How to Enjoy a Gluten-Free ThanksgivingLisanne Wellness Center
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends and reflect on the things we are grateful for. If one of those things is not gluten, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the festivities. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with celiac diseases or you simply feel better when you say no to gluten, you can still enjoy a classic Thanksgiving meal (with a few twists). Here’s how.
If you’re in charge of cooking:
Make a wild rice stuffing: You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to the same old Stovetop variety your parents made. Make a healthy, delicious, gluten-free stuffing using wild rice as the base. Make it meaty with mushrooms (or meat). Don’t forget to add the apples, pecans, and cranberries.
Opt for Roasted or Baked Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are filled with butter and milk. If you choose roasted potatoes instead, you can drizzle them with olive oil and some seasonings, and enjoy a delicious crunch. It’s gluten-free and healthier for everyone.
Prepare Roasted or Steamed Vegetables: Most of the side dishes at Thanksgiving are casseroles or vegetables with cream. From green bean casserole to sweet potatoes and marshmallows, there aren’t a lot of naturally gluten-free foods on the table, but that certainly is no reason to miss out on all the Fall produce! Roast some butternut squash or Brussel Sprouts with some salt and pepper.
Wow them with a dessert: Make a dairy-free pumpkin pie with coconut milk. You can either make a gluten-free crust or go crustless.
If you’re attending someone else’s dinner:
Call ahead: Make sure you call the host well ahead of time to let him or her know about your allergy or preference. Make sure to clearly communicate what you cannot eat.
Offer to bring a dish: Odds are high that you’ll be able to eat the main course at the dinner, so offer to bring a side dish that you’ll be able to eat. Bring something everyone will like, like roasted vegetables.
Tips to stay safe with Celiac Disease:
Serve Yourself First: It may feel pushy, but you need to protect yourself. Serve yourself first when you can be sure no utensils have been cross contaminated. Dish up on the foods you know are gluten-free.
Avoid cross-contamination: When you put gluten-containing food in the oven, make sure to cover it with parchment baking paper to prevent the risk of cross-contamination. Don’t forget to cover your own gluten-free food as well. Choose a parchment paper that is chlorine-free, to avoid toxins that can seep into your food.
Be Prepared for Sneaky Sources of Gluten: Some forms of gluten, like stuffing and rolls, are easy to avoid. But others, like soy sauce in a green bean casserole or a little flour in a soup. Always ask your host for the recipe to make sure you’re safe. At Lisanne Wellness Center we recommend Vitagenis Immune/Gluten Flam Kit. The Kit works synergistically with a gluten-free diet to minimize the negative effects of gluten exposure in individuals with gluten issues.
Protect Your Food Post-Dinner: Once you’ve eaten, quickly wrap up your gluten-free dish and place it, covered, in the refrigerator.
At the end of the day, it is possible to have a healthy, delicious, gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner. It just takes a little preparation. For more tips on staying gluten-free or need help creating a healthy menu plan this holiday season, call Lisanne Wellness Center at 713-461-WELL and schedule an appointment with our nutrition experts.