Thanksgiving is one particular holiday where there is always plenty of food on the table. However, hosts may find themselves stumped when preparing a “gluten-free” Thanksgiving dinner. What should be avoided? How can families create a meal that everyone will be able to enjoy? The following tips can help you to identify small changes that can be made to ensure Thanksgiving staples remain delicious and most importantly, safe.
· THE TURKEY– Turkeys don’t have any bread or pasta in them but not all turkeys are created equal. Some turkeys are injected with flavorings/preservatives containing gluten so make sure to read the label or contact the company in advance.
· THE GRAVY– Make the gravy from turkey drippings using corn starch or gluten-free flour as the thickener.
· THE STUFFING– The core ingredient in stuffing is dried bread, so this will need some gluten free modifications. Purchase a gluten-free mix and/or visit your local gluten free bakery. Check for gluten in the stuffing’s sausage and get gluten-free turkey stock: Kitchen Basic Gluten Free Turkey Stock is available at Jewel stores.
· THE CRANBERRY SAUCE– Instead of using a sugar-filled, preservative-full fruit sauce that comes from a can, make homemade raw cranberry sauce to ensure no contaminants!
· THE SIDES– The more fresh, colorful veggies the better! A green bean casserole contains soup (not gluten-free) and onion toppings. To make gluten-free, substitute crumbled “funions” for the onion topping, and purchase a gluten-free soup from a local food store. If serving bread/rolls, gluten-free options are available at practically any store.
· THE PUMPKIN PIE– Pie crust is not gluten-free, so modifications are necessary. Use crumbled gluten-free graham crackers (or gluten-free gingerbread cookies) as a substitute in a pie crust recipe. Or, pre-made gluten-free pie crusts are available at Whole Foods.
Look out for ingredients that could have been processed in a plant containing wheat and remember to read all labels carefully.
Special thanks to Dr. Kristen Bobik, founder of Balance Chiropractic and Wellness Practitioners, for providing me with these tips so that I could share them with my blog readers.