Thanksgiving Party Planning Gluten Free 101

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Fall, Holiday, Seasonal, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

… Safe Snacks and Activities for Your Child’s Classroom Celebration

Planning a Thanksgiving party for your elementary kids but you’re not sure where to begin because there are allergies to consider?

I’ve put together some easy gluten-free (and some dairy-free and other allergen-free) party snack ideas that will let you serve up treats without sending your pilgrims back to their homeland feeling ill.

Instead of specific recipes that require various gluten free flours and gum stabilizers (which probably involve more work than you’re interested in for a party), I thought I’d provide simple ways to substitute gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients. This way you can find, or create, your own ideas, then simply make the alterations for the “safe” varieties. I’ve also included some very simple recipes to get you started. The links I’ve included are to show you the product and ingredients, or a review that we’ve done. While some of these links are to websites where you can purchase the product if you wish, these products are easily found at your local grocery store, or specialty stores such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Fresh & Natural, as well as many independent stores. Hope you find these helpful in making your gluten-free party planning a huge success:-D

Did the pilgrims have trail mix as part of their feast? It doesn’t spoil easily and is a quick and clean snack. I bet if they had trail mix, it would have been their favorite take-along ration. We’ve put together a trail mix recipe that is sure to please. You can mix the ingredients in any proportions you like.

Homemade Gluten-free Trail Mix

G-F rice chex cereal

G-F corn chex cereal

G-F cinnamon chex cereal

G-F honey nut chex cereal

Glutino Twisted Pretzels

Gluten Free Qwackers – cheddar (this contains milk)

Corn Nuts by Kraft

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, then scoop individual portions into small dixie cups.

If you want to buy a ready-made gluten-free trail mix, try:

Enjoy Life Not Nuts Seed and Fruit Mix – I think the Mountain Mambo would be perfect! It has pumpkin seeds, apples, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips. Really yummy!

Here are a couple of festive Thanksgiving-themed bread and muffin mixes that are gluten free. Baking these mixes into mini muffins can easily be done ahead of time and makes the feast easy and the portions kid-friendly. Try these brands for your cornbread choices:

Gluten Free Pantry Yankee Corn Bread & Muffin Mix

Pamela’s Cornbread & Muffin Mix

You can also mix up some quick cranberry muffins with Breads from Anna Cranberry Pancake and Muffin Mix. It’s free of gluten, yeast, corn, dairy, soy, nut (including peanuts), rice and GMOs. Or whip up some easy and oh, so delicious (my FAVORITE) pumpkin bread with Breads from Anna Pumpkin Bread Mix.

If you’re creating a fun veggie and dip tray, all of your veggies are naturally gluten-free. Use Tofutti Sour Supreme for your dip base – it works just like sour cream and is delicious (NOTE: It contains SOY). Sour Supreme is gluten-free and dairy-free.

Here’s a quick recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free ranch dressing. Combine all these ingredients, stir well, then refrigerate a few hours or overnight to let the flavors bloom. Serve. (Remember to keep chilled. This can spoil just as any dairy-containing dip.)

1/2 cup Tofutti Sour Supreme

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/8 teaspoon celery salt

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

Need to quench a young Pilgrim’s thirst? Juicy Juice and Capri Sun are both gluten-free and come in juice pouches. Try apple or cranapple to complement the Thanksgiving theme:D

If you’ve got a recipe you love and just need to make it dairy-free, here’s how to substitute milk with a non-dairy “milk”, simply substitute equal portions of almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. For example, 1 cup milk = 1 cup almond milk, etc. These non-dairy milks can be found in the refrigerated section in 1/2 gallon cartons, but you can find smaller cartons in the non-refrigerated shelf section of your store (ask your grocer for location). Most large grocery stores will carry these, but they can also easily be found in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and Fresh and Natural.

Using chocolate in a recipe? Substitute Enjoy Life Semisweet Mini Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Chunks for any prepared chocolate called for in your recipe. Enjoy Life chocolate will melt and behave just like Nestle or Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

How about a couple of fun books for your school party:

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting (this is one of my favorites)

I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson

I hope your Thanksgiving celebration is filled with fun, laughter, family, friends, and great things to be ever-so thankful for.

Do you have fun party ideas? We’d love to hear about a great party you’ve planned (or even one that wasn’t such a success).  

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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