It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! This time of year can always feel a little more stressful for a variety of reasons, but soy-free food should never be one of them. Traditional Christmas 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 in the new year with a new post. Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Christmas dinner can be a stressful situation if you need to avoid soy, but there isn’t need to worry. Just like Thanksgiving, many traditional Christmas foods are naturally soy-free, so you can be confident you’ll have a soy-free Christmas dinner without too much stress.
For each dish, think about the 5 places to avoid soy (bread, oil, butter, soy products, and soy lecithin). If you are cooking, check recipes, read ingredients, and choose dishes that are easy to make soy-free. If others are cooking, let them know about your food requirements. This doesn’t need to be stressful, since the food they are cooking is largely soy-free to begin with.
Below we’ve listed common Christmas dishes and what to check to ensure they are soy-free:
Ham - Ham is almost certainly soy-free. There isn’t any soy in either the meat but there might be some soybean oil in the glaze. If you can’t check the ingredients, you can avoid any glazed portions of your slice.
Roast Beef - Just like ham, roast beef is soy-free. The one thing to watch out for: Roast beef is often served with horseradish mayonnaise, and almost all mayonnaise contains soy. We love Trader Joe’s mayonnaise, which is soy-free!
Turkey - Turkey itself is soy-free. Check that any butter used for basting is real butter and not margarine. If you are eating a fried turkey, check that the oil isn’t soybean oil.
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.
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.
Potato Gratin - Much like mashed potatoes, Potato Gratin is a great soy-free choice. Check that any butter used is real butter and not margarine and that the cheese isn't American Cheese.
Salad - The salad vegetables will be soy-free (with the exception of edamame), but check the salad dressing and croutons for soybean oil.
Roasted Vegetables - Roasted vegetables are both easy to make and easy to make soy-free. Ensure that no soybean oil is used during the roasting (and no soy sauce is used) and you should be good to go.
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.
Dinner Rolls - Same as with any bread product, check that the rolls are freshly baked and don’t contain soy flour or soybean oil.
Christmas Cookies - Christmas cookies can contain soy in several ways: chocolate chips, shortening (Crisco), and sprinkles can all contain soy. Also, if they are baked from a mix, they could contain soybean oil or soy flour. Proceed cautiously here, and enjoy the soy-free cookies that do exist.
Bread Pudding - Make sure any bread used in the bread pudding is soy-free. Also check that butter is used, instead of margarine.
Apple Pie - The apple pie filling should be soy-free (if it is from a can, it may have natural flavors), but be careful about the crust! Pre-made pie crusts contain soy, and homemade pie crusts may also often contain soy if they are made with shortening (Crisco), which is almost always soybean oil based.
Enjoy your soy-free dinner and have a very Merry Christmas!