Managing a gluten-free diet is tough at the best of times. In even the most innocuous foods may lurk soy sauce (made with wheat) or mystery fillers in those fabulous eggs you ate at that cute brunch spot. Traveling to visit friends and family over Thanksgiving holiday presents an obstacle course for staying gluten-free.
Your best defense is to host Thanksgiving at your place, with you doing all the cooking yourself. Of course, delegate others to set the table and wash the dishes! Just because you want to eat right through the holidays, doesn’t mean you must become a martyr.
I love what Gluten-Free Girl says about living with gluten intolerance around the holidays. “I’ve had requests for gluten-free cinnamon rolls, mincemeat pie, stuffing, and gravy. Everyone, it seems, wants to eat exactly what he or she ate as a child — before the celiac diagnosis — and have it taste exactly the same.
The thing is, everyone, it will never taste the same. No matter how good your pumpkin pie recipe with a gluten-free crust, it will never taste like the pie you ate as a child. It could taste even better. But it won’t taste the same.
Early on in this gluten-free journey, I decided that longing for the same old foods with gluten-free ingredients was like longing for a boyfriend I had broken up with. It never works.”
Celiac.com offers some helpful advice for surviving the holiday:
- A gluten-free holiday dinner starts with a gluten-free turkey. Believe it or not some brands of turkey do contain additives that are not gluten-free—so, like everything else, read the ingredients and use Celiac.com’s Gluten-Free Ingredient Lists or Gluten-Free Shopping Guides to help you shop.
- Don’t risk gluten-based stuffing in your turkey. Instead, try this gluten-free stuffing recipe.
- Gravy is easy: Use a gluten-free gravy recipe. Remember, bouillon cubes can often be a source of hidden gluten in holiday meals so be sure to use gluten-free bouillon cubes. To thicken your homemade gravy you can use corn starch or arrowroot flour.
- Gluten-free holiday side dishes are easy: Browse Celiac.com’s extensive listing of gluten-free recipes to find side dishes that will impress anyone—celiac disease or not. (My own website, UnassumingFoodie.com also has several amazing Gluten-Free and Low-Glycemic dishes!)
- Order gluten-free baking ingredients and other hard-to-find items like prepared gluten-free pies ahead of time for convenience—this will allow you to spend more time with friends and family rather than spending all of your time in the kitchen! Many excellent prepared gluten-free products can now be ordered and delivered directly to your door from places like the Gluten-Free Mall..
For more info:
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