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Drinking with a Yeast Intolerance over Christmas

We all enjoy an alcoholic drink or two with family and friends over the festive season. But those with allergies and intolerances can have a tougher time finding a drink that doesn’t lead to uncomfortable or potentially life-threatening symptoms. Particularly if you have a yeast intolerance or allergy, yeast is a primary ingredient in the production of these beverages.

Fermented Alcoholic Drinks

The problem for those with a yeast allergy is mostly with fermented drinks. All alcoholic beverages use yeast to help with the fermentation process. It’s used to turn the sugars into ethanol. No yeast, no alcohol.

There are a few options that those avoiding yeast can still drink on a night out though. But be warned, this is mostly anecdotal, and there is still more research needed.

Distilled Spirits – the Non-Allergenic Saviour

Because distilling a drink usually removes most yeast by-products from the liquid, the vast majority of them are considered yeast-free. The consensus is that the distillation process removes all but the most minute traces of yeast from these drinks.

Clear liquors such as Vodka and Gin are common choices for those avoiding yeast. They’re also considered the best options for avoiding a hangover because they’ve been refined. The refining often removes undesirable congeners which are also believed to contribute to hangovers. So, opting for a clear spirit could be a doubly wise choice for the yeast intolerant drinker. You could end up experiencing fewer side-effects of alcohol than those without any intolerances or allergies at all!

It’s not a Perfect Science – Yet

While the expectation is that distilled drinks shouldn’t be a problem for those with Yeast allergies, there has been very little research into it. If you are allergic to yeast, its best to discuss further allergy testing with your allergist or doctor before adding any of these drinks to your diet.

Allergen-Friendly Christmas Pudding Recipe – Weekend Treats

Christmas Pudding (It’s not too late!)

It’s not too late for you to bake your very own Christmas pudding before the big day! This allergen-friendly recipe is devoid of any nuts, gluten, soy and dairy, making it the perfect dessert for any family – whether you’ve got an allergy sufferer or someone with a food intolerance. The vast majority of people can enjoy this moist and boozy Christmas pudding.


  • 1 apple, grated (no need to peel it)
  • 1 tablespoon unwaxed orange zest (or substitute 1 teaspoon of orange extract)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice (or substitute a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml unsweetened almond milk (or another plant-based milk)
  • 150g gluten-free flour blend (substitute plain flour you don’t need gluten-free)
  • 150g ground walnuts (or substitute ground almonds)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure it’s gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 200g dried fruit, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons date syrup (you can substitute another sweetener)
  • 60g coconut oil (olive or vegetable oil will also do)
  • Generous amount brandy/sherry (use vegan/gluten-free if necessary. Or substitute with apple or orange juice)


  1. Place the orange zest, grated apple, dried fruit, cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice in a bowl. Then add a generous amount of brandy or sherry, until roughly everything covered.
  2. Keep the fruit covered in the fridge for around 24 hours, to allow the flavours time to develop.
  3. Place your coconut oil in a large bowl and melt it over a saucepan of boiling water, or in the microwave (skip this if you’re using an already liquid oil).
  4. Once melted, add the milk to the bowl of oil along with lemon juice, vanilla, salt and ground walnuts.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the mix.
  6. Add the dried fruit mixture, and add a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking a bit too dry.
  7. Next, grease a medium-sized deep glass bowl or pudding basin and transfer the pudding batter into it
  8. Place the bowl in a pan (one that’s bigger than the bowl) and fill it up with cold water to roughly halfway up the bowl.
  9. Then, cut out a circle of baking paper and place it directly on top of the pudding batter so that it’s completely covered.
  10. Use some foil to cover the top and fold it around the edges of the bowl.
  11. Then, place a lid on the pan and bring it to the boil.
  12. Then turn down the heat and cook on low for around 2 hours.
  13. Leave the cake to cool for a bit before continuing to take it out of the bowl.
  14. Carefully remove the foil and baking paper. Use a blunt knife around the edge of the bowl to help the pudding come away from the sides (this is much easier once the pudding’s cooled down).
  15. Now turn the bowl upside down on a plate and shake until the pudding pops out.
  16. Keep it covered in the fridge and serve either hot or cold. Both are lovely! The pudding should keep for a few days, but not much longer.

Lactose Intolerance at Christmas

Christmas is a whirlwind of presents, food, and drink. For many people, it is a non-stop conveyor belt of social events, family visits and car journeys. All the while you’re making the most of the “it’s Christmas” excuse to gorge on all of your favourite foods. For the general population, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re living with lactose intolerance, you have to think twice before letting loose.

There are so many foods that are entirely off-limits for those with lactose intolerance, here we take a look at a few which might make you more sympathetic to anyone you know living with this condition.

Mince Pies

It’s almost considered the best practice to always have a box of mince pies in the house ready for all visitors to have with a brew. When it comes to snacks at this time of year, it doesn’t get much more festive than the humble mince pie. However, for people living with lactose intolerance, a mince pie represents the potential for diarrhoea, bloating and headaches. The majority of pre-packaged mince pies contain butter which will trigger or aggravate symptoms of lactose intolerance. Fortunately, there are plenty of lactose-free recipes on the internet.

Irish Cream 

Brands such as Baileys have successfully established Irish cream drinks as a traditionally festive drink in recent years. Irish coffees are one of the most popular drinks at pubs and restaurants up and down the country at Christmas. Still, this incredibly tasty drink is yet another trigger food for people living with lactose intolerance. Baileys do offer a dairy-free option which is something to bear in mind for friends struggling with this condition.

Mashed Potatoes

Everyone has their own “secret” recipe for the best mashed potatoes ever. But, in truth, it often boils down to the addition of either butter or milk to make it creamy. While this makes for an incredibly rich, tasty mash, it is yet another example of one of the most popular Christmas foods being off-limits. When you’re preparing your amazing mashed potato, consider whether your recipe may be excluding someone from enjoying their Christmas dinner.


By this point, you’re probably wondering what on earth people with lactose intolerance get to eat. Well, it gets worse. Chocolate is loaded with dairy and, therefore, lactose. Chocolate is often the gift people turn to when they have exhausted all other ideas. So consider this when you’re buying that secret Santa selection box.

The Importance of Intolerance Testing 

For many people, they could be experiencing the symptoms of lactose intolerance and not identified that as the cause or they may be suffering from another food sensitivity. The good news is that you can diagnose your personal intolerances with a test from Lifelab Testing.