Tired of the heavy sides and mundane main dishes at your Thanksgiving table? Well, I’ve got some fun, fresh n’ healthy tips to keep your dining experience as pleasureful and worry-free as possible…
What scares you most about enjoying Thanksgiving gluten-free? Is it the contamination? The stuffing? The lack of taste?
We’ve all got our ‘scaredy pants’ on during the holidays…worries there may be a trace of gluten or soy or dairy in a beverage, dessert, main dish, side or condiment…
No matter what worries you the most, be sure to always check the ingredients on the labels and stick to ‘fresh, clean’ foods made from Mother Earth…
Here are a few tips n’ swaps for you to test out on your Turkey table…
Steer Clear of Canned Gravy
- Instead use the drippings from your freshly roasted turkey. I don’t like to take a chance on ‘processed’ foods, when you can simply get creative and combine your fresh drippings with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of oregano and black pepper.
Swap Out the Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Who doesn’t love pure, organic canned pumpkin? I know I sure do…use pure pumpkin instead of the pie filling to nix the added sugars.. the real stuff is best when you use it with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice. You won’t be sacrificing the flavor and you’ll reap the healthy vitamins from the pure pumpkin, too!
Jarred Cranberry Sauce
- Create your very own chutney using fresh cranberries, apples, pears, stevia and ginger. The taste will surely beat that of anything inside a jar…so, go ahead turn on that stove top and whip up your very own cranberry sauce or chutney to serve atop your turkey and roasted veggies. You can even use this chutney to top your desserts, as well.
Heavy Whipped Topping
- Instead, try whipping a mixture of Greek yogurt with gluten-free vanilla extract, stevia on medium-high speed with a mixer until stiff peeks form. This will create a beautiful whipped topping without the additives or preservatives in bottles whipped toppings and processed heavy creams.
Boxed Mashed Potatoes
- Break out the creativity at your farmer’s market or produce stand. Try mashed beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips…I could go on forever…these natural root veggies add the perfect touch of sweetness without the starchy additives, sugars and preservatives. Serve these mashed veggies with the above chutney and whipped topping for a special decadent treat.
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Here are a few Gluten-Free dishes you can easily serve up for your Turkey Table…
Chilled Cranberry Macadamia Crunch
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3 large pears, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 12 dates, chopped
- 3 large Honey crisp apples, cored and chopped
- 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. stevia
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tsp. freshly graded lime zest
- Pinch of all-spice
- Pinch of chili powder
- Topping: Greek plain yogurt
- Topping: Ground flax seeds
- In a food processor, combine cranberries, pears, dried cherries, dried apricots, basil, dates, apples and macadamia nuts; pulse until minced.
- Transfer to a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Gently toss to combine.
- Place into the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
- Serve chilled with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt and a sprinkle of ground flax seeds.
Gluten-Free Golden Stuffin’ Muffins
- 1 ripe avocado, very finely mashed
- 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 12 pieces gluten-free bread, roughly chopped into 1/2 inch cube-like pieces
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a muffin tin with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium sized pot over medium heat, cook avocado, sweet potatoes and vegetable broth; approximately 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine gluten-free bread, raisins, mushrooms, rosemary, egg, vinegar, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper; gently toss to combine. Add warm avocado mixture and mix well.
- Transfer mixture to prepared muffin tins. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven; set aside to cool before removing.
- Serve warm.
Gluten-Free Cherry Chia Cornbread Pudding
- 1 ripe avocado, finely mashed
- 2 cups grilled corn kernels
- 1 1/2 cups rice milk
- 1 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1 tsp. sage
- 1 tsp. lemon peel
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- Optional Topping: Greek plain yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse avocado and grilled corn for 15-20 seconds. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.
- Transfer mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with fresh cranberry sauce and a dollop of Greek plain yogurt.