A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving menu planning can be challenging when you have celiac disease or a gluten-related disorder.
Luckily, it’s easy to prep a gluten-free meal with a little bit of advance planning. We have teamed up with Promise Gluten Free to bring some you great recipes and simple tips to help you plan a feast that is celiac-safe and delicious. We are also are running a fantastic competition for you to win some delicious goodies so make sure to scroll down to find out more.
Guide to Staying Safe
Go for a fresh turkey whenever possible. Pre-stuffed turkey’s will be contaminated making them unsafe to eat if you are celiac or have a gluten disorder. Some frozen turkey’s are injected with broth to make them juicy, these should also be avoided unless you are certain the broth is gluten free.
Stuffing and Dressing
Stuffing the turkey with gluten-containing bread will contaminate the turkey itself making it unsafe to eat if you are celiac or have a gluten disorder. Instead, make your stuffing using gluten-free bread or in a separate dish to ensure no cross-contamination occurs.
Don’t forget to use seasoning that does not have any gluten-containing ingredients.
Make sure you have a separate butter dish for gluten-free items.
Regular turkey/chicken gravy mix often contains wheat. Look for a mix that has a gluten-free claim. Making your own? Use cornstarch or gluten-free flour to thicken it instead of regular flour.
If you’re wondering what alcohol is safe to sip, here are some tips to ensure your festive drink(s) are safe.
Safe: distilled alcohols, gluten-free beer and wine.
Maybe safe: pre-mixed drinks.
Not safe: regular and gluten-reduced beers, and malt-based beverages. When in doubt – always read the label.
Navigating Family and Friends
We’ve all been there. A family member or friend, out of love is trying to be inclusive but is not aware of the severity of celiac disease. Here’s a few ways to navigate these social situations:
Be honest and explain how there are many hidden sources of gluten and how they could negatively impact you. Your response could be: “Thank you so much, but I’m going to pass because I’m not sure of all the ingredients that were used, and the slightest bit of gluten can make me very sick.”
Avoid and redirect. Simply thank them for the offer and say you are full.
You could say:
“The food looks great but I am so full! Thank you so much.”
“I already have so much delicious food on my plate but thank you!”
Prepare in Advance
This Thanksgiving, remove the anxiety and uncertainty, by taking control and doing some preparation in advance of the weekend. Follow these four tips to empower yourself and have a more confident, stress-free Thanksgiving!
- Offer to bring your own dish to share. This way, you know for certain that there is at least one safe gluten-free option that you trust.
- Get involved in preparations. By being involved, you are more likely to be aware of the ingredients and products being used by the host. You may even offer to cook some of the dishes to help.
- Call and speak to the host ahead of time. When speaking to the host, you can ask questions in regard to how the food is prepared, as well as educate them on separate utensils and cutting boards, depending on what’s being prepared.
- Be the first person to get served. Speak to the host and ask to be served first. You can even wrap your food well in advance and place it in the fridge until dinner is ready. This will help prevent cross contamination and put your anxiety at ease.
Promise Gluten Free and Celiac Canada are giving a prize pack for you to enjoy. Simply tell us your favourite fall activity, recipe, family tradition, or what your thankful for. Share with #celiacthanksgiving and be entered to win!
Donate to Your Local Foodbank
This Thanksgiving, pay it forward. Print out our gluten-free logo and attach it to your food bank donation. So many families are currently in need of gluten-free food.