Some families will be going gluten free on Thanksgiving

South Bend, Ind. Turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie, we like to pull out all the stops when it comes to the biggest meal of the year.

But for some, that buffet is like walking through a minefield. One bite of the wrong dish, and they could get very sick. And those living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are very aware of the risks.

One support group makes their thanksgiving meals, gluten free.

“My stomach would hurt so bad I would cry,” explains Lily Wiley who,” explains Lily Wiley who has Celiac disease.

Eating made life miserable for 12-year-old Lily Wiley when she was a little girl. Lots of doctors’ visits and testing finally led to a diagnosis.

“They called my mom and told her she has celiac disease, and my mom was like what?” says Lily.

Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that attacks the small intestine, gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye can lead to a long list of symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, anemia and fatigue. While an estimated 1-in-133 Americans have celiac disease, far more may be getting sick and not know the reason why.

“Research is finding that there are many more people that are gluten sensitive and gluten intolerant than actually have celiac disease,” says Jannie Derrow the coordinator of Living Gluten Free.

Jeannie Derrow runs a celiac support group at Memorial Hospital. She knows this is a tough time of year for people who need to avoid gluten. But family and friends can be supportive, and keep the traditions intact.

“They can make a gluten free thanksgiving dinner,” says Derrow.

And it's not that hard. All the food at this event is gluten free, the main dish, turkey, is naturally gluten free, and so are so many other foods.

“Peas and green beans, your vegetables and fruits are all naturally gluten free,” says Derrow. “Potatoes are also, so really there are a lot of options.”

This dressing is made from gluten free bread.

“Once that pumpkin hits that crust, and it’s not a gluten free crust then that pumpkin is contaminated,” says June Brandner, RD, at Memorial Hospital. “You can't scrape it off. “You can't take the toppings off a piece of pizza. It just doesn't work.”

“Pillsbury makes a gluten free pie crust that you can use for your pumpkin pies,” says Brandner. “There's gluten free cookie dough that you can use to make choc chip cookies. There are tons of gluten free products on the market just in the last 5 or 6 years.”

Lily loves to come to gatherings that are gluten free.

“Being able to sit down with people that are like me, and not have people look at me like at school when I say I can't eat this this and this, and they look at me like I'm some alien,” says Lily. “I get food that I don't have to worry about eating.”

That’s leaving her thankful for good food and good health.

Here are a few tips for people who are trying to avoid gluten.

If you're headed to a party, you may want to eat before you go or make one or two gluten free dishes to share. This way you know you can enjoy something at the buffet line.

Gluten Free recipes

GF Yorkshire Puddings or Popovers
2 lg eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter or oil
1 ¼ cup lukewarm milk (at least 2% fat)
1 cup King Arthur flour – multi purpose
¼ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Whisk together eggs, butter and milk in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk flour with xanthan gum and salt, then gradually sift and whisk into the liquid ingredients until smooth. Pour into greased cups about 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes, then reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes until popovers are brown. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 12.

GF Chocolate Trifle from Jackie Boynton
1 box Gluten-free brownie mix, prepared and cooled
1 Jello chocolate pudding – Cook and Serve, prepared and cooled
Nestles small chocolate chips
1 large tub Cool Whip (brand)
Cut prepared brownies in small squares. Using a trifle bowl, layer brownie, pudding, Cool Whip, chocolate chips and then add a second layer of each ending with Cool Whip layer. Decorate the top with chocolate chips or shredded Hershey bar.

GF Impossible Pumpkin Pie

1 – 15 oz can Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin
1 – 12 oz can evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ cup gluten-free Bisquick mix
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp vanilla

Use Smart Balance cooking spray for the pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

GF Scalloped Corn

1 can whole kernel corn
1 can cream style corn

Drain water from corn

3 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp gluten-free flour (or corn starch)
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt and pepper

Mix well and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

GF Super Good Sausage Stuffing by Nancy Hanson

4 cups gluten-free bread cubes (bread torn into large pieces and baked)
4 cups gluten-free mashed potatoes (hot)
¾ lb Bob Evans Savory Sage Sausage
1½ cup coarsely chopped celery
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
½ cup coarsely chopped green pepper
¾ tsp garlic salt
¾ tsp coarse ground pepper
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
¾ cup walnuts, broken into large pieces
Small can mushrooms, drained and rinsed
2 eggs, beaten
Poultry seasoning to taste (about 1 tsp)
½ chicken broth

Brown sausage; place in colander to drain off fat. Add a little oil or margarine to pan and sauté the celery, onion and green pepper. Mix sausage and vegetables together and let cool.

Put bread in a large bowl. Add cooled sausage mixture, mushrooms and nuts. Add hot potatoes and seasonings. Add eggs last and mix well. Stuff turkey; wrap leftover stuffing in aluminum foil and put in roasting pan to heat. Stuffing can also be put into a casserole dish (add ½ cup chicken broth) and heated in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes before serving.

Apple Slices

Make pie crust to fit 10” x 13” jelly roll pan

3 lbs tart apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp corn starch
¼ cup cold water

Powered sugar frosting:
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk or more, as needed

Peel, core and slice apples into thick slices. Set aside.
Make a slurry with the cornstarch and cold water. Set aside.
Boil cup of water with sugar, cinnamon and salt.
When boiling, add slurry. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the apples and cook about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Divide dough into 2 pieces, one larger than the other.
Roll out the larger piece to fit the bottom and sides of 9”x13” pan.
Pour filling into pan.
Roll out other piece of dough to fit on top.
Crimp pastry together. Cut decorative slashes in the dough to vent for steam.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Make frosting:
Mix butter, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of milk together.
Add powdered sugar. Stir until combined and thickened.
If too thick, add additional milk, about a tsp at a time.
If glaze gets too thin, add more powdered sugar.
Drizzle frosting on top of completely cooled Apple Slices.

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