Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I love the food!
And like all holidays, I want you to feel good about what you put in your body, and stress less too over these holidays.
I hear from so many clients that they feel like thanksgiving is a “blowout” and to just move past it. I agree, don’t stress, but don’t forget there’s also space for better-for-you ingredients that you can include too and feel like you’re doing your body lots of good (this should be an emotional and body-feel-good experience).
As anyone reading this who has worked with me knows, I’m a middle of the road kinda person, and I think we can make small adjustments to really feel good about.
Here’s 7 Healthy Thanksgiving Ingredients We Love… and ways to use them too:
1. Bone broth: Bone broth is gaining in popularity on grocery store shelves, and for good reason. It is highly nutritious, containing good sources of the minerals calcium and phosphorus as well as collagen and an amino acid called glutamine which is linked to improved gut health.
Mix bone broth in with gravies, potatoes, & soups and be sure to save your leftover turkey bones to make your own batch after the meat is gone.
Make this Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto, swapping out the 1/2 cup Chicken Broth for 1/2 cup of Bone Broth.
2. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are usually found as part of the sugar-laden sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, but what about using them in place of traditional white mashed potatoes? Sweet potatoes are a bit lower in calories and carbohydrates compared to white potatoes and are higher in both vitamin A and C.
Try boiling sweet potatoes, then mashing them similarly to how you typically would for mashed potatoes. Alternatively, peel them and cut into bite-sized cubes, then roast at 400 for about 20-25 minutes until fork-tender. Flavor with olive oil, sea salt, & other herbs or spices for a delicious side dish.
3. Canned pumpkin: This one may seem “ordinary”, but don’t underestimate thenutritional value of pumpkin just because it’s in a can. Pumpkin is rich in potassium, vitamin C, iron, and beta carotene, which means they can play a role in improving everything from your blood pressure to immune system to eyesight. While we all know that canned pumpkin is a key ingredient for pumpkin pie, try some lower-sugar, non-dessert ways to use it such as in pumpkin bread, oatmeal, to thicken fall soups, or even as part of a pasta sauce.
4. Roasted pepitas: Move over pecans, pepitas are making a name for themselves this holiday season! Pepitas are the spanish term for pumpkin seeds and are a nutrient-dense, lower sugar option compared to candied pecans that are often used in pies and other dishes. They are one of the foods highest in Magnesium, which is an essential mineral for so many reasons, and are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E.
Try sprinkling roasted pepitas with a bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and drizzling with a tad pure maple syrup if you’re looking for something a little sweeter. Use them as a salad ingredient, in baked goods, casseroles, or wherever you’d like. Try THIS recipe.
5. Brussels Sprouts: Okay, so these may not typically go in your pantry, but they are one of those veggies that don’t need to be refrigerated to stay fresh! Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous veggie family which is shown to have so many amazing health benefits including supporting detoxification and reducing cancer risk, not to mention they are packed with fiber that will fill you up and help keep you regular.
Drizzle roasted Brussels Sprouts with olive oil and try tossing them with some dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and/or pumpkin seeds, or try making this delicious Brussels Sprouts Salad.
6. Cranberries: Cranberries aren’t just for the holidays. They are packed with vitamin C and potassium, and they make a delicious addition to salads, baked goods, and mixed nuts or cheese appetizers too. Cranberries are also known for helping to prevent various types of infections- from urinary tract infections to others.
Try using fresh cranberries versus dried ones, or if you can find simply dehydrated cranberries (much less sugar/ no sugar) that’s ideal!
Try my Natural Cranberry Sauce recipe right here! (It’s a family fave)
7. Cloves & thyme: Herbs and spices have so many health benefits, and these 2 are especially delicious during the holiday season for adding flavor to everything from potatoes to turkey to baked goods.
I also recommend having plenty of cinnamon, rosemary, chives, oregano, sage, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice on hand for seasoning all of your favorite meals while also adding nutritional benefits.