It’s almost T-time! No, I’m not preparing to play 18 holes of golf; I am actually counting down the days until I can pull my 18-pound turkey out of my oven!
I have to admit that I am a little nervous about the upcoming holiday. A lot of the friends and family I have invited have adopted the gluten-free and sugar-free mindset and of course, one of my staple dishes on Thanksgiving is sweet potato casserole with extra marshmallows!
Luckily I have learned numerous tips and tricks on how to cater to my friends and families needs. Perhaps they will be useful to you as well?
Two Side Dishes Not To Be Missed:
– Roasted Butternut Squash and Roasted Sweet Potatoes make the perfect sweet side dishes that pair exceptionally well with the main event, the turkey. Both sweet potatoes and butternut squash are loaded with fiber, vitamin A and numerous other nutrients that your body will thank you for eating. The best part about these two side dishes is that they really don’t need any enhancing. When they roast in the oven, their natural sugars caramelize, creating a delicious flavor that gluten-free and sugar-free diners will devour.
– Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans are other side dishes that shouldn’t be missed. Both sides are also high in fiber and vitamin K. Obviously fiber keeps you regular, but vitamin K’s properties are less known, yet equally as important. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, enhances bone health and aids the liver. Essentially, it could help your liver process all of the food you may eat on Thanksgiving.
Replacements For Staples:
– For cranberry sauce, instead of using copious amounts of sugar, substitute Stevia or Splenda.
– Instead of nutritionally void crackers served with cheese prior to the main meal, offer whole grain crackers with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
– Pureed pumpkin mixed with stevia and stevia sweetened (low calorie) maple syrup can replace any calorie-rich pumpkin pie. For a little crunch, sprinkle some flax seeds or hemp sides into the mix.
– Instead of using butter when preparing the feast, use olive oil and/or macadamia nut oil, they’re filled to the brim with monounsaturated fats (healthy fats) as opposed to the saturated fats found in butter.
– Turkey is obviously a healthy bird, but if you want it to be completely sinless, stick to the white meat (bread meat) as opposed to the dark meat found on the wings and legs.
– In stuffing, substitute low calorie turkey or chicken sausage for pork sausage, use whole grain breadcrumbs (not as much as what’s called for in the recipe though) and then add roasted chestnuts to the mix to make up for there being less bread.
While I might be a teeny tiny bit sad that I will forego the marshmallows this year. However, I can honestly say that I have actually already tried the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes and there really is no need for the sweet stuff! Thanksgiving couldn’t come sooner!