How to Make Your Thanksgiving Meal More Natural and Organic
Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2012 at 9:15 am
The idea of Thanksgiving dinner evokes images of calorie and fat loaded foods. Many come straight from a can, are cooked from ingredients in a box, or are simple defrosted before being served. The truth is many of your favorite dishes can be made with whole, natural, and healthy ingredients. You might just be surprised by how delicious your favorite Thanksgiving foods can be when you prepare them yourself from scratch. Here are a few ideas to consider this holiday season:
Make Your Own Cranberry Sauce – Cranberries come into season right before the holiday season picks up. Instead of buying the heavily sweetened canned cranberries, try making your own. Many cranberry sauce recipes call for orange juice to cut the sharp taste of cranberries. Simply simmer your juice, water, and preferred sweetener along with your fresh cranberries for about 15 minutes. It’s that easy!
Ditch the Cans! – Many casseroles and other dishes call for canned soups, fruits, or vegetables. In most cases, these canned foods are packed with sodium, MSG, and other preservatives. Try searching for alternative recipes to your favorite dishes. Instead of reaching for a can of creamed soup, try making your own a few days before. If you absolutely must use a canned soup, try shopping for an organic variety to keep out unwanted and unrecognizable ingredients. Remember to recycle that can!
Buy Organic Veggies – If you’re used to serving canned or frozen versions of your favorite vegetables as a side dish on Thanksgiving, try buying fresh, organic varieties instead. Sweet potatoes and yams are popular vegetables that are in season during November. Many canned versions are available for those whole like to candy yams or make sweet potato casseroles. Try starting out with fresh versions of these orange potatoes instead.
Natural Pumpkin Pie – This Thanksgiving dessert staple is often made with pre-made pie crust and canned pumpkin. Instead, try making your own dough for the pie crust, and make your own filling from a whole pumpkin. Sure, this is more work, but you might surprise yourself by how delicious your pie turns out. You can try doing this a day or two before to save some time on the big day. There are also organic or natural varieties of canned pumpkin if you’re really crunched for time.
Decorate! – In addition to using natural ingredients to cook your meal, you can consider using fresh fruits and vegetables to decorate your dinner table. Use pumpkins or winter squash as decorations around your table or place some cranberries in your water pitcher or champagne glasses. This way, you can use your “decorations” after the holiday is over. Of course, you can just let the food speak for itself!
Trying to plan an all-natural or organic Thanksgiving may be a challenge that will turn into a new tradition. You can even share the challenge with others. See who has delicious recipes or have your guests bring their favorite dish made from scratch.