It’s Thanksgiving and we have a great deal to be thankful for.
While it may seem like a small thing, to those of us with Celiac disease and gluten-free, having great gluten-free options for holidays is a BIG think to be thankful for. There are so many great tasting gluten-free foods available that you can make a gluten-free holiday meal that everyone can enjoy (and others won’t even realize they are eating gluten-free!). For the purpose of this article, I’ll be posting my favorite gluten-free products to help make your Thanksgiving with all the comforts that the food of the season offers. First, here are a few disclaimers before we get started:
- I am not addressing gluten-free food preparation consideration and cross-contamination prevention in this post.
- I am sharing a list of my favorite gluten-free products and what I use personally for my culinary pleasures. I have not been compensated by any of these companies for inclusion here.
- Lastly, I have purchased the majority of these items on Amazon with Prime shipping, at Wal-Mart, and Target. I support local health food stores when I can as they have a great selection of products and support the needs of our autoimmune disease.
Whew. With that out of the way, let’s dig in!
Bread Dressing or Stuffing
Oh delicious, carbo-licious dressing. This is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. I’ve tried so many gluten-free breads over the years and these are my current favorites. They taste most like regular bread and toast really well. Just replace the standard white bread in your recipe with these options. These are great options for those post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches! Sam’s Choice is available at Wal-Mart in the bread aisle. I’ve purchased Canyon Bakehouse at Wal-Mart, Target, and other markets.
- Sam’s Choice Gluten-Free Bread – Classic White: $5.50
- Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Bread – Mountain White: $5 to $6
Casseroles with “Canned Condensed Soup”
So my family makes this fantastic hashbrown casserole that rivals Cracker Barrel’s any day. It’s a holiday breakfast staple, and it has the classic cream of mushroom soup as an ingredient. Cream of chicken soup is also a standard holiday staple for sauces and other casseroles. I am so glad to have found these Pacific Foods gluten-free condensed cream soup options so that I can still have those comfort casseroles! Check the website for purchase locations in your area. I get it at local health food stores, Publix, Lowes Foods, and Harris Teeter. I also recommend Pacific’s stock and broth options for sauces and casseroles.
- Pacific Foods Organic Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup: $2.50 – $3
- Pacific Foods Organic Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup: $2.50 – $3
- Pacific Foods Broth and Stocks: Prices vary
Macaroni and Cheese
My favorite dish at the holidays is my late grandma’s mac and cheese. It was perfectly crisp on top and creamy cheesy in the middle. Always cooked in that classic white Corningware dish the blue flowers. Remember those dishes? So what’s the best gluten-free noodle? Hands down my favorite is any rice pasta by Tinkyada. I’ve served it to so many non-gluten-free guests and they have never known. Shells are my favorite for the holidays but they also make elbows and lots of other options. You can get Tinkyada at your local health food store, in the gluten-free section at Wal-Mart and other grocery stores.
Baking Staples for Gravy, Cookies, and Breads
My son’s favorite part of turkey is the gravy. So gravy is a must. I prefer to make my own gravy and I use gluten-free cornstarch for thickening in place of the regular ingredient in the recipe. If you want an instant gravy packet, McCormick makes a gluten-free option available at most grocery stores and Wal-Mart. I’ve even found it at Aldi.
My go-to gluten-free flour for cooking and baking is Cup4Cup. If I’m cooking with gluten-free flour for traditional taste, I use only this brand. You can get it locally at Target and on Amazon. I use it for our banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and our traditional family carrot cookies and you’d never know this flour is gluten-free.
I really, really love this flour. The Cup4Cup brand was created by the chefs at Thomas Keller’s restaurant, The French Laundry. As described by the www.Cup4Cup.com, this flour is “the first 1:1 gluten-free flour that eliminated complicated conversions and delivered on taste, texture and performance. Just as its name suggests, Cup4Cup replaces traditional all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in any recipe, cup-for-cup and gram-for-gram…”.
Don’t forget the gluten-free baking powder and baking soda! While many of those time-tested brands may be tested gluten-free, I prefer to be safe-than-sorry and go with Bob’s Red Mill options.
So…pie crust can be tricky. As we are looking products and mixes, today I’m recommending the best option for a mix – hands down it is Cup4Cup Pie Crust Mix. I order it from Amazon with Prime shipping. If you don’t have time to order or can’t find Cup4Cup at your store, the next best option that you can pick up at the local market is Bob’s Red Mill. This will make a great pumpkin pie crust for the traditional dessert.
So I think we covered it, right? Gravy, pie crust, cakes, casserole sauces, macaroni, dressing…wait! The turkey!
As a rule, self-basting meats are not gluten-free. Be sure to look for “Gluten-Free” on your turkey. We get a natural Butterball Turkey and it is clearly marked gluten-free on the packaging. The www.butterball.com website notes that all of their turkeys and their gravy-packets are gluten-free (the gravy is made with rice flour).
Okay. Make Your Shopping Lists!
So there you have it. These are my favorite picks for gluten-free goodness on Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday full of love and gratitude!