Enjoying Holiday Functions with IBS and Celiac Disease
The holiday season can be tough for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or celiac disease. Attending different social events when you have dietary requirements is often stressful. Living with both IBS and Celiac Disease, I have picked up a few tips over the years on how to manage different holiday functions.
- Let the host know of your dietary requirements. If you’re comfortable doing so, inform the host what you can and cannot eat. This can be tough depending on the event and who is hosting, but if you are able to, ask the host to discuss the menu with you ahead of time so you know what to expect.
- If you are attending an event where you are unsure of the food that will be served (i.e. a cocktail party or a work function), eat a small meal before you go. Having a small meal in advance means you won’t be too hungry if there is little for you to eat. However, by keeping it small, if there is something you want to enjoy, you will still be able to.
- Offer to bring a dish. If it’s not out of place (i.e. dinner at a friend’s house), by offering to bring a dish, you are guaranteed there will be something you can eat.
- Host an event! Hosting an event means you have total control over the menu.
Below are a couple of gluten free and low FODMAP recipes you can use for holiday entertaining or to enjoy yourself over the season.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
This is a wonderful rich soup filled with holiday spices. It’s great for a holiday lunch, or a first course for dinner. You can also make this on a weekend and eat it throughout the week.
If you follow a low FODMAP diet, the Monash University FODMAP Diet app states butternut squash is low/green serving of FODMAP up to 1/3 of a cup diced. Above that amount, there is moderate to high amounts of GOS and mannitol. Depending on the size of your squash, 1/3 cup diced is approximately 1/6 of a medium squash, peeled and deseeded. This recipe uses 2 medium sized squash, thus you can have approximately 1/12 of this entire recipe in one sitting and remain within the low/green level of FODMAP. (Please note, this depends on the size of your squash, so double check your amounts and your personal diet before enjoying.
To lighten this recipe, you can replace the lactose free half and half with lactose free milk or low FODMAP vegetable stock (I use Fody vegetable soup base, which is available online).
- 2 medium sized butternut squashes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 ½ cups of lactose free half and half
- 2 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 425 °F
- Cut each butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds
- Drizzle the cut side of each butternut squash with the olive oil then place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with tin foil
- Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes
- Let cool enough to handle the squash, then scoop the roasted squash out of the skin and place in a blender
- Blend until very smooth (you may need to add a splash of water to help it blend)
- Pour the blended squash into a heavy-bottomed pot placed over low heat
- Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg
- Add half and half and cook until warmed through
- Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds if desired
Brown Butter Holiday Cookies
These cookies are soft, chewy, and have an incredible nutty flavour from the brown butter. Sweetness comes from the cranberries and white chocolate. You can replace the cranberries and white chocolate for any mix-ins.
According to the Monash University FODMAP Diet app, 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries is a low/green serving of FODMAP. Above that amount, there are moderate or high amounts of Fructan. There is half a cup (8 tablespoons) of dried cranberries in this recipe which make 3 dozen cookies. Thus you can have up to 4 cookies in one sitting to stay within the low/green serving.
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2 ¾ cups gluten free flour, 1:1 blend
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375 °F
- To make the brown butter, place the butter in a small sauce pot over medium heat. As the butter melts, continue to cook it, swirling the pot occasionally until it turns a light brown colour. Then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then whisk to remove any lumps.
- Once the brown butter is cooled, pour it into a mixer bowl, then add the brown sugar and beat both together
- Add eggs one at and mix to combine
- Add water and continue to beat until smooth
- Add the dry ingredient mixture and mix until everything is incorporated
- Add the white chocolate and cranberries, then mix at a very low speed
- Use a medium size (1.5 to 1.75 inch) ice cream scoop to drop cookies onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes and let cool
Have a happy holiday, and a celiac / IBS free holiday function!