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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Gluten-Free Holiday Meal Tips

pictured: Mary Steiger

Whether this is your first gluten-free Thanksgiving or you are a long-time pro at navigating holidays sans gluten, it is possible to enjoy delicious Thanksgiving favorites with less stress and just as much flavor.

Help hosts understand food sensitivities and get involved with the planning of the meal. A few simple changes to the traditional dishes can make them safe to eat, such as using a gluten-free flour blend to thicken the gravy, and avoiding glutinous cream soup in the green bean casserole. Offer to bring a few dishes that can be enjoyed without gluten worries.

Better yet, those with gluten sensitivities can host the dinner themselves and show friends and family that a gluten-free meal can be both traditional and delicious. In fact, guests will never miss the gluten—especially if they never find out.

Many of the family favorites are naturally gluten-free, such as turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and cranberries. But what about stuffing? What about dessert? These days, recipes for gluten-free pie, cake, gravy and stuffing are readily available.

Susan Fulton, owner of Gourmet Girls Bakery/Bistro, in Tucson, is helping make the holidays even easier for those who prefer not to experiment. Gourmet Girls has all the family favorites, including pumpkin, apple and cherry pies, pumpkin logs with cream cheese filling, dinner rolls, stuffing and even gravy. Call ahead to place orders.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

1 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free baking flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp salt
½ cup chilled palm oil shortening
3-6 Tbsp ice cold water

Blend flour, xanthan gum and salt in medium bowl. Cut shortening into small pieces and, using a pastry blender, cut into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle half the water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, gently blend, adding more water as needed, until dough holds together. Roll out dough to fit pie pan. 

¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
2 large eggs

15oz pumpkin puree
12oz non-dairy creamer of your choice, or rice or almond milk

Mix sugar and spices in small bowl. Beat eggs in a separate large bowl. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices from small bowl. Gradually blend in milk. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

For more information, call 520-408-9000, email [email protected] or visit See ad, page 17. 

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