How to: Safe Gluten Free Thanksgiving
For many with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, eating outside the safety of our own home is scary. The repercussions of being "glutened" outweigh even the best of intentions from family and friends.
We’ve put together some tips to help keep yourself safe during the holiday or to prepare a safe meal for your gluten free guests.
One of the easiest places that gluten protein hides is in the cuts of a cutting board. It is nearly impossible to remove gluten from a contaminated wood or plastic board. Consider purchasing a new cutting board and only use that one to cut the turkey or gluten free breads.
Additionally, cut down on the possibility of cross contamination by preparing gluten-free food in an entirely different are of the kitchen, using clean utensils, and washing your hands often. Washing hands is especially crucial after cooking with flour.
Thickening for Gravy, Soups, Dips and Sauces.
Traditional recipes often call for a small amount of flour to thicken soups and gravy to a desired consistency.
We suggest the below recipe, as it's easy to follow and the ingredients are relatively easy to find. As an added bonus, it’s also paleo.
-1 thinly sliced white onion per serving desired.
-If cooking meat (turkey, roast, etc,) lay the onion slices down on the bottom of the pan and put the meat on top before cooking as usual.
-If vegetarian gravy is desired, gently simmer sliced onions in about 1/8 cup of veggie broth per onion for 2-4 hours. Add extra broth if the onions start to get dry.
When the meat or the simmering is done, place the onions and the meat drippings or the veggie broth in a blender and blend until smooth (an immersion blender can also work well). If too thick, add extra broth, if too thin, cook on the stove top on medium-high until desired consistency is reached, stirring frequently.
If you like, you can flavor with garlic, salt and pepper, herbs de provence, or other herbs of your choice.
You can also use cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato starch or arrowroot starch as a safe thickening agent if you opt for a different recipe.
Navigating the Holiday Buffet
You’ll want to avoid anything with a crust when navigating the holiday buffet. This includes any sort of quiche, puff pastry, breading, or stuffing (unless you are certain it was prepared with gluten free bread.)
Turkey, salami, and other cold cuts look innocent, but are often formed using gluten as a binder. It’s best to steer clear of them to be safe, or do some research on safe brands beforehand and ask your host to clarify which brands they are serving before helping yourself.
Condiments are also something to be wary of. Always read labels! Many condiments use gluten of some kind, so be sure to double-check the labels before adding them to your meal.
Lastly, (and sadly) the dessert table is where gluten absolutely THRIVES.
Desserts are primarily made with wheat-based flour, so you are at an incredibly high risk, even if you trust the host. Cross-contamination is all too possible and can bring your holiday to a swift and unpleasant conclusion.
The best idea is to bring your own dessert to enjoy worry-free.
You can allow us to take the worry off your plate and replace it with pie!
We are pleased to offer Thanksgiving Day Packages or individual pies, dinner rolls, and stuffing cubes for a delicious, anxiety-free holiday!
Just mosey on over to our Shop page and it’ll be our little secret. ;)
What can family and friends do to help you feel safe at the holiday dinner table? Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite tips and tricks, or how you prepare gluten free for your guests. We’d love to hear from you!