Not everyone can enjoy Thanksgiving favorites like stuffing and dessert—especially those who are gluten-intolerant. Photographs courtesy of Flickr users arfsb and whitneyinchicago
Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when it’s socially acceptable to eat yourself into a food coma. But for the more than 2 million people in the United States who suffer from Celiac disease, a lot of favorite dishes—such as stuffing, pumpkin pie, and even gravy—are off limits. Any food containing wheat, barley, or similar grains can leave gluten-intolerant people ill, and not just because of that third helping.
Gluties, we’ve got you covered. We turned to local nutritionist Cheryl Harris for tips on what to do this holiday if you are gluten-intolerant, plus recommendations for great gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes.
If you’re heading out of town for the holiday, Harris advises letting your host know your situation as soon as possible so he or she can adjust the menu. Suggest some gluten-free brands that are easy to find, or offer to bring one of the delicious gluten-free dishes below.
Three Turkey Recipes
Here’s the good news: The birds themselves are naturally gluten-free. The bad news? Most stuffing isn’t. Even if you don’t eat that, Harris says, the amount of gluten in the basting is probably enough to make someone with Celiac disease sick.
Almost all gravy from cans or packets contains gluten, Harris says. But gravy isn’t hard to make from scratch—and it tastes better, too. Harris recommends using gluten-free broth and cornstarch instead of wheat flour. This recipe from Gluten-Free Girl requires just four ingredients.
Celiac-Friendly Cornbread Stuffing
Stuffing is typically made with white bread, which is not only stripped of nutrients but is also extremely unfriendly to gluties. Blogger Gluten-Free Goddess offers a Celiac-friendly recipe for stuffing made with cornbread, curried apples, and cranberries. Bonus: It’s also suitable for vegans.
Nutritionist-Approved Cranberry Fruit Relish
Many varieties of canned cranberry relish are gluten-free, but always check the ingredients on the label to be safe. Or try Harris’s recipe, which also includes apples and pineapples.
Everyone's Favorite Green Bean Casserole
While the famous Campbell’s recipe is super simple, a lot of people don’t realize that ingredients like soy sauce—not to mention the essential fried onion topping—contain wheat. This recipe by Gluten-Free Mommy swaps regular flour for sweet rice flour; she’s also got a separate recipe for homemade fried onions.
Skipping gluten doesn’t have to mean skipping dessert. Harris recommends making a crustless pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Can’t live without the crust? Whole Foods carries ready-made gluten-free versions. Even better, opt for an easy homemade style, like the “cookie/granola” crust in this pecan pumpkin pie bar recipe from Ginger Lemon Girl.