Whether this is your first Thanksgiving, you’re preparing Thanksgiving for a gluten free friend or family member, or whether you’ve been eating gluten-free for a long time, below are some helpful tips to get you through the holiday, happy and healthy.
Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Tips (general)
(1) Make sure that you always have something to eat (protein, starch, veggies, fruits, snacks, ect...)
(2) Don't be afraid to help prepare the food you are eating (to ensure its safeness)
(3) Make sure your turkey is gluten-free and that it hasn't been basted in a gluten containing sauce
(4) Don't let anyone flour your turkey (this is sometimes done to increase the crispiness of the meat)
(5) Stuffing can be made with gluten free bread or cornbread, rice or potatoes. I like to add veggies, herbs and a little bit of chicken broth (I haven't found a gluten-free turkey broth option that I like).
(6) Use a prepared liquid or powdered gravy or make it from scratch. Learn how to make gravy from scratch at: http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2006/11/it-is-absurdly-easy-to-make-gluten.html
(7) If you haven't perfected your gluten-free dinner roll recipe, Thanksgiving is not the day to do this. Preparing rolls from scratch takes work and is not a skill learned over night. Easy options include: frozen cheese rolls, dinner roll flour mixes, sourdough rolls (frozen dough balls or prepared), garlic toast (served with italian spices and garlic).
(8) Desserts can be bought prepared (some come in individual size portions) or in easy to make kits. Pie crust mixes and prepared pie crusts are good starters, but it's okay to go away from the traditional (especially if you are new to gluten-free cooking). Other dessert options include: cookies, cupcakes, brownies, carrot cake, banana bread and pumpkin bread.
(9) Offer to make gluten free versions of your favorite dishes. If your host declines your offer, make small portions of your favorite dishes anyway and throw them in a lunch box and pack the lunch box on ice. Throw the lunch box in a car, backpack, bag or in the fridge. Think of it as a emergency back-up kit. You may need it and you may not, but better safe than sorry.
(10) Bring staple ingredients (mustard, gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce, applesauce, olive oil, fresh herbs, ect…). As a side note, at holiday dinners, applesauce may contain butter or brown sugar.
(11) BYOB Bring your own bread and dessert option. Talk to your host ahead of time if you want to try to match up your replacement bread and dessert with the items being served for dinner.
Tips for Keeping Thanksgiving Dinner Gluten-Free:
(1) Use a gluten-free kitchen or dedicate an area to preparing gluten-free products and if possible, make gluten-free dishes first (flour dust can sit in the air for approximately 24 to 48 hours)
(2) Use separate utensils for gluten-free dishes
(3) Avoid using cast iron skillets and wooden surfaces or utensils that have been used for cooking products that contain gluten
(4) Make sure that gluten-free hand soaps and lotions are used while preparing foods.
(5) Don’t be afraid to serve yourself first. This helps to prevent cross contamination, which often happens when serving spoons shuffle around on the buffet table.
(6) Lastly, don’t be afraid to say no to foods that are unfamiliar. Your body will love you for it later.
Wishing you and yours a fabulous, health filled weekend of Thankfulness!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!