Thanksgiving Foods that Might Contain Gluten
Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am
Thanksgiving dinner can be a scary time for people who have food allergies. It is a holiday where the main focus is a big dinner. One way to be completely safe from food allergens is to opt-out entirely. Since this is not possible for everyone, the other option is to try and avoid the foods that might contain gluten. Here are some tips on what to watch out for.
Which Thanksgiving Foods Have Gluten?
It is best to just assume that the dinner rolls, bread, and breadsticks served at Thanksgiving dinner will contain gluten. Typically, people buy the pre-packaged rolls that can be quickly heated in the oven. None of those are gluten-free.
This is one that many people do not realize contains gluten. Gravy is thickened with wheat. Pour it on a food that is gluten-free, and that food becomes inedible for those with celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or an allergy to wheat.
Fresh, plain, turkeys might be safe for those who need to avoid gluten. The trouble arises when broth, spices, or other ingredients are added to the turkey. Some frozen turkeys will have things added to them to keep them from drying out. Read the ingredients on the label of the frozen turkey to find out if it truly is gluten-free. Don’t use the gravy packet that comes with the turkey. It won’t be gluten-free.
Some people like to fill their turkey with stuffing before putting it into the oven. Stuffing, of course, is made of bread and is not gluten-free. Turkey that has been filled with stuffing has been cross-contaminated.
The “regular” stuffing, that comes in a box, is not gluten-free. If you cannot eat gluten, then you cannot safely eat stuffing. It is possible to make gluten-free stuffing and bring it to the Thanksgiving dinner as an alternative. Start with gluten-free bread crumbs.
This one is “iffy”. Mashed potatoes that are made from scratch shouldn’t contain any gluten. However, the box of mashed potatoes might contain gluten. Read the ingredients carefully to find out what else was inside that box.
Green Bean Casserole
Is it covered in French’s French fried onions? If so, then it is not safe for those who must avoid gluten. One of the ingredients in those onions is wheat. Knock off brands of fried onions might contain wheat, too. Green bean casseroles are made with cream of mushroom soup. Many soups contain wheat. Green beans, on the other hand, served with butter and maybe some salt, do not contain gluten.
It might be safest if the guests who cannot eat gluten are served first. This enables them to put safe foods onto their plates. They can be certain that no one mixed up the serving utensils and cross-contaminated the foods that are gluten-free.