Tips for Surviving a Food Allergy Thanksgiving

Ah thanksgiving- the time when your family all gathers together around good food to spend time together over a perfectly set table. Or in reality, when your kids go stir crazy and you send them all outside while you finish dinner. However you spin it, thanksgiving is all about the food, so what do you do when you have so many food allergies your recipes don’t work? Believe it or not, thanksgiving is doable even with allergies with only a few tweaks. The following is my list of helpful tips for making this holiday season the best one yet.

1. Not everyone will be able to eat everything- and that is ok.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If every single one of your side items isn’t 100% allergy friendly there’s no reason to panic. Just make sure that you have several solid options and your guests will still leave happy and full.

2. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes.

With allergies becoming an ever increasing problem, there are lots of options out there for good recipes that are simple enough to pull off even on a busy day.

For a few of my options, look no further:

Dairy Free Mac and Cheese

Old Fashioned Cracker Dressing

3 Ingredient Glazed Ham

Allergy Friendly Chocolate Cake

the best bread recipe

3. But, don’t throw out your old family favorites.

Grandma’s dressing calls for half and half? Aunt Suzy’s pumpkin pie call for milk? Not sure how to make a pie crust without gluten? Don’t throw the recipes out, just learn to work around them.

Milk: There are many different kinds of milk substitute, and each serves a different purpose for cooking.

Soy: soy milk has a definitive taste to it but is good as an all-purpose.

Almond: almond milk has a nutty after taste, making it perfect for pecan pies and anything glazed with nuts.

Rice: rice milk is very thin, but has very little taste. it is perfect for dishes like macaroni and cheese, but not so great if you are using the milk to thicken something

Hemp: hemp milk is my go-to for almost anything. the taste of it hides well in dishes and generally works the same as cow’s milk.

Dairy Additives: when it comes to half and half and heavy cream, it’s hard to figure out how to work around. There are many substitutes; however, and they work the same in your recipes.  For a good place to start click here: dairy substitutes in non allergy friendly recipes 

Flour: This one is tricky. By now, if you have food allergies you know that not all gluten free flour is created equal. Pick your favorite brand and substitute it. It can be done, just know that it needs to be double sifted before you use it in anything, and it will take extra time to thicken anything- just give it time.


4. Remember that family is the most important thing.

As you try to navigate cooking, remember that at the end of the day these people are your family, and they will love you no matter what you put on the table. Try these simple tricks to make your recipes work and just have fun!


Happy thanksgiving, yall!!

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