (15%) expected to cater for a gluten-free guest.
More than a quarter of people will be catering for a vegetarian guest this year, while 1 in 10 will be cooking for someone who is nut-free.
Catering for alternative diets
However, the research also showed that 1 in 5 people find it stressful to cater for someone with a dietary requirement.
As a result, nearly 1 in 10 people say that they will ask guests following alternative diets to bring their own food to gatherings.
The main source of stress surrounding alternative diets seems to come from not knowing what to cook or bake, with 1 in 3 unsure of what to do, and 1 in 2 saying they’ve never made gluten-free or vegan food before.
27% of respondents also expressed concerns that free from food would not taste as good as conventional meals.
Clare Marriage, founder of gluten-free flour and food brand FREEE comments; “Cooking and baking for guests with a range of dietary requirements can be nerve-racking, but those hosting guests this year need not worry.
“With such a range of delicious and easy to use free from ingredients and recipes now available, creating gluten-free and vegan meals, side dishes, cakes and snacks for everyone to enjoy this Christmas – whether they are free from or not – could not be easier, or more delicious”
How to cater for vegan guests at Christmas
Providing for vegan guests doesn’t have to be difficult.
Most vegetables and sides can be made vegan simply by swapping out one or two ingredients, like using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, or using a dairy-free spread instead of butter – something that meat-eating cooks may already do without realising!
When it comes to main courses and desserts, supermarkets now offer plenty of pre-made options to make it easy to go above and beyond the usual nut roast and fruit salad combo.