How to Have a Gluten Free Thanksgiving
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How to Have a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Learn how to avoid common gluten mistakes at Thanksgiving. Understand how to spot gluten in common Thanksgiving foods. Have a gluten free Thanksgiving meal that is delicious and safe.

Major holidays like Thanksgiving can be a fun, relaxing, enjoyable time full of good friends, good family, and good food.  For people with gluten intolerance, such as those with Celiac disease, Thanksgiving can be a difficult challenge.  Understanding how to make a gluten free Thanksgiving dinner is critical if you are serving guests with gluten intolerance.  Simple mistakes, such as feeding a guest turkey meat from a turkey stuffed with gluten-based dressing, can wreak havoc on a Celiac patient's digestive tract.  Follow these basic steps to have a gluten free Thanksgiving that everyone can enjoy.

1. Plan ahead.  Map out your entire meal.  Pull out recipe cards, think through the food you plan to buy from caterers or grocery stores, and make a detailed picture of all foods that will be present at the (hoped for) gluten free Thanksgiving meal.

2. Call guests with gluten intolerance and go over every dish.  Ask for suggestions for gluten free ingredients.  For instance, there may be a specific brand of spices that is safe, while the spice jar in your cupboard is from a brand with gluten.  Audit everything you plan to serve to make substitutions and guarantee a gluten free Thanksgiving.

3. Shop for substitutions.  Now that you know where the hidden gluten is, you can strip it out.  In most cases, having a gluten free Thanksgiving doesn't mean giving up favorite dishes.  You simply need to make minor modifications.

4. Buy safe bread options.  You can't serve traditional stuffing baked in your turkey to someone with gluten intolerance.  You can find GF stuffing, however, and GF rolls, pie crusts, and cakes.  Use an Internet search engine to find "gluten free bakery [your state]" to find these options for a gluten free Thanksgiving.

5. Make two of some dishes.  Is your homemade, gluten-filled stuffing popular for everyone else?  Then go ahead and make it.  Just be sure to make a safe options so that your guest with gluten intolerance can have a gluten free Thanksgiving.  Everyone should be able to enjoy themselves in a safe, delicious way.

6. Stick to basics.  The green beans don't need to have fried onions on top, which contain gluten.  You can serve the fried onions in a dish on the side, for those who wish to pour them on their green beans.  The mashed potatoes don't need to have gluten-flour-based gravy poured on them in advance.  Serve the gravy on the side (and make a gravy with rice flour if possible for your gluten free Thanksgiving).

These suggestions can help you to achieve a gluten free Thanksgiving.  The most important factor, though, is attitude and respect.  You must respect the needs of gluten intolerant guests.  Their condition isn't a choice.  It's a medical issue.  Don't ever guess, or assume that an ingredient is gluten free--ask.  A certain spice, or soy sauce, or frosting may have hidden gluten, and ruin the gluten free Thanksgiving your guest would otherwise enjoy.

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Comments (1)

I would also recommend making your own turkey gravy. It is very easy to do with cornstarch. Also, a good hostess may want to try some Betty Crocker GF desserts. They are super easy to make and GF guests will devour those desserts in a heart beat.