Can you believe it’s October already? I took the girls to karate class yesterday, and on our way home the streetlights came on and all of a sudden I realized I had to turn on my headlights. That was a depressing moment, I tell you. I’m sad that the days are getting shorter and cooler (and wetter for all of us living on the West Coast), but there is a silver lining.
Those shorter days mean the holidays are on the way! Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up in just a few days, American Thanksgiving a month after, and then the big granddaddy of them all – Christmas! And with the holidays, come holiday dinners. Out of all our holiday favourite foods when I was a kid, stuffing was definitely in the top three. I remember piling on as much savoury seasoned breadcrumbs as I could on the good china plate, leaving just a little room for the roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, dollop of mashed potatoes, and that one obligatory Brussel sprout I had to eat before I was allowed to have dessert.
But now that we don’t eat wheat, we’ve had to look for alternatives. My mother-in-law makes a version of her delicious stuffing with gluten-free bread, but gluten-free breadcrumbs just don’t have the same texture as wheat bread. There’s no getting around it; gluten-free bread stuffing is mushy. I really appreciate that she makes an alternative for us, but what if we changed the game entirely? What if we let go of the need for bread stuffing?
That’s where this idea comes from. Forget the breadcrumb stuffing and use apples instead! That’s right, apples are fantastic for stuffing poultry or as a side dish, and of course they’re naturally gluten-free. For a classic roast turkey, I season the apples very simply with sage, thyme, black pepper, and nutmeg.
The apples can be cooked inside your turkey like regular stuffing, or you can bake a big batch of apple stuffing separately in an oven-safe baking dish and serve like a side dish. My kids adore apple stuffing, which is why I make it both inside the bird and extra on the side so everyone gets as much as they want. Try apple stuffing for your next turkey dinner!
- 6 firm apples (e.g., Jazz, Pink Lady, Ambrosia, Braeburn, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- pinch nutmeg
- Wash, core, and chop apples into bite-sized pieces.
- Add seasonings and mix until apples are evenly coated.
- Roast inside turkey or cook in an oven-safe baking dish for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.