Gluten-Free Holiday Entertaining Tips

gluten free cardamom pie

Gluten-Free Holiday Entertaining Tips will help you know how to host guests on a Gluten-Free diet during the holidays.  No time to waste! It is time to get busy shopping and planning your Gluten-Free Holiday menus and guest list.

Oh no! You just found out that your cousin Chloe was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and she always comes to your house for Thanksgiving?! What are you going to make for her and how do you plan your meal around Gluten Free guests at Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays?

No worries … here are a few Gluten-Free entertaining tips to enjoy the holidays!

Be sure to bookmark this post so that you can easily click it on your smartphone and see the tips while you are shopping at your favorite local grocery store. 

Shop at your favorite Whole Foods Market and ask the customer service area for a printout of the Gluten-Free foods.  An eco-friendly option with your iPhone or smartphone – use the free Wifi while shopping at Whole Foods Market to look up the store’s list of Gluten-Free, Casein Free Foods available to purchase.

1- Plan your meal including appetizers, main course and dessert.

2- Check off ingredients used for each part of the meal and learn more about Gluten Free ingredients or hidden gluten found in foods.

3- Keep it natural – most foods that are not in a package are Gluten-Free.

4- Carefully read all labels.

5- Invite your Gluten-Free guest to give you a list of their favorite Gluten-Free foods.

6- Ask your guest to make a special Gluten-Free recipe to share with other guests.

7- Suggest that your guest bring their favorite Gluten-Free crackers or bread to the meal.

8- Keep the packaging of all ingredients you use, if you can, just to make sure that your guest can see that it is Gluten-Free.

Gluten Free Food – Holiday food ideas

Appetizers – Gluten-Free crackers and look for Gluten-Free cheese, most are but beware that shredded cheese can contain gluten, to help the pieces not stick and clump.  Please look at the label for ingredients. Gluten-Free regular, chocolate or yogurt pretzels – from Gratify Foods are a great snacking sweet and salty treat.

gratify-gf-yogurt-pretzels

Beware of dips unless homemade and you know the ingredients.

Try these new Martin’s Marvelous Crisps – Gluten Free Nut Free Crackers in a variety of flavors.

Pumpkin Seeds – from CB’s Nuts with Sea Salt naturally GF

Turkeys that are Gluten Free – ask the meat department to assist you.
Potatoes – make from scratch with Yukon Gold or instant Betty Crocker Potato Buds are GF.
Sweet Potatoes naturally GF.
Vegetables naturally GF just make sure that anything you add to them such as broth or soup is GF. Pacific Foods and Imagine offer Gluten Free products broth products. Just be sure to read the label.

Stuffing or dressing … call it what you will but here is an easy recipe – Gluten Free Stuffing with Fennel and Rosemary Sausage
Try Pamela’s Products – Gluten Free Cornbread Mix – the best! I love love love this mix! So easy and so tasty!

•Gravy – Use cornstarch with warm water to make a slurry for the gravy instead of regular flour and no worries for anyone.  Make sure to add the cornstarch to warm or hot water first, then to the turkey drippings, a few tablespoons of wine or cider, a few pinches of sea salt, black pepper, thyme and tarragon.  Just make sure the guest that is GF pours the gravy first to make sure that the gravy doesn’t touch other gluten foods.
•Salad – make a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing with pomegranate seeds and spices.  Look for salad dressings that are certified Gluten-Free Fosse Farms Cranberry dressing perfect for the holidays!

•Bread and rolls – easy to make Maninis Gluten Free – Rustic Multigrain Bread Mix.
•Desserts – look for easy Gluten Free dessert ideas online – Gluten Free Pumpkin Rum Pie with Gluten Free crust! Use Maninis Multiuso  - Multipurpose Gluten Free flour to make the crust.  It really is so easy This is a good easy recipe for your Gluten Free guest to make and bring to the meal.  
•Apple Cider – non alcoholic – Organic Cider from Skagit Fresh farms in WA, served hot!
•Check out the Northwest Cider Association for some amazing Ciders made in WA and OR. Finn River Farms – Hard Apple Cider and Black Currant wine is Gluten-Free
•Gluten-Free beer – Greens, Redbridge, Bards and New Grist.

WA State Wine and Oregon State wine is also a lovely local option to serve with the meal.
Dry Soda, made in Seattle – Blood Orange, Vanilla, Juniper Berry and so many more flavors. Rediscover clear soda that is made with four natural ingredients including a little cane sugar – less than 19 grams of sugar and 45 – 70 calories per serving. No coloring! I love love love these sodas! 

Tips on preventing cross contamination -
Set up a table with Gluten-Free appetizers and food for the meal.
Make a sign to designate the area Gluten-Free so that other guests know that it is Gluten-Free food.
Make a menu that includes the ingredients of the meal. This is a great way to let all the guests know what you are serving and to showcase all the hard work and love you have put into the meal.
Only use utensils designated for Gluten-Free foods for serving appetizers and the meal. Use disposable items like toothpicks to pick up hard cheese.
Allow the Gluten-Free guest to be served first for the main meal and desserts to avoid cross contamination from other utensils dipping into dishes of food.

I hope these Gluten-Free entertaining suggestions help you and your guest enjoy the holidays. The holidays can be a stressful time of the year.  All you need is some communication and planning with your Gluten-Free or Food Allergy guest/s and everyone will be able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The most important thing is to make all the guests feel welcome.  I also recommend shopping at off peak times prior to the holiday.  Make a list, check it twice and save yourself the extra trips!
I’ve included a few of my favorite product pictures for you to look for while shopping.  

Happy Holidays! 
Lisa