How to Party Gluten Free with Foster Farms: Friends Edition

The first week of college classes means a lot of things. The return of homework and the need for an attention span. Reunions of friends scattered during the summer. And, for this lucky celiac and her best buds, a Foster Farms fiesta!

As I mentioned in my last post, throwing a celiac-safe party for family has its challenges. For friends? That's a whole different (party) animal! But with some help from Foster Farms and tips on how to wow even the most gluten-loving gals and guys, anyone can kick off the school year with a (delicious) bang! 

Not quite as exciting as this...but close?
First, keep it simple, stupid! While I embraced a more "upscale" menu for my family party (hello a full dinner!), I stuck to snacks with my friends. While my friends obviously love free home-cooked meals, they - like most teens - are just as happy to chow down on a bowl of Glutino pretzels and dip, and Foster Farms corn dogs. Know your audience, and, in this case, if they're easy to please!

In the same thread, lean towards more self-serve stations than fully loaded dinner plates. In my case, all available snacks landed in one drawer, free to whoever grabbed it first! (Quinoa crackers with hummus were definitely one of the bigger hits!) 

Hannah, the first cupcake taste tester!

As for dessert, rather than a cake that needed to be cut up, I whipped up some chocolate coffee cupcakes (gluten free and vegan thanks to The Good Scone's delicious cake mix). Easy to grab and even easier to watch them all disappear...

Next, experiment with gluten free (natural or alternatives) substitutes to teenage favorites. Rather than laying out spreads people have never heard of (quinoa, hint, hint), rely on familiar foods enjoyed by most.

Some of my favorite suggestions? Homemade guacamole with (GF) corn chips, homemade sweet potato rounds or wedges, cut up veggies like zucchini, cucumber and carrots with a dressing on the side, or even strawberries with peanut butter or melted chocolate to dip them in! 

Homegrown strawberries? Absolutely the best!
And if you do throw a quirky ingredient into the menu, you can always save the big reveal until after it's been tasted (while, obviously, being aware of any food allergies in your guests). My chocolate cupcakes boasted a frosting made of avocado, melted chocolate and cacao powder...but I didn't share the ingredient list until after everyone exclaimed how much they liked it!

Finally, make the party about more than just the food. For my evening, the food only accented the other activities. (The main of which, I'll admit, was watching a walk-through of a horror video game. Don't knock it till you try it!). 

The suspense!
The party experience is what you make of it, and, especially if food supplements some other party fun, no one can (or, more aptly, should) complain! In fact, your friends may even enjoy learning how to eat like a celiac for a few hours. 

Returning to college always triggers an avalanche of business and stress - which made it the perfect time to gather the friends and gluten free goodies for a relaxing night in! 

My favorite game!
And, really. "Gluten free" labels aside, what college kid would turn down the chance to catch up with old friends, eat some tasty (FREE) food and escape academics for a few hours? I know my pals didn't! 

*I received compensation for my part in Foster Farms' campaign, but all opinions are my own*

What tips do you have for throwing a gluten free party for friends? What's your favorite GF party food? Comment below! 


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