One of the most exciting parts of the holiday season is all the amazing treats and meals that bring those we love together. Having food allergies or sensitivities does not have to take away any of that joy. The holidays can still be overflowing with deliciousness through nourishing, unprocessed ingredients.

There are so many alternatives to common allergens that can be substituted in traditional recipes in order to make them tolerable to sensitive bodies. Here are some tasty ideas for those of us with intolerances, or for those cooking for loved ones with food restrictions.


Appetizers

Vegan cheese platter

Making vegan cheese may sound daunting, but it’s actually quite simple to make nut cheeses, especially if you own a dehydrator. Even without one, you can make some super yummy fermented vegan cheeses on your own. Some vegan nut cheeses do not even require fermentation, and you can whip them up in very little time.

Try flavoring your creations with your favorite spices or herbs. You can easily cook down some fruit, by throwing it in a pot and simmering it until the texture gets jam-like, to pair with your homemade cheeses. Maybe put your vegan cheeses on a platter with some fruit (dried, jam, or fresh), gluten free crackers (store bought or homemade!), and maybe even a pickled fruit or vegetable.

Vegan Cheese Recipes

These ones are fermented, so they can take a few days:

Easy Probiotic Cultured Vegan Cheese

Fermented Nut Cheese

These ones only take a few hours:

Baked Tofu Feta

Vegan Charcuterie Board

This one’s quick and easy, and a sweeter option:

Raw Lavender Lemon Chevre

Gluten Free, Vegan Cracker Recipes

This one is made from chickpea flour:

Gluten-Free Chickpea Crackers

This one is a grainier, seedier option:

Seed Crackers Recipe

Homemade Dips with Veggies

Another simple and delicious appetizer is homemade dip, like hummus, with any sliced vegetables.

Easy Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

You can flavor it with any of your favorite seasoning, spices, or herbs, or keep it plain and simple. Try adding some pumpkin purée to make it extra festive!

Miso Dip

One of my favorite dips is a super easy blend of miso, avocado, and other tasty ingredients. I make the recipe something like this, but definitely adjust it to your own taste preference:

4 heaping Tbsp Miso paste

1/2 of an avocado

2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp Olive oil

2 Tbsp Orange juice

1 Tbsp Tamari

Squeeze of lemon

Splash of ginger juice (or a tsp of ground ginger, depending how gingery you like it)

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust to taste, and season with any extras if you like! Sometimes I add turmeric or smoked paprika, or even spirulina powder to make it a super healthy green dip.

Potato Latkes

These are a Hanukah staple in our home, but they’re delicious and a great appetizer for any holiday get together! Try this easy recipe:

Best Ever Potato Latkes


Mains

Lasagna

Lasagna is a go to for our family around the holidays, and we always make it for Christmas. If you can find gluten free lasagna pasta sheets, it’s easy to make, either with homemade nut ricotta, or store bought cheese from brands like Kite Hill.

This recipe uses zucchini instead of pasta sheets:

8 Ingredient Zucchini Lasagna

This one is packed with veggies:

Gluten-Free Lasagna

Butternut squash/carrot/sweet potato ginger soup

Another easy meal idea is a vegan butternut squash carrot ginger soup. I make this by simply throwing all the veggies I feel like into a pot, usually with a theme color! For a golden soup like this, I’ll put in a sweet potato, butternut squash, a bunch of carrots, some fresh ginger root and perhaps some turmeric, and maybe some pureed pumpkin.

I cut all the veggies into chunks, throw them in a large stock pot with olive oil at the bottom, and pour in enough vegetable broth to cover all the pieces. Next, I let it cook down until the veggies are soft when stabbed with a fork. Then, I season it with salt, pepper, and maybe sage and other herbs I feel drawn to.

I use an immersion blender to purée it all, and if you don’t have one of those, you can put bits of it into a standing blender and combine smaller amounts one at a time until it’s all been blended.

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese

You can’t go wrong with pumpkin and sage filled mac n cheese. Here are some recipe ideas from scratch: 

Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

The Best Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


Desserts

Desserts are perhaps the most fun part of holiday eating! Here are a bunch of delicious gluten free, vegan recipe ideas:

Peppermint Chocolate Pudding

Vegan Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pudding

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gingerbread Cake

Vegan Gluten-Free Gingberbread Cake

Cinnamon Rolls

We always have cinnamon rolls on Christmas, and you can eat them for breakfast or dessert!

This recipe uses yeast, some pumpkin in the dough, and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour, which is the best store bought gluten free baking blend I’ve found!:

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls


Regardless of your food preferences or restrictions, there is always a way to make holiday eating delicious and fun. Indulge in these healthful recipes with your loved ones around you, and enjoy the holiday season!