This year for Thanksgiving we went over to Evan’s brother’s house for Thanksgiving! All of his relatives made an excellent effort to purchase high quality, organic ingredients for the rest of the dishes so I was excited for a yummy, healthy dinner! We decided to bring a total of 4 homemade dishes to contribute to our healthy holiday meal including cranberry sauce, kale/butter lettuce salad, vegan-gluten-free-dairy-free-no bake pumpkin pie, and a vegan-paleo-dairy-free chocolate pudding! So why am I making cranberry sauce and not just grabbing a can? Well, here’s a brief and to the point article explaining from Food Babe why, discussing BPA (Bisphenol A) and GMO’s.
I decided to get 2 of the dishes done the night before to keep my Thanksgiving day a little less hectic, so I focused on the cranberry sauce and the pumpkin pie. The cranberry sauce consists of organic fresh cranberries, orange juice (I have a juicer so I juiced my own oranges), maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger (optional). Here’s the original recipe from Multiply Delicious.
Once you have all of your ingredients ready, simply add to a pot, bring to a boil, and let simmer!
The recipe recommends a simmer of a least 20 minutes or when the cranberries start to burst open. I made sure to keep stirring and to do frequent taste tests. I will admit that I upped the maple syrup to about 3 1/2 tablespoons because I thought it was a little too tart. Could have to do with the fact that I made my own orange juice so the sugar content would be much lower than a store-bought brand. In the morning, I tasted it one more time and decided to add more sweetener – but I turned to coconut palm sugar (1 tablespoon) because it is low glycemic.
After another quick boil and about a 20 minute simmer – I thought it was finally just right!!
So, on to the pumpkin pie! Evan gave me the idea of using the homemade larabars as a crust for the pie! I thought it was an awesome idea and decided to give it a try! They are simply made with dates, almond butter, and nuts (in this case I used soaked walnuts). I made about 2 batches worth to make sure I’d have enough and it worked out great! I even had leftovers to make 5 bars lol!
After smoothing my crust onto the pie plate, I moved on the pumpkin filling! I used 2 containers of pumpkin puree, 1 ripe persimmon, about 2 1/2 cups of dates, a scrape of vanilla bean, and a dash of ground ginger and cinnamon. For the pumpkin puree, I prefer to used boxed instead of canned – again for the same concern about BPA.
I wound up filling the Vitamix to the top lol, so not gonna lie, it struggled a bit to blend everything properly so I had to take the lid off quite a few times to mix stuff around. Not to worry though – after the 4th or 5th time it all blended just fine!
Once the pie was complete I put it in the freezer since we weren’t going to consume it until the next day. After a long night of cooking and washing dishes, I finally got myself to bed around 2am (Evan and I are such night owls, so it’s actually easier for me to work late into the evening then to get up early lol)!
On Thanksgiving day, I decided to go to the gym in lieu of a turkey trot (gotta love the flexibility with sleeping in longer!) and then spent afternoon making my salad! By 3pm I had all of my dishes completed!
And of course, Evan made his famous chocolate pudding! It’s made with bananas, avocados, honey, cacao powder, a few pieces of dark chocolate bark, almond milk, and almond butter. It’s soooo delicious – hands down our favorite homemade dessert!
All in all, it was a healthy, happy Thanksgiving! I’m thrilled to say that all of my dishes had rave reviews – but I think the pumpkin pie was one of the top favorites!!
Another one of my favorites from Thanksgiving (well in addition to the turkey) had to be my brother-in-law’s simple sweet mashed potatoes! All he did was bake them in the oven, and sprinkle on cinnamon! They tasted like candy! Unfortunately they went so fast I couldn’t snap a photo in time lol!
Here’s to wishing all of you a healthy, happy Holiday Season! 🙂Follow