A Gluten- and Dairy-Free, Family-Friendly Thanksgivukkah


By Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Gluten-free recipeFor the one out of every 133 Americans who have Celiac disease or another form of gluten intolerance, celebrating holidays and dining with friends and family can take some extra effort and planning. With Thanksgivukkah coming and excitement brewing for the fusing of culinary traditions, I didn’t want gluten-intolerant people, like my son, to be left out of the fun!

As a mom, Jewish educator and author of the children’s cookbook “The Kitchen Classroom,” I love to bring my kids into the cooking process. Cooking is a way of sharing traditions and exploring new tastes and textures together, and it can be a great way to practice reading, math and many other developmental skills. For my son, George, who has autism, cooking has been part of the way we connect and share experiences.

All of my family-friendly Thanksgivukkah recipes are broken down into simple steps that kids and parents can make together. They are delicious and nutritious, and I guarantee that you’ll be making them long after Thanksgivukkah is over. Whether your family is gluten-free or not, you’ll love our pumpkin kugel, harvest gelt, apple-cinnamon latkes, and more! There are even a few funny make-your-own Jewish turkey recipes, and when else can you really get away with putting a yarmulke on a turkey?

Pumpkin “Turkey” Muffins

This is a fun Thankgivukkah-themed food that kids will love making and eating!

1 package gluten-free muffin mix (we use Glutino Muffin Mix)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
Apple slices
Green grapes
Baby carrots
Dried apricots and/or apples
Raisins and/or cranberries

Follow the package instructions for your favorite gluten-free muffin mix, but add the pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin to the mixture before adding the liquid that is called for. You will need to cut the liquid in half because of the moisture in the pumpkin.

A grown-up can put the muffins into the oven. With your children, set a kitchen timer for how long they need to bake. When they are ready, let the muffins cool, and then decorate them. Use the hand-over-hand method with your child when using an apple corer to core and slice the apple. Children can stick the apple slices into the muffin; these are the “feathers.” An adult can make small slits in a grape for the eyes, into which kids can insert the raisins. Then make a small slit in the muffin and insert a small piece of baby carrot as the beak. Slice an apricot in half and place on top of the grape for a kippah (yarmulke, or head covering). Set the apricot-covered grape on top of the muffin.

To purchase “A Family-Friendly Thanksgivukkah” ($5), which includes 18 gluten-free recipes, visit kitchenclassroom4kids.com.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is a Jewish educator who works as special needs resources director at Jewish Learning Venture in Philadelphia. She teaches inclusive cooking classes and loves to get parents and teachers cooking with the kids in their lives. Visit her on Facebook at facebook.com/KitchenClassroom.