A Sweet Thanksgiving (Without the Sugar) + Pumpkin Pie recipe
It's Thanksgiving next week, a day of gratitude and abundance. It's funny to think how different our modern Thanksgiving feasts must be to the original 1621 version. I highly doubt the pilgrims were sharing candied yams with the natives. In fact, most of the dishes that adorn a traditional modern-day Thanksgiving table involve some form of sugar. We are certainly aware of the Western world's overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup and other refined sweeteners, so how can we counterbalance that at the holidays?
Here are few simple suggestions to improve our sugar levels without missing out on some of the most important and well-loved parts of Thanksgiving dinner.
1. DIY Cranberry Sauce
Forget that stuff in a can. Cranberry sauce is so much better when it's homemade. However, many recipes call for a hefty amount of sugar to balance the tartness of the berries. Instead, I suggest maple syrup. Not only is it a wonderful natural and native sweetener, but it actually has nutritional value in the form of manganese and zinc. Try adding ginger too for a zingy twist!
2. Sweet Sweet Potatoes
A root vegetable that's guaranteed to show up on the Thanksgiving dinner table is the sweet potato. Usually, it comes in casserole form, with a topping of toasted marshmallows. Instead, try a sweet potato dish that relies on the vegetable's inherent sweetness. Celebrate its natural gifts! A crunchy topping of toasted pecans provides some texture to the soft potatoes, while a mixture of nutmeg and orange juice spices things up a bit.
3. Roasted Veggies without the glaze
Another favorite dish involves roasting carrots and other vegetables in a sweet brown sugar or honey glaze, to create a glossy sheen that would lure in even the most reluctant veg-eater. Trickery! Adding intrigue to roasted vegetables doesn't have to compromise their health value though. Add some freshly chopped herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano and a generous spritz of orange or lemon juice to bring color and flavor to the dish.
4. Corn Pudding Healthified!
Personally, I've never been a corn pudding fan, but if your Thanksgiving feels empty without it, I'd highly recommend trying a healthier recipe this year. Again, trust in the natural sweetness found in the corn kernels and you won't miss the added sugar. I like this look of this recipe. It is vegan, but more than that, it puts all the attention on the corn (rather than eggs, butter, sugar, cream, etc.) The only changes I'd make are to use FRESH rather than frozen corn, and to use almond or rice milk instead of soy.