Thanksgiving is creeping up on us, with Christmas soon to follow with all of it’s glittery glory, pine cones, gifts and food. I think we need a nourishing carnival to celebrate it! The question I would like to poise to you is this: Can you make your “traditional” holiday food more nourishing while remaining delicious?
Dig those recipe cards out, put on your thinking hats, and challenge yourselves to meet the holidays armed with absolutely delicious, and absolutely nourishing dishes. If you think like me, this doesn’t mean that you need to reduce butter, cream, wine, and other delicious ingredients. Just choice your sources wisely. It means that you reduce refined and packaged food. I think that you may be quite happy with the results. I know I have been!
What Holidays Show
Holidays have a wonderful way of showing our true colors and highlighting certain characteristics of our lives..both the good and the bad!
For example, holidays can be wonderful times of family togetherness, or can simply put in stark focus how ill united ones family is. A family who enjoys being together on everyday days, find holidays an extra special day of enjoyment. An individual at odds with relatives find holidays stressful, and can even dreads them.
And it’s no different with our food! Holidays tend to highlight the type of food we serve. Do we rely on packaged, easy food? Then our holiday table is most often graced with chemically injected “honey ham”, canned, sugary cranberry sauce, packaged bread stuffing, canned green beans mixed with canned, MSG laced cream of something or another, topped with fried onion rings (full of unhealthy fat and more chemicals), and dessert from Costco, topped with perfect, but far from homemade whipped cream from a pressurized bottle.
For many of us, this IS holiday food because it’s what we grew up with. One whiff of Jello, a heaven of sugar, dye and other unnatural substances, and we think with eager expectation to the Jello salad made from childhood every Thanksgiving from childhood. And green beans? Holiday green beans come in a can! Who wants those chewier fresh ones?
While many of us may have slight hang ups in thinking of having holiday meals without all of these less nourishing meal options, I think holidays are a wonderful time to make things a little more special, and even more nourishing than everyday fare. My mother was a wonderful cook, and besides roasted turkey with homemade stuffing (often made by my grandmother), we also had wonderful, slow cooked green beans (made with fresh green beans), homemade rolls and pies, and other delicious foods. (And I still do like that sugary caned cranberry sauce, by the way!)
I have chosen to continue to make things from scratch, and I have also chosen to make some of the foods even more nourishing, when possible. I want Elena to remember holiday food fondly, and to remember fondly nourishing food. I have the opportunity to make her senses find pleasure in decadent, but nourishing food by feeding them to her early as she is making memories. I hope to have her food memories full of roasted, free range turkey, with a delicious gravy (thickened and seasoned with real ingredients), buttery mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes delicious without excessive refined sugar, and wonderful pies and desserts made with unrefined sugar and other natural sweeteners.
Will You Join Me?
Will you join me with sharing your own nourishing meal options? Or will you take up the challenge to adjust recipes to become more nourishing to share with us?
Feel free to stay within the traditional foods of turkey, cranberries and mashed potatoes, or to wander far in new and exciting holiday options. Most of all, think of the blessing it will be to serve something that not only brings pleasure to the eater, but health as well.
This carnival will take place on November 18th, a Tuesday. To see how carnivals take place, check out the other three as follows: Nourishing Frugal Food, Nourishing Portable Food, Nourishing Fall Recipes.
One last note: I am well aware that most people celebrate with friends and family and will not be making all of the dishes on the table. My advice is to concentrate on doing your part to bring nourishing dishes, and enjoy celebrating the holiday with whatever everyone else brings.