As the holidays approach, thoughts turn to tradition, family time and, yes, the food. But just because some recipes can be more forgiving and maybe only prepared at certain times of the year, doesn’t mean nutrition should be abandoned.
“Instead of saying holiday foods aren’t healthy, reframe your thinking into, ‘How can I make this recipe more nutritious? “It’s not about doing something with fewer calories or less fat. It’s about adding nutrient density for better nutrition to your favorite holiday foods.
Incorporate fall fruits and vegetables
Apples, beets, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, chestnuts, pumpkins, winter squash – fall brings a wave of fresh options.
“We’re thinking of summer with this giant bounty, but there are so many great fall products,” Marrs said. “The root vegetables have taken up nutrients from the soil all summer and are ready.”
Whole artichokes, high in fiber and vitamin C, are one of Marrs’ favorites. She roasts them according to her family’s recipe. Wash the vegetable and cut off the stem and leaves to remove the sharp tips. In a small skillet, sauté breadcrumbs or ground almonds, freshly squeezed lemon, oregano, basil and fresh garlic. Stuff the mixture between the sheets and place in an oiled parchment bag. Steam for 35-45 minutes. If you like, add a pinch of Parmesan to finish.
Marrs encourages the incorporation of leafy greens into holiday menus. A fresh salad topped with chopped apples, roasted beets and chestnuts and seasoned with a dressing can add sparkle to any meal.
If the green bean casserole has been a staple for generations, consider making a smaller portion and offering fresh green beans as well. Sauté them with lemon juice and zest, fresh garlic and your favorite spices. Instead of garnishing with store-bought fried onions, finely grate the leeks and crisp them in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Stuff your stuffing
“Upholstery is the perfect vehicle for adding extras,” said Marrs. “You can add nutritious ingredients to the canned versions of the stuffing, or you can make it from scratch. “
Consider buying sourdough from your local bakery, allowing it to dry, and then cubing it. Marrs adds sautéed celery, nuts and “tons of delicious roasted mushrooms” to boost the antioxidants. Instead of using sausage as the main ingredient, consider a smaller amount to add flavor, as well as herbs such as sage, thyme, and rosemary.
Don’t waste time peeling the potatoes
The fiber of a potato is in the skin, so save time and avoid peeling them. And don’t feel like you have to make the same mashed potatoes year after year.
“One holiday I cooked sweet potatoes, left the skin on, mashed them, and added coconut milk and red curry paste for a delicious, fiery potato. You can also crush them with ginger and honey, ”said Marrs.
Proteins have their place at the table
While turkey and ham are usually found on holiday tables, other options are possible.
“Who can say you can’t have salmon or a really nice trout?” Said Marrs. “For people who don’t eat meat, nut, lentil and mushroom breads are a great vegetarian option. “
If you’re cooking a turkey, Marrs encourages you to use the carcass to make bone broth.
“Don’t lose these nutrients,” she said. “Find a pot big enough to cover the carcass with water and add all the leftover spices, herbs and vegetables, especially the leeks, carrots and celery, and cook / simmer / boil for a few hours . “
Each slice of pumpkin pie filling contains vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron, but this year, instead of a traditional butter-based or lard-based crust, consider a soft crust. Combine the almond flour, flax seeds, melted coconut oil and cinnamon or nutmeg in a crumble and press it into the dish.
Or, for something a little different, layer some fresh berries in a pretty glass, top with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, and top with a little grated dark chocolate or chopped nuts.
“Fall is a season of change,” said Marrs. “Why not also change your holiday menu to make it richer in nutrients? “
Marrs recommends the Magic Mineral Broth and Gregg’s Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries and Swiss Chard recipe from www.rebeccakatz.com, and the Ultimate Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf recipe from www.ohsheglows.com.