How to Do GAPS During the Holidays
For some reason I always decide to do GAPS Intro in the fall, a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Perhaps it is a natural rhythm for the body to do some clean up and nourishment in the fall and winter. And the soups, stews, and squash pancakes are particularly enjoyable in the fall. Fall is a great time to start, but you might be wondering about the coming holidays. What to eat? How to politely avoid eating others’ non-GAPS dishes?
Far from being a problem, I find that the best GAPS holiday recipes are even better than the traditional dishes many of us had from childhood. And, if you offer to bring a couple of sides and a dessert (if the main is roasted meat you can probably eat it, with the exception of honey ham or another heavily sugared and preserved meat)- you will do well as a guest, having plenty to eat while getting many compliments on your dishes!
Another option is to bring your own small meal. Let people know that you do not expect them to accommodate your diet and that you are happy to be there spending time with them. Unless your crowd is really open-minded and interested, you may choose not to talk too much about your diet or why you are doing it. A vague reference to a persistent health issue that requires a special diet works just fine.
How to Do GAPS During the Holidays- GAPS Introduction Diet
If you are on the GAPS Introduction Diet and wondering how to do GAPS during the holidays, you can still enjoy many of your favorite dishes. On Stage 5 or beyond, you have introduced spices, salads, roasted meats and veggies, and grain-free baked goods. So, many of the recipes in this post will work for you.
If you happen to be in the earlier stages of GAPS Intro during the holidays, you have a couple of options:
- You can plan a simple menu with the foods that are legal for your stage. Like a roasted (Stage 4) or simmered turkey, roasted or sautéed veggies, mashed cauliflower with ghee, fermented veggies or brine, and pumpkin custard using just fresh grated ginger rather than the dried spices, topped with 24-hr GAPS Sour Cream. All with a mug of meat stock of course! (If you are curious what to eat on each stage, we have detailed posts for Stages 1-5 here.)
- Or you could choose to go to full GAPS for the day, and return to Intro afterwards (which is what I have always done). Beware, it can be hard to return to earlier Stages if you make this exception, especially if there are lots of leftovers! So plan carefully, get your family and friends to eat those leftovers, and stay focused:)
What to Make for the Holidays on GAPS?
Here’s a list of grain-free and GAPS-legal holiday recipes that we already love or can’t wait to try this year, including appetizers, beverages, main dishes, stuffing, side dishes, salads, soups, rolls/muffins, sauces/dips, desserts, and even what to do with leftovers!
How to Do GAPS During the Holidays- Recipe List
Delicious & Nourishing Liver Pate (Nourishing Gourmet, try with Rosemary Parmesan crackers, below)
Rosemary Parmesan Crackers (All Sorts Of Pretty)
Apricot Zingers (Deliciously Organic)
Bacon Wrapped Apple Slices (WellFed Homestead)
Spiced Candied Walnuts (Against All Grain)
Dried 5 Spice Asian Pears (Against All Grain)
Baked or Fried Beet Chips w/ Cashew Tzatziki Sauce (Urban Poser)
Crudités with Homemade Ranch Dip (GAPS Diet Journey)
GAPS Charcuterie Board- include GAPS cheeses (favorites are aged cheddar, gouda, brie, swiss, and havarti- for a list of approved GAPS cheeses, see our post here), GAPS approved cured meats (sugar, dextrose, and nitrate-free, look for meats labeled “peleo”, applegate organics has a couple of options), cured or canned fish (sardines, anchovies, make gravlax or buy it here), or sausages, naturally-cured olives (no sugar, lye, or preservatives), and fermented vegetables. Garnish with crispy nuts and fresh or dried seasonal fruits such as dates, grapes, pears, apples, dried un-sulfured apricots, etc.
GAPS Swedish Meatballs (Well Fed Homestead, to make the meatballs for an appetizer omit the zucchini noodles and bring in a crock pot.)
Real Pumpkin Spice Steamer (Urban Poser, nut, egg, dairy free)
Dairy Free Egg-Nog (Urban Poser, dairy free)
GAPS Egg-Nog (Nourishing Plot, dairy full)
White Sangria (Deliciously Organic)
Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte (Nourishing Gourmet)
Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail (The Real Food Dietitians, use fresh pressed cranberry or cran-apple juice and homemade or low-sugar kombucha)
Slow-Roasted Turkey (Nourished Kitchen, especially good for pastured turkeys)
Persian Spiced Roast Leg of Lamb (The Clothes Make The Girl)
Mulled Apple-Braised Pork Shank (The Paleo Mom)
Roast Duck w/ Sour Cherry Sauce (Nourished Kitchen)
Grain Free Biscuits & Paleo Stuffing (Deliciously Organic)
Grain Free Thanksgiving Stuffing (Against All Grain)
Easy Gluten-free Stuffing (Mommypotamus- Deanna’s family favorite)
Mashed Cauliflower “Fauxtatoes” (Honest Body)
Roasted Butternut Squash With Spiced Honey Marshmallows (Urban Poser)
Cider Braised Cabbage & Apples (Nourished Kitchen)
French Green Bean Casserole (Urban Poser)
Roasted Cabbage (Nourished Kitchen)
Delicata Squash with Sage (WellFed Homestead…one of my favorites!! I add minced garlic too)
Creamed Spinach with Coconut Milk and Bacon (WellFed Homestead)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Bacon (Ina Garten, substitute ghee, butter, or coconut oil for the olive oil and use only a true must fermented balsamic for GAPS)
Creamy Cranberry Salad (Nourishing Gourmet, use honey as sweetener)
Broccoli Grape Slaw (Mommypotamus)
Roasted Beet & Walnut Salad With Kombucha Dressing (Nourished Kitchen)
Spinach, Orange and Pomegranate Salad (WellFed Homestead)
Carrot & Leek Soup With Toasted Mustard Seeds (Nourished Kitchen, sub 24 hr. yogurt for milk)
Cream Of Chicken Soup (Honest Body)
Chicken Dumpling Soup (Comfy Belly)
Roasted Garlic Soup (Honest Body)
Grain Free White Dinner Rolls (Deliciously Organic, contains arrowroot so they are Grain-free, but NOT GAPS)
Pumpkin Raisin Muffins (Honest Body)
Butter Biscuits (Comfy Belly)
Paleo Pumpkin, Bacon, & Chive Biscuits (Urban Poser)
Spiced Cranberry Orange Sauce (Nourishing Gourmet, use honey for sweetener)
Cream Of Mushroom Soup (Against All Grain, for green bean casserole; use homemade meat or veggie stock rather than commercial vegetable broth)
Walnut Garlic Mayo (Honest Body)
Gingerbread Chocolate Custard Dessert (Honest Body)
Sweet Marrow Custard With Vanilla (Nourished Kitchen)
Grain Free Pumpkin Pie (Wellness Mama, crust contains arrowroot, not GAPS)
Pumpkin Pie (Comfy Belly, this one is GAPS legal)
Spanish Honey & Almond Candy (Nourished Kitchen)
Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits (Nourishing Gourmet)
Pumpkin Streusel Pie (Nourishing Gourmet)
Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups (Urban Poser, sub honey for maple syrup)
Plum-Apple Crisp (Honest Body)
Grain-Free Turkey Noodle Soup (Grassfed Girl)
Taj Mahal Turkey Curry (The Clothes Make The Girl)
Chicken Pot Pie (Comfy Belly)
Leftover Roast Chicken (or Turkey) Soup with Roasted Vegetables (Against All Grain)
Cream of Chicken Soup (Honest Body, can sub turkey)
Still wondering what to do with all the leftover turkey? See our post- 10 Ways to Use Leftover Chicken on the GAPS Diet and substitute turkey!
Your turn…are you hosting, or being hosted? What will you eat, and how will you navigate food differences? Let me know in the comments below!