What types of foods shouldn’t make their way to your Thanksgiving table?
Dr. Kristen Bobik, founder of Balance Chiropractic and Wellness Practitioners, has the following tips on identifying small changes that can be made to ensure Thanksgiving remains delicious and most importantly, safe.
- THE TURKEY - Turkeys don’t have any bread or pasta in them but not all turkeys are created equal. Some turkeys are injected with flavorings/preservatives containing gluten so make sure to read the label or contact the company in advance.
- THE GRAVY - Make the gravy from turkey drippings using corn starch or gluten-free flour as the thickener.
- THE STUFFING - The core ingredient in stuffing is dried bread, so this will need some gluten free modifications. Purchase a gluten-free mix from a local gluten free bakery such as Apple Gluten Free Kitchen.
- THE CRANBERRY SAUCE - Instead of using a sugar-filled, preservative-full fruit sauce that comes from a can, make homemade raw cranberry sauce to ensure no contaminants!
- THE SIDES - The more fresh, colorful veggies the better! A green bean casserole contains soup (not gluten-free) and onion toppings. To make gluten-free, substitute crumbled “funions” for the onion topping, and purchase a gluten-free soup from a local food store. In the Chicagoland area, Fruitful Yield stores will have a complete green bean casserole mix! If serving bread/rolls, gluten-free options are available at practically any store.
- THE PUMPKIN PIE - Most options for pre-made pie crust are not gluten-free. But you can make your own using crumbled gluten-free graham crackers or gingerbread cookies. Your health food store may carry a pre-made gluten-free crust.
Look out for ingredients that could have been processed in a plant containing wheat and remember to read all labels carefully! Making from scratch can eliminate confusion. Here are some healthy options for your holiday feast:
Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes
Homemade Raw Cranberry Sauce - In a food processor, add 1 orange (remove peel and seeds), 1 lemon (remove peel and seeds), 4 dates (pitted and chopped). Slowly add 2 cups fresh cranberries and process until coarsely chopped. To make less tart, add more dates!
Butternut Squash - Ingredients: 1 butternut squash, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. raw honey. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place one half face down in a small glass baking dish with 1 inch of water. Microwave on high for about 6 minutes, to slightly soften the squash. Remove and cool. Remove outer skin of squash, and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add coconut oil to a pan, heat on medium. Add squash, cinnamon, honey. Cook until mostly soft and serve.
Thanksgiving Green Beans - Steam 1 lb. fresh green beans for about 8 minutes (about half-done). Meanwhile, prepare ingredients for your skillet: 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 cup hazelnuts (finely chopped), zest of one lemon, 2 tbsp. chopped rosemary. Add those ingredients to the skillet, on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add green beans, coat, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Gluten Free Kale and Cranberries – Ingredients: 2 large bunches of kale, 1/4 c. pine nuts, 1/4 c. dried cranberries, 3 tbsp. olive oil. Steam kale until bright green. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts until golden brown. Allow both to cool, then mix together in a large serving bowl. Add cranberries and olive oil, serve.
Pumpkin Pie - Filling Ingredients: 1 can pumpkin puree (or 1 3/4 c. fresh home made pumpkin puree), 2 eggs, 1/2 c. raw honey, 1/2 c. coconut milk, 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. fresh grated ginger. Crust Ingredients: 1 c. pecans, 1/2 c. hazelnuts, 4 tbsp. coconut oil, pinch of sea salt. Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Process nuts in food processor until flour like consistency. In a bowl, mix nuts, salt, and coconut oil – then spread the crust mixture into a pie pan and bake for 10 minutes. Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Fill evenly into the baked crust and bake additional 45 minutes.
Dr. Kristin Bobik is part of the Chicago Healers Network. Its holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and the website.