HEALTH: Planning a gluten-free Thanksgiving
LIVING AGAINST THE GRAIN
Free Press Health Columnist
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the beginning of holiday feast time.
I love the holidays; they are my favorite time of the year. It means getting together with family and friends over meals. And spending more time with them and means all kinds of parties. I also love the food. It’s food that you don’t typically eat the rest of the year; but when eating gluten-free, it can also be a dangerous time of the year.
You may be thinking: “Yes, the stuffing/dressing is bread and the pie is a no-no but the rest should be good to go!” Not exactly and here is where the whole “hidden gluten” comes in. First, the bird. While the turkey alone is usually fine, many marinades (which can contain broths, soy sauce, etc.) have wheat in them. If you are going to someone’s house for the meal, I would ask how they are seasoning the bird or bring your own with you, to be safe. If making the meal at your home, just look for a bird with “gluten-free” on it. They do exist.
Stuffing and dressing are obviously not gluten-free so how do you deal with that? We have brought our own dressing, made from gluten-free bread, to our host’s homes. That way we can enjoy the bready goodness that is dressing. It’s my favorite part of the meal, honestly, so it’s one that I make sure to have whether it’s at home or someone else’s home.
The other tricky part of the meal is the gravy. I grew up with cornstarch thickening so it wasn’t a big deal when I went gluten-free but I know most people use flour as a thickening agent. Again, just ask your host what they are using and maybe offer to be the “gravy maker” so you can make sure that cornstarch is used and you can use the delicious gravy on your meal.
There is, obviously, more to the meal but these are mainstays and where gluten seems to be the most prevalent. If you can, volunteer to bring a salad, dessert or dressing so you know you have safe items. If you aren’t sure, or don’t want to chance any of the meal, bring your whole meal. You might get questions but use it as an educational opportunity and maybe next year the meal will have a whole different, gluten-free twist to it.
Angela Wetzel has celiac disease and is president of Gluten Free Grand Valley, a support group for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies. Contact her at email@example.com or visit Gluten Free Grand Valley on Facebook.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The Glenwood Springs City Council approved the annexation and rezoning of nearly 16 acres in West Glenwood for the proposed 480 Donegan project.