It takes a little planning ahead to guarantee a great Thanksgiving. In many ways, it’s easier if you’re hosting, because you know what you can and can’t have. Most people hate to impose on their hosts, but it’s easier on you AND your host to ask beforehand than sit through a four-hour meal and watch others eat. Remember, nothing is more important that staying safe!
Though it’s always good to check, the good news is that all plain fresh turkey is naturally gluten-free–again, that’s ALL plain, fresh, turkeys. So you do have to look out for stuffed turkeys or self-basting turkeys, and gravy packets, but plain turkeys are naturally gluten-free. Obviously this is fantastic news. Again, that’s ALL plain unstuffed gluten-free turkeys. The only exception Tofurky, which has gluten. Also, some glazed hams DO contain gluten. As always, read carefully! I have a gluten-free turkey list updated in 2013, with has manufacturer contact info.
If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving at your house, talk to your host as soon as you can. You’ll need to talk about:
* Broth used for basting
* Stuffing in the turkey
* Cross contamination
Almost all regular canned gravy and gravy packets are not gluten-free. Gluten-free gravy is available online, and Trader Joe’s sells some now. Also, it’s pretty easy to make a simple gravy with gluten-free broth and cornstarch instead of wheat (and if corn is a problem for you, arrowroot can be substituted 1:1 instead).
There are lots of good options here. Green bean casserole (or get creative–we do roasted green beans), baked yams, cranberry relish, gelatin salads, butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, applesauce…all of these things are easy to adapt to food restrictions, and they’re healthy and delicious to boot.
Here are some ideas to get you going:
This is obviously more of a challenge. You can go the nontraditional route and do a wild rice, buckwheat or quinoa stuffing. You could use a gluten-free cornbread or pre-made bread crumbs.
For many people (myself included!) dessert is the highlight of the Thanksgiving route. If you’d like to use your standard recipes, you can easily make a crustless pumpkin or sweet potato pie or check out Whole Foods’ crusts. Or, you can easily make a crust from crushed up cookies, shredded coconut or almond meal. Apple crisps are also simple, too. And, of course, now with the new GF Betty Crocker mixes, a cake or brownies are pretty simple, even if they’re not traditional.
Sweet Potato Pie (vegan), pictured right here—>
T Day Recipes:
It’s dangerous when someone asks about food while I’m hungry. When I was asked for Thanksgiving favorites, of course I started thinking (and drooling) about all the wonderful things that would make for an absolutely amazing gluten-free feast! Here are a bunch from some of my favorite GF bloggers.
- Shirley of GFE has quite the roundup of Thanksgiving recipes, both her own and others around the web
- Gluten-free Goddess updates her roundup every year
- Elana’s Pantry has a big Thanksgiving Roundup
- Gluten free Girl has an amazing roundup of recipes
- Jules has a great guide and checklist
- Gluten Free Homemaker’s roundup
- Celiac Family has a Thanksgiving Roundup from a variety of bloggers
- Simply Gluten and Sugar Free Healthy Holiday
- Celiac Princess
- A list of 40 Thanksgiving recipes
- a older roundup from a variety of bloggers
- I’m excited about an upcoming (free) conference, the Gluten Summit. There are some pretty amazing speakers, including Alessio Fasano, MD, (who needs no introduction!) Marios Hadjivassiliou, MD, who has authored the most pioneering work on gluten ataxia, Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, who authored the fantastic book “Real Life with Celiac Disease“, and many others. It should be very interesting, and a wide range of perspectives. There’s more info on this live webinar here.
As always, wishing you and yours a joyful, peaceful and yummy holiday season.
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here, email or call 571-271-8742.