Happy November! This time of year can always feel a little more stressful for a variety of reasons, but soy-free food should never been one of them! Traditional Thanksgiving dishes are largely soy-free by nature, and it shouldn’t be too hard to check ingredients of any questionable dishes. Below is some more detailed information that we provided a few years ago here at Beyond Soy. We’ll be back the Monday after Thanksgiving with a new post. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!
Our first soy-free Thanksgiving was ~10 months into being soy-free. At that point, we had a good idea of how to eat soy-free on a daily basis, but we didn’t have much experience with the special menu items commonly seen at Thanksgiving. We prepped for a soy-free Thanksgiving by checking recipes, reading ingredients, and generally being careful about the food we picked to cook.
It isn’t too challenging to have a soy-free Thanksgiving. The traditional Thanksgiving menu is largely soy-free and much of it is made from scratch. Similar to our post about a soy-free BBQ, remember to check the 5 places to avoid soy. Bread, butter, and oil are the ingredients you really need to watch out for at Thanksgiving. Soy products and soy lecithin are less worrisome (but still watch out for chocolate!).
Below we’ve listed common Thanksgiving dishes and what to check to ensure they are soy-free:
Turkey - Turkey itself is soy-free. Check that any butter used for basting is real butter and not margarine. If you are having a deep-fried turkey, check that the oil isn’t soybean oil.
Stuffing - Stuffing uses both butter and bread. Make sure the butter is real butter (not margarine), and check that the bread is soy-free too!
Mashed Potatoes - Mashed potatoes are almost always a safe choice. Same as for turkey, check that any butter used is real butter and not margarine.
Gravy - Gravy can contain oil. Make sure it doesn’t use soybean oil (use canola oil or the turkey drippings instead). Also check the ingredients in any gravy mixes or packets.
Green Bean Casserole - Green bean casserole is dangerous: it potentially could include soy in a variety of ways. Check for soy sauce, soybean oil in the cream of mushroom soup (Campbells actually lists “soy protein concentrate” in the ingredients of their cream of mushroom soup), soybean oil in the french onions, and make sure any butter is real butter.
Cranberry Sauce - Cranberry sauce is made of sugar, water, and cranberries. Nothing with soy here!
Candied Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes recipes are usually pretty simple, just make sure any butter used is real butter, not margarine.
Dinner Rolls - Same as with any bread product, check that the rolls are freshly baked and don’t contain soy flour or soybean oil.
Pumpkin Pie - The pumpkin pie filling should be soy-free, but be careful about the crust! Pre-made pie crusts contain soy, and homemade pie crusts may also contain soy if they are made with shortening (Crisco), which is almost always soybean oil based.
Pecan Pie - As with pumpkin pie, the pecan pie filling should be soy-free, but the crust may contain soy.