Can you feel it in the air? Thanksgiving and the holidays are here! With that, we start the road to a holiday season full of festivities, family reunions, and friends coming into town. Almost all these occasions revolving around one of our favorite moments of the holiday: Dinner. When we get together around food we are sharing memories, flavors, and conversations, and we love it although sometimes things can get a little out of hand when family and friends gather round.
The downside to the holidays is that so many events can turn into a heavy load for those trying to carry on a healthy diet, since there are quite a bit of eating out and food exchanges occurring. I know what you are thinking: Thanksgiving is tradition, so you have to do it right, but there are ways in which you can conquer a holiday like Thanksgiving, come up with a delicious meal and still stick to a healthier path.
In the case of organic food, you would be surprised to see how many alternatives you have for organic ingredients that still hold you for the traditional part of the celebration but will allow you to eat with less guilt and more joy. But first things first, the key to a good and healthy Thanksgiving dinner starts with the planning. Do not leave everything for the last minute or you will end up buying whatever is available which may not be the healthiest choice. Start your planning with the number of guests, the number of sides you will have, then gather all your ingredients.
The start of the night will be your turkey and yes, before you ask, you can get organic turkey if you want, which is why I advise you to start with time because you probably will not find it in the supermarket next to your house. What you will be looking for is certified organic turkey, which means no antibiotics, chemicals or pesticides were used in the process of growing them. Also, they are fed with organic food, pasture-raised and have had ample room to roam outdoors without being confined to tight spaces. On the other hand, if you are planning on going for the healthiest route of them all, you can always find a vegan turkey substitute. There are popular names out there like Tofurky or Quorn Turk’y Roast, which many say are as good as the real thing.
And once you have settled on your protein, it is time to take a closer look to the side dishes. What we normally have are lots of carbs, useless fats, and sugar… how about researching and putting more greens on the table this year? Ideas like butternut squash soup, green beans casserole, a side of mashed cauliflower and of course, pumpkin pie for dessert can all be achieved with organic ingredients from your local farmers market or your organic provider of preference. They will all be delicious and without the extra calories or additives and preservatives. The best news is that you can even buy the most traditional ingredients in their organic versions, such as the Grown Right Cranberry Sauce, in case you run out of time to make your own.
A good Thanksgiving dinner takes hours of preparation, but the experts say it is completely worth it. However, it is not just about the cooking, because the organic lifestyle never stops, as well as our commitment with a better planet.
During dinner, try to encourage the intake of considerable portions, in a way that you don’t create waste. Also, you can pair your delicious dinner with a wide selection of organic alcoholic beverages, like the ones we showed you a few months ago. Try to not use any plastic utensils by using silverware and bringing out your fine Chinaware. Use this delicious opportunity to explain the benefits or an organic lifestyle to anyone interested around the table because practicing this way of life should be shared in order for us to make a difference first in our homes, in our communities and then for the planet.
After the toast and dessert, make sure leftovers are taken either by your guests or with a good deed. Have you thought about bringing leftovers to a local shelter? It would be a great way to consume all the food and also, you would be carrying on the spirit of the holidays. Here I will leave you with my favorite pumpkin spice recipe, just use organic ingredients instead. Bon Appetit!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!