It can be a bit challenging to incorporate healthy options in a Thanksgiving feast when cooking for an entire family who aren’t always too thrilled about trying anything different and out of the ordinary. There is one dish, however, in which we can all agree on that not only promotes good health through its rich supply of RAW vitamins and nutrients, but complements a Thanksgiving meal nicely with its light and delicate flavor.
This holiday salad is a great way to start off any autumn meal, and is a quick way to incorporate more raw foods in the diet. The blackberry dressing is made with no-sugar added blackberry jam, but you could use fresh blueberries, cranberries or any berry you like. I think the olive oil is the best part, as it is probably the best oil you can eat in its raw form. The healthy monounsaturated fat protects against heart disease and includes antioxidants which may slow down the aging process.
Give thanks with this nourishing starter!
Thanksgiving Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette
4 cups Organic Romaine Lettuce
4 cups Raw Organic Spinach
1/2 cup walnuts (I soak mine overnight and then let them dry)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
Optional Add-Ons: Shredded Carrot, Diced Celery, Cubed Apple, Raisins, Dried Cranberries
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP. no-sugar added blackberry jam (or 1/4 cup fresh berries)
1 TBSP. Honey, or 2 TBSP. Xylitol (Optional)
Toss the greens together, except the walnuts and additional toppings. Blend vinaigrette ingredients in blender and pour into a glass bottle. Toss greens with vinaigrette. Top with walnuts, cranberries, carrots, et.c Enjoy!
On campus, the complementary and alternative health club I helped launch alongside two other school friends who are also passionate about health volunteered at the “Fall Fling” happening in the college courtyard. We were able to sell homemade items to raise funds for the club, and I made sugar free, grain free coconut flour brownies. These were so good, and I will have to share the recipe very soon, especially when we get close to the winter holidays. It’s a great option to have when you want to bake something for someone in your family that’s healthy, but also tastes sweet and luscious.
The night before I made the brownies with black beans, but because I attemtped to experiment with substituting the eggs, the bean brownies did not turn out right–at all. So, the morning of the Fall Fling, I put together a recipe in a hurried frenzy, crossing my fingers that it would all turn out. To my upmost appreciation to the cooking gods, it did. Thank goodness I already had a homemade frosting sitting in the refrigerator. More on that frosting to come (secret ingredient alert!).
The other founders of the group who have been working very hard to promote and emphasize the importance of health advocacy made single served pizzas from coconut flour. It was their first time working with coconut flour, but they turned out pretty good. I will be posting my version of these single pizzas soon, as well.
Over the next couple of days I will be working on a couple of traditional Thanksgiving recipes including (mock) cornbread stuffing and a healthy, sugar free pumpkin pie. Wish me luck on both! Until next time, this is The Healthy Advocate.