Food allergies can suck - especially at Christmas when everyone is filling their faces with gluten-rich mince pies and enough dairy-filled brandy cream to swim in. If you have a gluten or dairy allergy the festive period can be a hard few weeks to navigate when it comes to your diet. How brilliant then that a company has come up with a gluten-free and dairy-free Christmas hamper that not only looks the part, but is stuffed (and we mean STUFFED) with delicious biscuits, chocolates, wine, beer and even curry pouches.
We raided ilumi's gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free Christmas hamper at iLoveMyGrub HQ, and here's what we got:
1 x bottle of Green's gluten-free dark ale
1 x bottle of Green's gluten-free blonde ale
2 x bottles of Celia gluten-free beer
1 x bottle of Dragora organic red wine
1 x box Lazy Day shortbread (free from gluten, dairy, egg, wheat) + vegan*
1 x box Lazy Day Belgian dark chocolate tiffin (free from gluten, dairy, egg, wheat) + vegan*
1 x box Doves Lemon zest cookies (gluten-free)
10 x ilumi food pouches (including ready made curries, soups and chicken gravy)
*Lazy Day Foods use nut-free recipes and work in a nut-free factory, but do not guarantee that their ingredients are nut free.
Highlights from the hamper had to be the Belgian chocolate tiffin (impossible to eat just one), and surprisingly the ready-made curry pouches. I'll put my hands up - I was expecting these to taste either a little worthy, or just disappointing on the flavour front but the curries were big on flavour, the meat was super tender and they tasted nourishing - nothing like your average ready meal. I'm not a ready meal kind of girl, but I would be completely happy buying pouches of the Kerala Chicken Curry and Aromatic Thai Red Chicken Curry for those time-strapped moments.
If you're gluten-free like me, this hamper is enough to put a big grin on your face all through the festive period. It's just so great to open up a box containing lots of edible treats that you don't have to think twice about eating. My only gripe is the absence of mince pies here - they definitely have a place in a Christmas hamper, but to be honest, the chocolate tiffin almost makes up for that. When you open this hamper, you feel like you're getting a real treat - there are so many different products packed into it, that you feel a bit spoilt just on opening it. But the proof as ever is in the tasting and that's what makes this hamper such a surprising find. I'm all too familiar with the below-average deal us gluten-free types tend to get on the flavour front, and this hamper triumphantly quashes that dilemma.
ilumis' Christmas hamper makes a brilliant gift for the intolerant foodies amongst us. Not only is it packed with treats, it woos the taste buds too. Gluten-free and dairy-free types will be impressed if they're on the receiving end of this gift. They just probably won't be able to tell you that, because their mouth will be full of Belgian chocolate tiffin.
For more information on ilumis' Christmas hamper, visit http://www.ilumiworld.com. The ilimi Christmas hamper is priced at £55.00.
**Written by:** Helenka Bednar