GF Nutrition: Healthier Gluten-Free Holiday Drinks

Sarah Waybright is a registered dietitian and founder of WhyFoodWorksSarah offers in-home cooking classes and dinner parties, both of which happen to work really well for people and families with food allergies/sensitivities—you get a chance to try lots of delicious new recipes with the added bonus of minimal contamination risk! Talk about a win-win!!! 

I asked Sarah to partner with us because she genuinely loves food and she is an expert at using real food to make our bodies work better. So much of gluten-free living revolves around how food makes us sick or the need to deprive ourselves of enjoyable food to stay healthy—let’s turn the conversation around and talk about all the ways to use nutrient-dense real food to help us feel strong, healthy, and excited about eating again!

Take it away, Sarah!

Healthier Gluten-Free Holiday Drinks

Ahh, the holidays. A time when treats abound, comfort food rules, and red coffee cups are filled with…

1

500 calorie pepperminty mocha drinks.

Wait, what?! Most people are aware that beverages can add calories, but the numbers are still pretty shocking. People who are avoiding gluten this season may have an easier time finding drinks that are gluten-free than baked goods, but there are still a few red flags to watch out for related to gluten—and a whole lot of red flags related to health!  

This guide outlines the gluten considerations for alcoholic drinks,

this one discusses coffee,

and here you’ll find info about hot chocolate.

Most of the gluten contamination risk comes from additives and processing methods, not inherent gluten content. Alcoholic beverages like whiskey and rye are considered gluten-free as a result of distilling; however, some people may react to distilled products, so pay attention to your body. The good news is that homemade versions of many drinks are not only safer from a gluten perspective, but so much healthier, too! Here are some quick tips for a variety of drinks, and some healthy (or healthier) beverage recipes to try this holiday season.

  • Flavored coffee: instead of relying on sugary flavor-added creamers, try flavoring the coffee itself by adding ground spices before brewing—cinnamon, ginger, cloves, or even a pumpkin spice blend work well. Use pure extracts like peppermint, coconut, vanilla, or almond—just a few drops!—after brewing.  Be sure to check the label on the extracts; some may be made with gluten containing ingredients or processed in a facility that manufactures wheat; it depends on how sensitive you are.
  • Hot chocolate mixes: skip the tear-and-dump packets and grab some cocoa powder! It’s very easy to make your own mix, which allows you to control how much sugar is added. Use in water, milk, or add a few tablespoons to your coffee, and voila—a mocha! (Note from Beth: consider using canned coconut milk for a decadent treat!)
  • Cocktails: use seltzer or club soda (not tonic, which has added sugar), juices (instead of syrups), fresh fruits, and herbs as the base for adult punches and mixed beverages. Below are some good ones!

(Click on the pictures for links to the recipes.)

Long Winter Cocktail

Long Winter Cocktail

 

Mandarin Champagne Cocktail

Mandarin Champagne Cocktail

 

Cran-Toddy

Cran-Toddy

 

Clean Eating Eggnog

Clean Eating Eggnog

 

Pineapple-Ginger Sparkling Wine Cocktail

Pineapple-Ginger Sparkling Wine Cocktail

To ask Sarah a question or request a topic for a future blog post,
please leave a comment on any GF Nutrition post
or email me with the subject “Gluten-Free Nutrition.”

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