Have a Healthier, Cultured Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving isn’t all about the food. It’s about coming together as a family to express our gratitude for all that we have been given.
But there is always food, right? So instead of spending a day indulging in foods you may regret, why not swap out some of the ingredients for more nourishing, cultured options and nourish your family with food they won’t regret.
Using some cultured foods in your dishes or as accompaniments will leave you feeling light and nourished after the big meal instead of heavy and weighted down.
While you probably won’t be serving up a cultured turkey, you can look for the best available option. If you can find a bird locally then you are already taking a huge step in avoiding conventionally raised turkeys that come out of unhealthy growing conditions.
If you can find one that has been grown on pasture rather than force-fed lots of grain then you will have the best turkey money can buy. Animals that are allowed to forage for their food on open pasture have a healthier fatty acid profile and simply live better, more natural lives.
It’s good for you and the animal.
If you have a turkey on the table then you most likely will be having mashed potatoes. These guys get a bad rap nutritionally and can definitely be part of a healthier Thanksgiving.
Potatoes are one of the highest vegetables in pesticide residues so if you can find organic then all the better. Now when it comes to mashing those potatoes don’t skimp on healthy fats.
If you have turkey and mashed potatoes then it follows that you must have gravy. If you’re starting with the drippings from your delicious turkey then you’re already well on your way to delicious gravy.
The next thing you need is a nourishing thickener. You can use regular flour or corn starch, but sprouted flour would be even better. Beyond that a simple addition of homemade stock and herbs will make the perfect gravy for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Cranberries are traditional at Thanksgiving partially because they are native to North America. As such they fit well within the traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Canned cranberry sauce is packed with sugar and other unsavory elements. Why not switch it up and add some much-needed enzymes and probiotics to your meal with a lacto-fermented cranberry chutney. It’s all the sweet and tang of cranberry sauce without any of the guilt.
There's many a debate about the nature of the ubiquitous stuffing. Is it stuffing or is it dressing? Is it in the bird or baked separately?
Green Bean Casserole
It's not clear how green bean casserole became the go-to holiday side dish for Thanksgiving but it almost always is. This year try putting aside those cans of cream-of-something soup and make a real food homemade green bean casserole instead.
Or, if it’s a fresh side dish that you crave, try these lacto-fermented dilly beans.
Ah pie, the perfect ending to the big feast. Whether it’s pumpkin, apple, or berry pie; try making a sprouted flour pie crust to go with your filling.
You will, of course, need something delightful to wash all of this food down with. A good wine is a fine option as one of the oldest cultured beverages available.
For the kids you might want to consider fruit-flavored water kefir. It is bubbly, tangy, and fruity and the whole family will enjoy it.
So this Thanksgiving bring your family together around a table filled with nourishing, cultured real food. It will be a Thanksgiving to remember.
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