There’s no getting around it: Thanksgiving is a food-centric holiday. Diets and best intentions are often abandoned whilst feasters over-indulge and emerge bloated and lethargic (not to mention dehydrated).
This need not be the case. Many traditional Thanksgiving dishes call for hearty fall superfoods that don’t need to be violated with fatty additives and over-processing.
This year, create a menu that features nutrient-rich seasonal foods with these 4 stripped-down recipes that are good for digestion, skin health and will even please your pickiest niece.
Warning: may cause plate licking.
Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing and Pepitas
This hearty salad hits all the right notes: rich, crunchy, salty and sweet. To make the dressing, blend 2 ripe avocadoes in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and the juice of 2 lemons. Pour over clean, chopped kale, add a handful of roasted Pepitas and raisins then toss with your hands, making sure each leaf is coated with dressing. The best part? Unlike most salads, this one can sit out for long periods without wilting.
Parsnip Puree (with truffle)
Potato who? A fantastic alternative to carb-heavy mashed potatoes, this dish features a favorite fall root vegetable that’s packed with folate, fiber, vitamin C and also happens to be perfect for blending. Start by chopping 6-8 pounds of parsnips into ½ inch slices, boil until tender (about 30-40 minutes), then remove and start blending in batches. While blending, add chicken stock and butter (sparingly) until desired creaminess is achieved. Optional: truffle butter can imbue a huge amount of flavor in small amounts, and is a natural compliment to parsnips. Salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
It doesn’t get simpler (and more delicious) than this: trim and quarter 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, toss them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and 1 cup of roughly chopped pecans. Spread in a single layer over a baking sheet and roast until crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside (about 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven).
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and carotenoids. In addition to the slew of health benefits (heart, immunity, blood sugar, digestion), they also promote healthy, radiant skin and collagen growth. Needless to say, they deserve a place at your Thanksgiving table. For a delectable and simple preparation: cube potatoes, toss with olive oil, fresh rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, spread over a baking sheet and roast until soft on the inside and chewy at the corners.
Do you have any favorite healthy Thanksgiving recipes? Please share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.