It is that time of year! The time for some big feasts! Maybe you are doing these meals all alone for the first year ever! Which is so exciting, but also overwhelming. One thing to keep in mind is that you can make these meals, from real food, for cheap, and make them healthy! If you have been doing a real food diet, and you have been trying to make things better for yourself, the holidays can be overwhelming!
We love the comfort of foods we know and for a lot of us that means processed foods, and poor ingredients for our health unfortunately. But it’s so easy to make some swaps and still get the flavors and comfort you love.
Let’s just break down a possible Thanksgiving meal and see how easy it is!
This is the most common meat selection. At this point, you will likely have to choose from your supermarket. Of course sourcing is always best organic and free range for turkey. But that might not be in your budget, or available near you. Choose the best you can in the size you want. It is always great if you have a local turkey farmer to buy direct. Check your local farmer’s market, or farms near you online!
This is something that can be very processed if you aren’t sure what to do. I remember the packets of gravy. Today, most are filled with MSG and other chemicals. Let’s just avoid that and do it easily. If you have cooked a chicken during the week, you can use the stock you got from that. Remember you will have stock from your turkey as well and that is the best. You use a mesh sieve to strain it and use that. OR you can grab some organic clean chicken broth/stock from the store as your base if you don’t feel confident in your other broth methods. Use some grass-fed butter, and arrowroot and combine. Arrowroot is a healthier flour and is gluten-free. It is better than a processed white, all-purpose. Here is an easy recipe.
Ditch those flakes and packaged boxes of things that are supposed to be a mashed potato. These are super easy to make! You can just boil the potatoes (we go with a red or white skin) and then use your beaters to mash them. We don’t even peal them! You can go with garlic, or cheesy. Here is a great base. If you go with more cheese be sure you buy a block and not pre-shredded which is loaded with fillers!
Nothing is more seasonal than this right?! Here is a great recipe to try. We love a great puree also. It can serve as a base for your vegetables or a dipping sauce even for your turkey or other meat. It’s simple just stovetop cook the squash and then add with some cream to your blender or food processor. Be sure to use a pastured heavy cream, and if you are at the supermarket, check to be sure it’s just cream and not combined with fillers.
These are an easy one to do up just right with real food items. Green beans from the store or market, you can do some grass fed butter, herbs and spices, onions, garlic, peppers. You could even add in (my favorite) some pasture raised bacon. I love the slow cooker for green beans. So easy!
This one gets a little more challenging but can be done. Most commercial breads and bread crumb mixes are highly processed, contain white flours, and have little to no nutritional value. My recommendation is to either make your own bread from quality flour (like an einkorn, or whole wheat), and dry them. But if that is still too much, look to your local bakery for some fresh made bread from whole grains and/or crumbs themselves.
If you need to be grain free – no fear there are some options. Creating your own grain free biscuits with alternative flours like almond and coconut, and then drying them to create bits is an option. Check out this recipe to help.
This is an amazing pie that is perfect for this time of year. You want to look for quality ingredients and do it from scratch at home. It is very simple. Grabbing a can of organic pumpking puree makes it simpler! You can make your own of course from a pumpking if you wanted to get really into the process. But there are plenty of organic safe canned sources to make it simple and easy.
Your pie crust could go in the grain free realm, or you can choose a flour like einkorn for a more traditional, yet healthier approach. Einkorn tastes very traditional and cannot be told apart from white flour from someone who doesn’t know you used an alternative. When thinking grain free think nut crust. Check out this recipe here. If you are looking for a simple pumpkin pie recipe with a more traditional grain crust – check this out. Not only are you getting the better flour, you are also using a healthier option for sweetener here over white sugar.
Just because it is the holiday season, doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious foods that are healthy and nutritious without compromising flavor. Remember, spices, spices, spices, healthy fat sources like olive oil, grass fed butter, and lots of vegetables will make a great meal!
Share your favorite holiday meals below.
8 DISCOUNTED Packages Available from Nov. 1-Nov. 30.
The first 8 people to claim these packages receive between $100-$250 OFF (depending on package of choice). Learn more about the packages here.