Since giving up gluten (and grains) there are few things I miss at Thanksgiving dinner more than stuffing.
Hot out of the oven, or stuffed right into the bird while it roasts, with soft bits and crunchy edges, it almost feels like sacrilege to enjoy a Turkey day that is stuffing-less.
But if you’re health conscious (and I know you are!), you know that traditional stuffing is one thing that should be missing from your holiday plate (or two).
In fact, just a half cup of Stove Top Whole Wheat Stuffing contains 20 grams of carbohydrate and a cornucopia of unhealthy ingredients from MSG to heart-stopping trans fat (not to mention gluten, and lots of it).
Take a look at the ingredients:
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN 2], FOLIC ACID), STARCH, SUGAR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, ONIONS*, YEAST, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, COOKED CHICKEN AND CHICKEN BROTH, SPICE, CELERY*, PARSLEY*, GARLIC*, TURMERIC, WITH BHA, BHT, CITRIC ACID, AND PROPYL GALLATE AS PRESERVATIVES. *DRIED. CONTAINS: WHEAT, SOY.
Is Gluten Free Stuffing a Healthier Choice?
How about gluten-free stuffing and stuffing mixes?
While free of gluten, these stuffings can be just as harmful to your blood sugar and your waistline as stuffing made from wheat.
What’s more, the first ingredient in most gluten free stuffing mixes (or gluten free breads used to make holiday stuffing) is rice flour.
So, what’s wrong with that (besides its super-high glycemic value)? In a word arsenic.
In 2012, Consumer Reports evaluated 223 food products for their arsenic content. And rice-based products topped the charts.
In fact, some everyday rice products – including rice flour and especially brown rice flour – can contain up to 90 times the arsenic that’s allowed in drinking water!
But you don’t need rice or wheat – or any grains at all, for that matter – to make a delicious, herb-infused comfort food stuffing for your Thanksgiving this year.
Grain-Free Low-Carb Stuffing: Comfort Food Reinvented
Using nut flours and our special blend of “gluten-mimics” in our Better Bread Mix, you can whip up a simple stuffing with all of the characteristics of its gluten-and-carb filled kin.
Each Better Bread Mix will yield 6 cups of bread cubes that you can toast and substitute for regular bread in your family’s favorite stuffing recipe – from sausage and kale, to wild mushroom and bacon or apple and pecan.
And here’s my step-by-step on a traditional version…
First, prepare your Better Bread Mix according to the package directions. You’ll want to make 2 loaves, shaping them like French baguettes. This will help you cut the neatest squares and get the right ratio of crust to interior. Then simply cut your loaves into 1 – 1 1/2 inch cubes. I made 4 slices down each loaf, lengthwise, then diced in the opposite direction.
Place your bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and transfer to a preheated oven to toast.
Now, combine your toasted bread cubes with sautéed celery, onion, spices and eggs. Add broth to moisturize (Remember: In-bird stuffing will receive moisture from the turkey, so easy does it!), place in baking dish and bake at 325 F for 45 minutes.
And finally, a close-up peek at the soft-in-the-middle, crusty-on-the-outside finished product…
- 1 Better Bread Mix (prepared as instructed on package)
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onions
- ⅔ cup chopped celery
- ⅓ cup grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or duck fat
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 pastured eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground sage
- ¾ tsp. poultry seasoning
- ½ cup organic turkey or chicken broth ( For casserole-style baking. If baking in the bird, reduce liquid to 2 Tbsp. as juices from the turkey will moisturize the stuffing)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake Better Bread according to package instructions, shaping into two baguette-style loaves. Let cool.
- Cut into 1 inch cubes. Place cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Turn oven down to 325 F.
- Place bread cubes in the preheated oven and bake 25 minutes.
- While bread toasts, sauté onion and celery in butter, coconut oil or duck fat until softened.
- In a large bowl, combine onion mixture with toasted bread cubes, pepper, eggs, salt, sage and poultry seasoning. Stir in broth until well moistened (noting amounts for casserole versus in-bird cooking specified above).
- Stuff into turkey and roast to 165 F – juices should run clear (please use a thermometer for food safety!). Alternately, bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325 F for 45 minutes. Remove the cover in the last 10-15 minutes to brown.