The holidays should be an enjoyable time, but between working out the timing of so many different dishes and readying the house for guests, hosting Thanksgiving can be stressful. Add to that catering to guests who have dietary restrictions, and you may want to skip straight over the long weekend.
In this guide, we’ll give you tips to host Thanksgiving free of the top ten allergens and animal products, without losing your sanity. Even if you’re just bringing one dish to a holiday gathering, this guide is sure to help.
1. Double-check the dietary needs of the guests.
Before you go through all the effort of preparing the meal, make sure you know who plans to attend and what their dietary needs are. The top ten allergens to be aware of are:
- Tree Nuts
No meat, no animal products, and none of the top ten allergens. You may be thinking “we’re going to starve!” But don’t lose hope; believe it or not, there remains a wide variety of yummy foods at your disposal.
2. Don’t go it alone!
If you are going to prepare a Thanksgiving meal free from the top ten allergens, you may feel overwhelmed. There’s a lot to learn! But your guests probably have considerable experience cooking for themselves. For example, if a guest is gluten-free, reach out to them to see which gluten-free bread brands they like so you can use them in a stuffing recipe. That way, you can rest assured that they approve of that ingredient and it meets the criteria for their dietary needs.
3. Start here for recipe ideas.
Here’s a selection of holiday favorites perfect for Thanksgiving. Unlike most plant-based dairy products, all WayFare products are free from the top ten allergens. That makes them a great way to replace sour cream, butter, and cheddar- big players in any Thanksgiving dish!
4. Avoid cross-contamination.
You narrowed down your recipes, braved the grocery store, and got all your groceries inside with one trip. You’re off to a great start! Before you start cooking, make sure you’re taking steps to avoid cross-contamination. Since your ingredients will be allergy-friendly, you will just need to make sure that other foods you have in the kitchen are stocked away and that the kitchen is clean when you start cooking.
5. Serve up those dishes and let the compliments roll in; you deserve it!
When you serve, make sure each dish has its own serving utensil, and post an ingredient list for each dish for your guests’ peace of mind.
After all that work, we hope you’ll agree that leaving out animal products and allergens is not only possible but delicious, filling, and nourishing.