The holidays don’t have to mean indulging in unhealthy meals; in fact, there are numerous nutritious and delicious foods that can help make your holiday feast tasty and guilt free!
Free Range Turkey
Turkey is usually the star of the show at Thanksgiving as well as other holiday meals. That’s a good thing, as it’s an excellent healthy source of protein, provided it is certified organic and not deep fried.
One serving offers nearly half of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid, and it’s also a good source of potassium, vitamin B and zinc. The rich nutrients in turkey have even be found to boost the immune system and help protect against cancer as well as heart disease.
Sweet potatoes are not only one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, they also make a great side dish on any holiday table. Baking them helps to keep the intense flavor in; the best way to do so is to lightly coat them with melted coconut oil, pierce them a few times with a fork and place them into a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, fiber, potassium and a host of phytochemicals which can help slow aging, prevent cancer and arthritis.
Cranberries are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and also offer plenty of fiber that can help lower “bad” cholesterol. Just keep in mind that because they are naturally low in sugar, many recipes call for massive amounts of sugar. Instead, consider this recipe for a delicious cranberry sauce:
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup organic apple juice
- Juice from 1 organic orange
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons raw, organic honey
Combine the cranberries, water, apple and orange juice in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the ginger, cinnamon and honey and simmer. Stir frequently, until cranberries are broken down and sauce thickens, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Collard greens are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, especially when prepared in a steamer or sautéed in organic olive oil. They make a great vegetable side dish for any holiday meal and are packed with vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C as well as being a good source of many other essential nutrients like folate, manganese and calcium.
Pumpkin offers a ton of heart healthy fiber and vitamin A, and because it’s so moist it doesn’t take a lot of unhealthy ingredients to make it taste good. Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without a piece of pumpkin pie, but even if you’ve gone grain-free, there are many excellent recipes to follow so that you don’t have to miss out on this popular dessert.
Try this recipe that is sure to please everyone.
- 1 cup of almonds, finely ground in the blender until flour-like (or you can buy almond flour)
- 3 tablespoons organic coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 organic egg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 15 ounce can of organic pumpkin with no fillers added
- 3 organic eggs
- ¼ cup of raw, organic honey
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or 2 teaspoons cinnamon plus ¼ teaspoon each of cloves, ginger and nutmeg)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Coconut milk to thin (up to 1/3 cup)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease pie pan with coconut oil. Mix the crust ingredients by hand in a medium sized bowl and then press the crust into the bottom and sides of the pie pan; place into the oven while making the filling. In the same bowl, combine your filling ingredients, except coconut milk, and mix in a blender or food processor.
It should be smooth and spreadable, but not so watery that it is pourable. If necessary, add coconut milk to thin. Remove the crust from the oven just as it begins to brown, or about 10-15 minutes. Add the filling to the crust and return to the oven for about an hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
This holiday season, you can continue your healthy habits while still enjoying and serving plenty of tasty foods!
-The Alternative Daily