Gluten Free Sugar Free Thanksgiving…


Last Thanksgiving, I had the privileged of hosting my family and my parents in-law for Thanksgiving.  I was determined to make everything gluten, sugar, and dairy (except butter) free.  My son is very sensitive to all of those.  We only use maple syrup and honey to cook and bake with.  Long story short, he had severe eczema, and through a long process, we discovered sugar made his eczema flare up, which caused him to itch.  He is also gluten intolerant.

I wanted to share some of the recipes I used.  I will post my pumpkin pie recipe and link to some of the other recipes I used.

Side Dishes

Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing from my November 2011 Rachael Ray magazine.  I used this more of a guide to make my own.  I didn’t use the rice packet instead I used my own rice and seasoning blend.  And I am sure I just used onions instead of leeks!  Oh, I also didn’t make the recipe with currants, parsley, or allspice.  As you can tell, I just used the recipe as a guide.  That’s how I cook.  I hate following directions!

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls from Gluten Free Goddess.  Again I can’t just make a recipe by the book.  I took out the brown sugar and replaced it with maple syrup.  Then, I cut down on other liquids to balance the recipe out.

For green beans, I made an alternative to the classic green bean casserole.  First, I cooked a few strips of bacon and removed the bacon to a paper towel covered plate.  Leaving the grease in the pan, I then added some fresh minced garlic and  then sauteed the thawed green beans in the garlic and bacon grease.  Super yummy!  To serve, sprinkle the bacon on top.  

For sweet potatoes, I cooked them in my grandma’s cast iron skillet.  I peeled and sliced them (1/2in -1in thick – try to get them the same thickness) then added them to melted butter in a hot skillet.  I cooked them until tender flipping often so they don’t burn.   Then just as they are about done I added some maple syrup (I just dumped some in maybe a couple tablespoons).  They get a beautiful deep brown caramelized color.


Pumpkin Pie

The original recipe came from The Nourishing Gourmet

This pie is slightly softer than some pies. You can make it the day before because it leaves plenty of time to set and allows the spices to release their full potential of flavor.  Please be careful when cooking the honey and maple syrup. Sugary syrups like this are very dangerous when hot. Use caution and common sense. I have made this weeks ahead of time and frozen it (un-baked).  It worked very well and just bake it straight from frozen.


2 C Pumpkin Puree

1 (14 oz) can full fat coconut milk

2 eggs

2 t cinnamon

1 t ginger

1/4 t cloves

1/4 t nutmeg

1/4 t cardmon

1/2 t salt

1 C maple syrup

1 good pie crust….. I used this recipe and used Pamela’s Gluten free Baking and Pancake Mix because that is what I had on hand.


1-Have your pie crust rolled out and in the pie tin.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2-Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium size bowl, except maple syrup. Set aside

3- Put the maple syrup in a small pot. Bring to a gentle simmer. Make sure it doesn’t boil over! Let it simmer until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage (the temperature should be between 234-242 degrees). To check it, drop a small amount of the syrup with a warm wooden or metal spoon into cold water. Quickly gather the syrup in between your fingers, at the soft ball stage it will be a limp sticky ball that flattens between your fingers when removed from the water. I find it helpful to check at least several times as the temperature gets close. If you are new at this, you may want to take the pot off of the heat while you check it.  Or you can just use a candy thermometer.

4-When it is done, allow it to cool for about 5 minutes and then add to the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and pour into the pie crust.

5-Place in the middle of the oven and bake until the center is set (it will still seem quivery, like gelatin, when you nudge the pan). 45 minutes to 1 hour is the usual time. Let cool completely and then refrigerate. Enjoy!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?  Have you adapted any recipes to fit food allergies?



  1. We are fortunate to have no food allergies in our family, but I have tried to make the traditional Thanksgiving dishes a little healthier by substituting higher-quality ingredients. I always feel a certain pressure (from myself) to “prove” to family members that healthy food choices can still be delicious. Thanks for sharing some of the ways you accomplish that!


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