IT'S ALMOST HERE!!!! MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY!!!! THANKSGIVING!!!!!
I've bought my turkey, planned my meal, and am just two and half days from being on vacation! YAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, but it can be a bit tricky for the gluten-challenged. So to make things a easier for you, I've compiled a list of 10 tips for a successful gluten free Thanksgiving.
These are aimed at the gluten free crowd, but if you are hosting a gluten free guest, these are good things to keep in mind to make sure they are comfortable and able to eat.
1. Be the Cook. This isn't always possible, but I've found the best way to make sure you can eat all your favorite foods on gluten-filled holidays, is to be the one who plans and cooks the meal. It gives you control of over everything and you're guaranteed to not have a gluten attack because someone stuffed the turkey, used a turkey stock with gluten in it, or assumed all turkeys are gluten free. If you can't be the cook, give your host a call well in advance, explain your situation and offer to help plan/cook, or bring a few things you know you can eat.
2. Make Sure Your Turkey is Gluten Free. While turkey is naturally gluten free, humans do a lot of weird crap to their food, including seasoning with nonsense, injecting flavors, and pre-stuffing and therefore NOT ALL TURKEYS ARE GLUTEN FREE! Don't pay any attention to anyone who says otherwise, they don't know what they are talking about. You can always Google the brand of turkey you plan to buy, or call their customer service to see if it's gluten free. I prefer to buy only turkeys that are clearly labeled "Gluten Free".
3. Udi's. To easily make any traditional stuffing recipe gluten free, swap out traditional sandwich bread for Udi's Gluten Free Sandwich Bread. Also, beware of cornbread and cornbread stuffing. Most cornbread is not gluten free.
4. Get the butter first. Most people will cut open their rolls with their butter knife and then head for the butter dish, glutenizing the butter. Either seat yourself next to the butter, put some on your plate before dishes get past around, or if you forget, cut a pad of butter from the back of the stick. If you are using whipped butter or a tub of butter, I am so sorry, people are gluten monsters.
5. Cookie Crusts. Sadly, what makes pie crusts so flaky is the gluten and I have yet to find a truly perfect gluten free pie crust. What you can do, if you don't feel like experimenting, is crush up any store-bought gluten free cookies and make a crust. I like to crush up gluten free ginger snaps and use them as crust for pumpkin pie. It jazzes up an old standard and always gets lots of compliments.
6. Rice Flour for Your Roux. Going without gravy is bogus. So don't! Just swap out wheat flour for rice flour when making your roux. It works exactly the same, you'll just need to make sure to get your grease really really hot before making your roux or your gravy will be clumpy (you have to do this with wheat flour as well, but it's particularly important when using rice flour).
7. Be Kind to Your Tummy. If you have Celiac Disease or are gluten intolerant, chances are, your digestive system isn't top notch and you'll need to remember to be kind. Get plenty of greens in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, start the morning with a green juice or smoothie, and remember not to overdo it on everything. It's a holiday and indulgence is expected, but it will help if you decide what is most important to you and take it easy on everything else. If you want to eat six kinds of pie, take it easy on dinner and booze; if you want to drink from dawn till dusk, don't eat six kinds of pie. Whatever you do, take care not to overload your digestive system. Just trust me on this.
8. Make sure to get some greens on the day as well. Thanksgiving is a carb-heavy, sugar-heavy day. Both those things can really lock up your digestive system. Getting some greens involved will really help to keep you from feeling like a carbed-out mess. My Warm Wilted Greens Salad would be a fantastic addition to any Thanksgiving table and it will help to keep things moving in your intestines.
9. Probiotics. Taking probiotics will give your digestive system a boost to deal with all the extra food and sugars. Chances are you have a favorite brand, but if not, these are awesome.
10. Remember What the Day is About. You might not be able to eat everything and that might be disappointing. But what the day is really about is taking a pause from the rat race and the chaos of modern life and remembering to be thankful for the good things in your life, even if they are hard to see sometimes.
I'd love to hear from my gluten free folks about what tips you have for enjoying a gluten free Thanksgiving and get some links to your favorite recipes! Leave them in the comments below or tag me on Instagram and Twitter (@thebkmg). Or, if your hosting a gluten free person and heave questions, ask away! Also, make sure to share what you're thankful for!
P.S. I'm so thankful to everyone who reads this blog. I can't believe there are as many of you as there are and I'm thankful you keep coming back for my rambling writings and nonsense.