Gobble Up a Gluten-Free Turkey

By Bridget

With Turkey Day in just over a week, many are ordering turkey’s in advance to make sure our day of thanks goes on without a hitch. Apart from the integrity of the holiday itself, it’s a plus that it centers around a lot of foods that are naturally gluten-free (like the turkey, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables, and homemade cranberry sauce!) Unfortunately, however, you may want to double check the turkey you’re ordering for this upcoming day of feasting.

Although turkey is a naturally gluten-free food, many birds that are prepared for holiday purchase are not. Turkeys that are “basted” or “self-basted” have been preserved and prepared with butter, broth, stock, flavor enhancers, and other seasoning to help improve taste and better preserve the meat. While there are many natural preservatives used (such as rosemary extract), many commercially used preservatives may contain gluten, which we all know will lead to an uncomfortable Thanksgiving.

As many gluten-free eaters are already incredibly careful about choosing organic and locally grown produce, if gluten cross contamination is a concern of yours (as it should be, depending on your degree of gluten intolerance and sensitivity), consider choosing organic turkey this November. The organic turkeys are natural, meaning they haven’t been subject to the mass processing of commercially available turkeys.

As always, remember to double check the ingredients on the label, or buy directly from the farmer to ensure a gluten-free meal. If someone else is hosting, consider bringing your own chicken or turkey breast that will definitely be gluten-free. Remember to focus on all the delicious and natural food you CAN eat this Thanksgiving (bring on those naturally gluten-free potatoes, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, and maybe even some fudge for dessert..!), and don’t let the gobble get you down!


3 thoughts on “Gobble Up a Gluten-Free Turkey”

  1. Please enlighten us. Name one brand of turkey with gluten. I called 10 manufacturers and all were gluten-free. Butterball, Empire, Jennie-O, safeway, etc…all gluten-free. So if there are actually brands with gluten, let us know what they are so we can avoid them.
    And organic does not mean gluten free.

    1. Hi Cindy, many turkeys are basted with a solution usually containing butter, edible fat, broth, stock, water, flavor enhancers or seasoning (and is usually not gluten-free). Typically all regular stuffed turkeys contain gluten, even if you don’t eat the stuffing. Also, the included gravy packets frequently contain gluten as well. It is incredibly important to check the packets of these if you are planning on using one.

      To give an example, Butterball has stated that the Butterball Frozen Stuffed Turkey currently contains gluten and that their gravy has been reformulated to eliminate gluten, but certain gravy packets may still contain gluten (it will be listed on the ingredient statement).

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