A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Please see below for info on a GF Thanksgiving, a list of GF turkeys, an upcoming gluten free and healthy class, and more!

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! Here’s a list of 40 recipes and round ups for GF Thanksgiving recipes from around the web.

Also, here’s a run down of the usual foods, and what you need to plan for:


Though it’s always good to check, the good news is that all plain fresh turkey is naturally gluten free. However, self-basting turkeys usually contain gluten. Most gravy packets are a problem, too. Here’s my turkey list with information on many brands of turkey, plus other common Thanksgiving main meals.

If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving at your house, talk to your host as soon as you can. If they haven’t already bought a turkey, they may be open to buying a different brand. In addition to the brand of turkey, you’ll need to talk about:

* Broth used for basting

* Seasonings

* Stuffing in the turkey

* Cross contamination

* Stuffing

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 GF cornbread or premade bread crumbs.


Almost all canned gravy and gravy packets are not GF. However, it’s pretty easy to make a simple gravy with GF broth and cornstarch instead of wheat (and if corn is a problem for you, arrowroot can be substituted 1:1 instead). See this link for recipes

Stop the presses! Some Butterball gravy packets are now GF.  Read labels carefully!

Side dishes

There are lots of good options here. Green bean casserole, 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.


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, 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.


GF and Healthy:
November 14th, 2009


We’ll talk about:

  • Different gluten free whole grains and flours and how to use them
  • Many GF ways to get fiber
  • Easy ways to make meals and baked goods healthier
  • Ways to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need
  • and much more!


This class is 2 hours and we will be making a delicious quinoa dish

The cost is $25 per person or two for $40.*

*if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), I can provide you with a receipt for the class, which you can submit for reimbursement as a health expense.

Workshops taught by Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian& Nutritionist. There will be tasty goodies and samples! PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Class limit is 12. Groups are kept small to provide a better space for learning and asking questions.

If you would prefer to pay by check, please call Cheryl to reserve your spot. Questions about the classes, the sign up process, please email Cheryl@harriswholehealth.com or call 571-271-8742.

Got FSA?

If you have a  flexible spending account (FSA) this is a great time to check in on your diet!  FSA funds can be used to cover the services of an RD (Registered Dietitian).

DC Celiacs meeting:

Nov 14th, 2-4 pm

One last thought: we sometimes get so busy during the holiday season that it’s easy to forget that the point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for friends, family, and the many gifts in our lives. Happy and healthy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours!

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, chronic illness, or if you just want to improve your diet, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, click here or call 571-271-8742.