My favorite part of turkey dinner is the dressing. I like turkey, but I can live without it. A holiday meal without the dressing, though, would be a personal tragedy. There are a lot of potential allergens in traditional dressing, including wheat and celery, but this recipe avoids those while keeping all the savory flavor that makes dressing oh-so-good.
- Chestnuts vs. water chestnuts
Chestnust are known to cross-react with latex, but Chinese water chestnuts are from a completely different type of plant, and according to the UK based Anaphylaxis Campaign, are not known to cross react with chestnuts. Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo does note that water chestnuts are high in chitinase enzymes, which are believed to be the primary chemicals involved in latex allergy. However, I did not find any allergy association websites listing Chinese water chestnuts as a food that cross-reacts with latex. King Edward Memorial Hospital in Western Australia does mention “water chestnuts” as a latex cross-reactive food, but I was not able to verify the source of this information. I have chosen to treat is as not cross-reactive, and I use canned, which significantly decreases the likelihood of cross-reactive enzymes being present since most enzymes are damaged by the high heat of the canning process. Be sure to discuss water chestnuts with your own allergist before including them in your cooking.
Be sure to make wheat-free cornbread for your dressing.
Most commercial broth contains unidentified “spices,” “natural flavorings,” or ingredients like carrot and celery that can cross-react with latex. Be sure to read your labels, or better-yet, make your own broth.
- Olive oil
Be sure to use pure olive oil or read the label carefully. Blends may contain oils like soy or sunflower that can cross-react with latex.
- Dried cranberries
Most dried cranberries are coated with sunflower seed oil, which can cross-react with latex. Trader Joe’s carries some dried cranberries that use cranberry seed oil instead. Read labels carefully.
- Turkey Buying – If you use this to stuff your turkey, but sure you buy a turkey that is allergen-free. Many turkeys are injected with unidentified ingredients like “natural flavors.” Kosher turkeys are usually free of this type of ingredient, and you can find other minimally processed turkeys as well, but be sure to start your turkey shopping early to make sure you have plenty of selection. One year, I got stuck buying a 30-lb turkey because it was the only one left without unidentified ingredients. On the bright side, it was delicious, and I had tons of amazing leftovers!
- 1 pan wheat-free cornbread cooled
- 2 cups chicken broth more or less to reach desired consistency
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup fresh (optional)
- 2 Tbsp pure olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup radishes chopped
- 1 can water chestnuts chopped (Optional. See allergy notes!)
- Bring the broth to a boil. Add the caraway, thyme, and cranberries. Ruturn to a boil; then remove from heat and set aside.
- Sautee the onions and radishes in the olive oil over medium heat until soft and translucent.
- Meanwhile, break the cornbread up into large chunks and place in large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle the water chestnuts over the cornbread chunks. Then sprinkle the onions and radishes over the cornbread.
- Pour the broth and spices over the cornbread and lift with two mixing spoons to mix gently until the liquid and vegetables are evenly distributed.
- Use to stuff a turkey or place into a baking dish and bake alone until heated through, about 35 minutes at 350°F.
- "Latex Sensitivity;" Department of Health Western Australia; 2015 (Accessed 11/4/2018).
- D'Adamo, Peter J. "Water Chestnut / Chinese;" DAdamo.com; 1997-2015 (Accessed 11/4/2018).
- Spicket, Gavin; "Sweet Chestnuts;" Anaphylaxis Campaign anaphylaxis.org.uk; 2017 (Accessed 11/4/2018).
My recipes avoid all ingredients listed on the American Latex Allergy Association website, and on Japan's National Institute of Health Sciences website, as known for or suspected of cross-reacting with latex as well as a few other ingredients that I have discovered elsewhere. However, latex-fruit syndrome is still an emerging issue and poorly understood. There may be other foods that cross-react, and people with latex-fruit syndrome often have other food allergies independent of their latex allergy. Each individual is different, so be sure to discuss with your allergist the safest way for you to try out ingredients that are new to you before you cook with them.