The Weekend Wellness Round up this week features some of my favorite healthy Thanksgiving recipes. Ever since my first Thanksgiving three years ago my wonderful mother in law went out of her to adapt all of her recipes to accommodate my gluten free and dairy free diet, so some of these recipes are her recommendation.
I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I do!
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Did you know the Butternut Squash (like all of the members of the gourd family) is technically a fruit? It has some fantastic health benefits: its low in fat and high in dietary fiber, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants and contains significant amounts of potassium, B6 and folate.
A veggie based soup is a great way to start a Thanksgiving meal as the fiber and water content will take the edge of your appetite, leaving you less likely to over indulge at the main course. This recipe from Whole Foods contains apples as well giving it a little extra sweetness.
I have made this soup numerous times and have found a few variations that make it even better! I prefer to use chicken stock instead of vegetable, and love to sprinkle some toasted pumpkin seeds on top for a little crunch!
Cranberries are a power house of micronutrients, and are low in fat, sugar, and high in fiber.They contain the most potent antioxidants and the highest amount of phenols than any other common fruit.
However the canned sauces really don't do the cranberry justice, after the processing and added sugar the health benefits are all but destroyed. Try this much healthier version from Wellness Mama and let the cranberries shine!
Personally I don't think this cranberry sauce needs the extra honey added to it as I like the tartness of the cranberries, and remember every little health habits helps over the holiday season!
Cauliflower With Rosemary and Garlic
Instead of potatoes, which are carb-laden and low in micronutrients cauliflower is one of the vegetables that should be on your Thanksgiving menu. Aside from being a good source of vitamin C, it also protects against cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Cauliflower also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for normal metabolism, and vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone health. Add this side dish from The Cookie Rookie to your Thanksgiving fare and I promise you wont miss the potatoes!
I don't recommend low fat dairy products for anybody, and I much prefer this recipe with 2 tablespoons of tahini (sesame seed paste) and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to replace the cream cheese.
I'm not a huge fan of 'gluten free' products (they can be high in carbohydrate and low in micronutrients, and not always contain the healthiest of ingredients), but I will make an exception for the holidays. This stuffing recipe from Gluten Free Girl really hits the spot, and you have the choice of using store bought gluten free bread, or making your own.
I'm going to be trying out some gluten free bread recipes over the next few weeks (lucky Husband Hanway), so keep checking back for some more ideas.
The pumpkin tends to only be in the spotlight at Halloween and Thanksgiving, but it has so many healthy benefits that it really should be on our menus more often. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and high in potassium, Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical of Pumpkin Pie before I tried - it is not a dish we have in the UK at all, and I don't think I had even tried pumpkin before my first Thanksgiving a few years ago. But consider me a convert! This version from Elana's pantry is absolutely delicious - dont be nervous about making the pie crust either, it is super easy (I'm no baker). However I find that sometimes just the filling of the pie is enough, in previous years I have eaten just the filling topped with cinnamon whipped cream and toasted almonds. Yum!
A quick note - if using canned pumpkin (or any other canned goods) ensure that the can is BPA free, or ideally find products in glass jars.
This post is supposed to be 5 recipes, but for me its not Thanksgiving without cornbread (again, not something I ever ate in the UK, but OMG)! This is not a recipe but a product suggestion - again I usually steer clear of 'gluten free' products, but will make an exception for this cornbread from Bob's Red Mill!
Happy Holidays everyone and thank you for welcoming me as an honorary American!
Want to know more about eating Gluten Free in the Real World? Join me for the next of my Wellness Talks series in Back Bay, Boston, on December 8th. Click below for tickets...