Healthy ideas and time saving hacks for Thanksgiving
As a dietitian and food lover, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays but I also know it can be one of the most stressful especially if you're in charge of the food! Between the pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and turkey, something is bound to go wrong in the kitchen. Today I'm sharing some ideas that will save you time in the kitchen and make the meal a little healthier without compromising the traditional flavors that we love.
Staple ingredients to have on hand in the kitchen
Chicken Stock and Bone Broth are definitely going to be staples for so many of your Thanksgiving dishes. It's a light, flavorful addition to your gravies, sauces, and even a way to add moisture to your turkey if you happen to overcook it. I particularly like the Pacific Foods brand because they use simple and real ingredients and you won't find any added sugar or flavorings. Bone broth is becoming increasingly popular to cook with. It's incredibly nutrient-rich and their brand has more than double the calcium and 30% more iron than traditional broths.
Thanksgiving flavoring tips
As a dietitian I advocate use of spices and herbs to flavor your dishes and less salt but we know that salt can really make a dish, so you want to choose the right one. I really like the JQ Dickinson Salt-Works, it's a hand-harvested finishing salt by 7th generation salt-makers in West Virginia. They source it from deep beneath the Appalachian Mountains so it's unaffected by contaminants that may be found in salt harvested from surface oceans. My favorite is the smoked finishing salt. You don't have to cook with it, all you need is a little bit at the end to really elevate a dish and give it depth and flavor.
Making cranberry sauce a little healthier
Traditional cranberry sauce can pack a lot of sugar, which isn't great for our waistlines or heart. You can actually replace half the sugar in cranberry sauce with 100% orange juice. I really like the brand Uncle Matt's. They sell a 100% organic orange juice with no sugar added – and it also has a functional component – turmeric and probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, which help support our digestive and immune systems. Turmeric is a spice that has been studied and revered for its anti-inflammatory effects helping to ease stomach pain and heartburn. This is a dish you can make ahead of time as well and keep well in the fridge. See below for my recipe!
When you don't have time to make all components of the spreadIn a perfect world, we could make all of our dishes from scratch, but with so many different components, it's hard to do so without a little help. When choosing pre-made foods, you want to focus on quality. I really like the idea of including a vegetable-based soup to lighten up a heavier spread.Dr. McDougall offers a variety of organic, vegetable-based soups that are made with simple, real food ingredients and come in BPA-free cartons. I like the seasonal butternut bisque; it's light and adds pop of color to the table.
What are you healthy tips and time saving hacks for Thanksgiving? Share your ideas with me on Instagram!
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