Here are a few of our favorite Healthy Thanksgiving menu recipes.
You will want to quarter an onion and a lemon and place inside the cavity before tying. Rub olive oil on the outside and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. And brown at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes to seal in the juices. Then, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast according to the instructions for the size bird. It’s that easy!
This recipe is a great way to add some extra veggies to the meal and try some delicious root vegetables. Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes flavored with apples, celery, and onions and hints of sage and thyme give it the traditional taste of stuffing without gluten or artificial ingredients.
This grain-free stuffing is better when cooked outside the bird, and can easily be prepared a day or two ahead of time and reheated in a 9×13 baking dish to save time on Thanksgiving Day. The leftovers can actually be breaded in coconut flour and pan-fried to make a “bread” for leftover turkey sandwiches.
yield 8 -10
Green beans topped with a homemade (real) cream sauce and topped with pan-fried onions in a coconut flour batter. This recipe has all the flavor (and more) of the traditional version without the mystery-soup-in-a-can. It is a little time intensive to make but is worth the effort. It can be made ahead and reheated.
Healthy Cream of Mushroom Sauce
yield 8 -10
At our house, we much prefer sweet potatoes baked and topped with real butter and sea salt, but if you like the marshmallow-topped version, this is a good alternative. It is topped with a homemade egg and honey-based “marshmallow” that is very similar in taste and texture. You can also leave off the marshmallows completely, or reduce the amount of Gelatin in this marshmallow recipe to 3 Tablespoons to make a marshmallow fluff topping.
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If you love potatoes, by all means, indulge, but we love this much lower carb cauliflower version that uses pureed cauliflower and all the seasonings of regular mashed potatoes for a delicious substitute. Did you know that when prepared correctly, mashed cauliflower has a very similar texture to mashed potatoes, not to mention a sweet and buttery taste?
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Most homemade cranberry sauce recipes call for a lot of sugar… enough to classify cranberry sauce as a dessert and not a side dish. For those who haven’t tried them, plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure how much it would be possible to reduce the sugar and still have an enjoyable sauce, but unrefined natural sweeteners (honey) and delicious fruits filled in the gaps.
This recipe still has more natural sugars than we normally eat, but is a much healthier option to the ones that actually contain refined sugar and is a delicious treat for Thanksgiving dinner.
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A gluten-free (and dairy-optional) version of the classic pumpkin pie that uses natural sweeteners! Get all the flavor without the junk.
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yield 6 -8
2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (omit phase 1)
2 large eggs
¼ cup coconut oil
1 cup grated zucchini
½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
2/3 cup nut milk (or water) w/24 drops stevia
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well because the almond flour soaks up liquid fast.
Spray a small muffin tin with coconut or walnut spray or use small muffin cups.
Pour batter into the muffin tins.
Bake 20 minutes.
Option: To create Zucchini bread, pour mix into (2) baking loaf tin pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Please send us your favorite recipes – Info@NaturalHealingCenter.US
Advocates of child health have experimented with students’ diets in the United States for more than twenty years. Initial studies focused on benefits of improving the health of students are apparent. Likewise, improved nutrition has the potential to positively influence students’ academic performance and behavior.
Though researchers are still working to definitively prove the link, existing data suggests that with better nutrition students are better able to learn, students have fewer absences, and students’ behavior improves, causing fewer disruptions in the classroom.
Improve Nutrition to Increase Brain Function
Several studies show that nutritional status can directly affect mental capacity among school-aged children. For example, iron deficiency, even in early stages, can decrease dopamine transmission, thus negatively impacting cognition. Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, specifically thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B, iodine, and zinc, are shown to inhibit cognitive abilities and mental concentration. Additionally, amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation can improve perception, intuition, and reasoning. There are also a number of studies showing that improvements in nutrient intake can influence the cognitive ability and intelligence levels of school-aged children.
Provide a Balanced Diet for Better Behaviors and Learning Environments
Good Nutrition helps students show up at school prepared to learn. Because improvements in nutrition make students healthier, students are likely to have fewer absences and attend class more frequently. Studies show that malnutrition leads to behavior problems and that sugar has a negative impact on child behavior. However, these effects can be counteracted when children consume a balanced diet that includes protein, fat, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Thus students will have more time in class, and students will have fewer interruptions in learning over the course of the school year. Additionally, students’ behavior may improve and cause fewer disruptions in the classroom, creating a better learning environment for each student in the class.
Promote Diet Quality for Positive School Outcomes
Sociologists and economists have looked more closely at the impact of a student’s diet and nutrition on academic and behavioral outcomes. Researchers generally find that a higher quality diet is associated with better performance on exams, and that programs focused on increasing students’ health also show modest improvements in students’ academic test scores. Other studies find that improving the quality of students’ diets leads to students being on task more often, increases math test scores, possibly increases reading test scores and increases attendance. Additionally, eliminating the sale of soft drinks in vending machines in schools and replacing them with other drinks had a positive effect on behavioral outcomes such as tardiness and disciplinary referrals.
Every student has the potential to do well in school. Failing to provide good nutrition puts them at risk for missing out on meeting that potential. However, taking action today to provide healthier choices in schools can help to set students up for a successful future full of possibilities.
Contributor: David Just Ph.D. – Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs
Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc on June 4, 2017
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat.
Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average saturated fats, like the ones you would find in cheese or steak.
They contain Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.
Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.
They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source of energy or turned into so-called ketones, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
BOTTOM LINE: Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.
Coconut is an exotic food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.
However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.
They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.
These people are in great health, with no evidence of heart disease (3).
Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconuts and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans (4).
BOTTOM LINE: Plenty of populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut fat.
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are important too.
It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is not a calorie.
One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24-hour energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day (7).
BOTTOM LINE: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase calories burned over 24 hours by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
When lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance called monolaurin.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi (8).
For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans (9, 10).
BOTTOM LINE: The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.
One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.
This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized because ketones can have an appetite reducing effect (11).
In one study, varying amounts of medium and long-chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.
The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average (12).
Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate fewer calories at lunch (13).
These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.
BOTTOM LINE: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.
The best-known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children (14).
This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations of ketones in the blood.
For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.
Because the MCTs in coconut oil gets shipped to the liver and turned into ketones, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet (15, 16).
BOTTOM LINE: The MCTs in coconut oil can increase the blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.
Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats.
Coconut oil may also improve other risk factors and therefore protect against heart disease.
In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil (17).
BOTTOM LINE: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.
Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.
Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and fat content of the skin (20).
BOTTOM LINE: Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as a mouthwash.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.
In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use carbs for energy in certain parts of the brain.
Researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning brain cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s (26).
In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s (27).
BOTTOM LINE: Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketones, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms.
Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.
Coconut oil appears to be especially effective at reducing belly fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.
This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many chronic diseases.
Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
In a study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day led to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks (17).
Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day (30).
This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of belly fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.
You can read more about the weight loss effects of coconut oil in this article.
In order to enjoy the health benefits outlined in the article, then you must get organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined stuff.
I personally cook almost everything I eat in coconut oil and my health has never been better.
Personal Chef Linda Crawford demonstrated this light and healthy dish during our Sept 14th cooking demonstration workshop. The Tahini and sesame oil add an Asian flavor. Make as a side dish or add chicken or turkey for an entrée.
½ cup Broccoli
¼ cup Scallions
½ cup Mushrooms
½ cup Celery
¼ cup Chicken or Veggie Broth
2 tbsp Black Sesame Seed Oil
2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
2 tbsp Tahini
1 tsp Fish Sauce
Pinch Himalayan Salt
Chopped Roasted Chicken pieces
Using a wok or large frying pan heat to medium-high temperature. Pour your veggie or chicken broth in the pan to coat it for a minute, then add chopped veggies. Stir to coat the veggies for approx. 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
Add chicken and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your veggies. Serve with a sprinkle of either sesame seeds or bamboo shoots.
Spiralize zucchini (use blade C) to transform it into thin strands of zoodles.
Cut zoodles into shorter lengths with clean scissors or a knife. Use zoodles raw or gently cook them by sautéing.
To sauté, place zoodles and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté 2 minutes.
Remove from skillet and drain (or you can eat it raw).
In a food processor combine seeds and lemon juice and blend until seeds are pureed.
Add spinach, parsley, and basil. Pulse until chopped and incorporated.
Add avocado and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and puree until smooth
Season to taste with salt.
Toss zoodles with pesto.
Sprinkle with nuts and serve.