Let’s be honest – if you eat gluten free there might be a little anxiety going into Thanksgiving if you aren’t the host.
Will there be gluten free gravy?
What about pie? Am I really going to miss out on pie?
Should I sacrifice my stomach for a small helping of regular stuffing?
Believe me – I’ve had the same thoughts go through my head.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s just an easy day. Eat, drink, watch football, eat more and sleep.
For an astounding 27 years, my mother has been the Thanksgiving Diva. She had it down to a science. My sister and I would watch in awe as she maneuvered dishes in and out of the oven at record speed and with precise coordination.
I started eating gluten-free in January 2012. Last year was my first official “gluten free Thanksgiving” and, yes I must admit, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy all the perks on the biggest eating day of the year.
Thankfully my mom had also jumped on the gluten-free train for health benefits. To understand why someone that doesn’t have Celiac or a gluten-intolerance would cut wheat from their diet, I asked my mom to put it in her own words…
She told me, “I needed to change what I had been eating because of concern for blood sugar levels – as there is a family history of diabetes and I need to do what I can to avoid that. One of the biggest benefits I enjoyed, though, was a happier digestive system. I was not as bloated and uncomfortable after eating. This has increased even more when I decided to go dairy-free as well – which means less tummy rumbling and gas. I still have an occasional wheat item, but for the most part am trying to eat wheat-free, dairy-free and as sugar-free as possible.”
Last year, my mom had taught herself everything she needed to know about cooking and baking gluten free. She had prepared gluten-free stuffing for us, gravy, and best of all… APPLE PIE! My wonderful aunt also surprised me with gluten-free pumpkin bars. Yum!
I thought this fabulous holiday of eating might be over for me just because of my gluten intolerance, but if your family is as awesome as my own… they will want the day to be just as special for you too. Thanksgiving is all about love and family. You should be able to enjoy it too!
For your convenience as the host OR guest, I’ve collected a few ideas and tips for this holiday season. Please check out these recipes or tips and definitely let us know if you enjoyed them!
- Check your stuff. Some of your ingredients might contain wheat without you even realizing it. Broth, soy sauce, bouillon, gravy packets, anything with flour. Just double check it.
- Substitute traditional stuffing with gluten-free cornbread or muffins. You can even cube the cornbread and mix it with your stuffing ingredients.
- Discuss and plan with guests if necessary. As the thoughtful host you may want to check with your guest’s diet restrictions.
- Try using arrowroot, potato or brown rice flour as the gravy thickener. Start by adding only 1 tablespoon and add more if needed. Gluten-free flours can thicken quickly before you even realize it. A little goes a long way.
- Try to offer at least one gluten-free desert for your non-wheat guests. Thanksgiving is all about the turkey but really… it’s also about the pie!
- Apple Crisp: A great alternative to the traditional apple pie. This recipe will satisfy all of your guests. If you can’t find quinoa flakes – try finding gluten-free oats.
- Sweet Potato Pie: Well, confession… I’m not a baker and I’m not interested in learning. I leave all that fun holiday baking to my family. But here is a great wheat-free recipe for your sweet tooth.
- Easy Gluten-Free Pie Crust: It’s so easy that even I could do it. The recipe includes 4 ingredients – all you need to do is select your filling.
- Dinner Rolls: Yes, we often miss the taste of bread and rolls with dinner. Here is a quick recipe for fluffy and delicious dinner rolls.
- Stuffing: Why miss out on one of the best features of this holiday – the “carb salad”? Here is a simple gluten-free version.
- Hot Apple Cider with Rum: Did you know that most rum is made gluten free? Snuggle up with a tasty cup with hot apple cider. Make it with or without alcohol – you can also just add it to your own glass so that everyone can enjoy it.
- Crantini: The cranberry is typically only invited to the Thanksgiving table as a side dish. Why not make it a star with a simple Cranberry Martini? Add fresh cranberries or cranberry raisins for garnishment. Find gluten free vodka here.
- Pumpkin Martini: This sounds like a delicious after-dinner drink. Best of all, its naturally gluten free since it’s made with Tequila. Just be certain that your tequila brand is not made with wheat.
If all else fails – try using one of our gluten enzyme products.
From our family to yours – we wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!