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Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
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Maia Flora
Features Writer
3:14 AM 20th November 2020

We Dish You A Free-From Christmas!

by freefromheaven
by freefromheaven
Are you planning on an alternative Christmas?

Alternatives to meat and dairy are seen more frequently on the shelves as the years go on, as well as more and more businesses appearing, and producing the next best brownies or pies that have no dairy, no gluten or are completely vegan.

My family and I have been dairy-free for the last few years and it’s taken a long time to find alternatives that we love. We are always up for trying new things - especially when they’re for special occasions.

I’m a massive chocolate fan. For my birthday I had a three layered, rich chocolate sponge cake, covered in chocolate icing and various chocolate toppings, and it was 100% vegan, made by a local businessowner. It’s all about narrowing down what you like and what you want, then take it from there - the business will do the rest.

by S. Hermann & F. Richter
by S. Hermann & F. Richter
Christmas is one of the many days a year that it’s hard to avoid dairy products - it’s full of chocolate and creamy treats, as well as buttery add-ons and sides. And it’s a struggle on other diets too, such as gluten- free, with gravy being packed full of it, as well as stuffing and Christmas puddings.

We’ve had a couple of successful dairy-free Christmases and I think this year will be the best one yet. Lockdown has given us time to really scroll through the pages of alternatives and see what we like, as well as using our ideas from last year, that will work fabulously with a few tweaks.

We have the time to explore dairy-free options, and even people who don’t need to alter their diets, may just stumble across a local business, a recipe or something eye-catching on the shelves that could improve your Christmas food, but also decreases your dairy or gluten intake. Going alternative could add a fun twist to your Christmas dinner and snacks throughout the holidays.

Here are a few favourites we have, and some favourites that people have shared with me:

My Dad raves about the ASDA mince pies which are their basic mince pies but they are suitable for vegans.
If you’re wanting specifically dairy free, Sainsburys do dairy free mince pies, and Alpro dairy free custard goes perfectly on top of sweet festive treats.

by Cook Veggilicious
by Cook Veggilicious
Someone told me that Tofurky vegan roast is “AMAZING” which is a plant-based faux turkey but packed full of flavour, herbs and spices.

My mum was beside herself when she realised she couldn’t have her yearly bottle of Baileys at Christmas, because it’s filled with dairy, but she quickly cheered up when she discovered Baileys dairy-free bottle, which is also vegan-friendly.

For those that enjoy a good cheese board at Christmas, I’ve had recommended to me the Violife Christmas platter, with a selection of crackers, cheeses and chutneys.

If you’re not a Christmas pudding person like myself, there are the No Moo chocolate puddings which is a dairy-free, vegan-friendly chocolate lava cake.

Alternatives don’t just been buying in, there are plenty of recipes to try if you’re wanting to go that extra bit further and make your own dishes. Sometimes it’s as easy as swapping out the butter or milk for a plant-based alternative, or using gluten-free flour for cookies and cakes.

If you feel like trying something completely different that doesn’t just mean opting for different ingredients, you could try making a nut roast which many vegans swear by for Christmas. Packed full of flavours from the many different ingredients to give it a Christmassy feel, the nut roast can consist of lentils, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, celery, mixed nuts and even cheese, and paired with the Christmas sides and trimmings, it could be a great addition to your Christmas dinner.

Homemade vegan Christmas pudding consists of all the goodness the pudding contains; dried figs, sultanas and raisins, apples, and rum, but instead of butter you can use oil, dairy-free margarine, or even mashed bananas or nut butter.

Why not give an alternative Christmas a go this year, or try just one different thing amongst your Christmassy food selection and add a twist of excitement?