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5 Essential Tips for Your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

turkey

Whether it’s our first or 31st Thanksgiving living gluten-free, there is always something more to learn. With these 5 Essential Tips for Your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, this year’s feast will be simply delicious!

5 Essential Tips for Your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

1. Plan ahead.

A little prep goes a long way when it comes to making the holiday meal come together effortlessly. Try incorporating a prep task into your normal dinner routine to keep kitchen cleanup to a minimum. For example, while the oven is hot baking bread, wrap a few sweet potatoes in foil and bake them at the same time. You can do this up to 1 week ahead and you’ll have the main ingredient already cooked when it’s time to make Sweet Potato Casserole. You can also boil eggs up to 3 days ahead (for your Avocado Deviled Eggs, of course!) and pre-bake your Gluten-Free Cornbread and freeze up to 1 month in advance for that fabulous Gluten-Free Cornbread Pan Dressing/Stuffing.

2.  Let’s talk turkey.

If you buy a fresh turkey, purchase it no more than two days prior to cooking for optimal freshness. If you buy a frozen turkey, be sure to leave enough time to thaw the turkey properly. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends using one of two methods:

Refrigerator Thawing: Place wrapped frozen turkey in a pan to catch any leaks, then place in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for each 4-5 pounds of turkey you need to thaw. For example, a 20-pound bird requires approximately 4 days to thaw in the fridge.

If you have a 20-pound turkey in your freezer, you may need to resort to the other method recommended.

Cold Water Thawing: Fill your clean kitchen sink with cold water. Submerge the wrapped turkey. Drain and refill sink every 30 minutes. For a 20-pound turkey, this will take 8-10 hours. Adjust time up or down, depending on the size of your bird.

3. Gluten-Free Gravy.

Gluten-free gravy is no more difficult to make than the gluten-laden version. Use your family’s “tried and true” gravy recipe and substitute gluten-free flour or starch where traditional flour is used. When selecting gluten-free flour for your gravy, keep in mind flour like brown rice flour yields opaque gravy and requires a few minutes cooking time to thicken and cook out the flour taste.

A starch like cornstarch will yield a less opaque sauce-like gravy and requires less cooking time to release its thickening qualities. Various starches have different properties, so be sure to test in advance if you’re using a new starch or flour.

4. Stuffing (or Pan Dressing). 

For some, this is the star of the show. It can be difficult, though, on a gluten-free diet since the dish is mainly bread. For cornbread dressing, my Gluten Free Cornbread recipe has saved many a Thanksgiving meal for readers. For dressing or stuffing without cornbread, make white bread-style dinner rolls.

5. Side Dishes.

If you’re fresh out of ideas or simply want to try something different (and healthy!) this year, consider serving a heaping bowl of roasted vegetables as a side dish.

Simply roasting veggies may seem like too little work to some of us for such a special holiday, but the truth is, for vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, parsnips and even whole fresh green beans, roasting brings out a wonderful flavor and sweetness we cannot achieve any other way.

It’s so simple to do! Cut veggies into uniform size pieces, drizzle in a little olive oil (about 1 teaspoon per 2 cups veggies), sprinkle with coarse salt and toss in your herb of choice (I love rosemary on roasted veggies!). Place veggies in an even layer on a baking pan and roast at 400F until tender and caramel colored on the outside.

Now, take these 5 Essential Tips for Your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, add them to your own handy shortcuts and holiday know-how and you’re off to a smashing start for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving everyone will enjoy!

About Gigi Stewart

After more than 25 years of living with unexplained chronic pain and a frightening array of misdiagnoses ranging from lupus to leukemia, I took my health into my own hands by seeking real, fact-based answers to heal my body naturally. Through my academic research, scientific studies and my personal experiences, I gained a unique understanding of how properly managing diet directly impacts our overall health and wellness. It is my passion to share this information with you because I know many of you are facing health challenges similar to those I overcame through proper diet and nutrition. My goal is to support your journey to optimal health with real answers, advice and tips that work.

View all posts by Gigi Stewart →

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  • Peggy Schulz: Hello, I am trying to find a doctor or dermatologist in Oregon (preferably Medford area) that specializes in DH/Celiac. After going to 5 docs over a couple years, all think I have eczema and even athlete foot or food allergy, spent over $3000 out of pocket for allergy tests etc., I figured out what I have via google! Oh did I tell you I always told my doctors I have celiac. And I always said I have a feeling it an internal issue, not an allergy. And always told them the itch is not normal, it itches to the bone! Not one ever mentioned DH! Apparently I am getting cross contamination, so now staying home for every meal, not eating out, even at friends homes. I would sure like a doctor who 'get's it'! Thank you for this site! View Post