Friday, November 25, 2011

Healthy Holidays

This was the first year I hosted Thanksgiving, and my boyfriend is the one who kinda had the idea.  At first I was not thrilled, and then I thought about all the things we don't have to worry about - like food allergies. I could make food everyone could eat and not have to worry about what might be in something, hurting feelings by refusing the food, and the crazy children that came from eating something either on purpose or by accident.

Gluten free stuffing with fresh onions, leeks, celery, and herbs.
My kids have the idea in their heads that this meal was somehow "healthy" compared to the rest of the world.  Let's take a look, shall we?

  • No dairy (allergies)
  • No high fructose corn syrup (no corn at all, due to allergies)
  • No gluten
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Less than 5 tsp. of salt were used
Does that mean healthy?  Let's see:
  • I used about 45 oz. of coconut oil for the entire feast.
    • That is a lot of fat, although a better fat with 0 cholesterol, still that's a lot.
  • Sugar:  I used almost an entire bag of sugar for this festive charade.
    • Normally, a bag of sugar would last an entire year.
Other factors to consider:
  • We still have a ton of food left over, including the pies
  • Cravings didn't happen later on in the day.  We were all still satisfied from our early meal!
  • I don't have a bunch of wild, crazy, irritated children running around.  I, on the other hand, am jumping for joy!
  • The food was moist, delicious, and our "normal" food eating guests couldn't tell the difference.
    • These guests had heaping seconds of my gluten free stuffing!
What did I really learn about a HEALTHY, happy, Thanksgiving?

Make foods that taste good to everyone, that are of the best quality you can afford, and people will eat like they should.  You don't have to skip sugar altogether, and you don't have to "give in" and buy the crap your kids are allergic to because you want them to enjoy it.

We all enjoyed it, and will continue to, for the next week while we finish all the leftovers!

I also learned to slow cook the turkey and inject FRESH herbs and spices into it for the most moist and delicious bird I've ever had.  Seriously.  Didn't even NEED gravy or cranberry sauce.

My recommendation:  repeat for Christmas, but scaled back because really?  Who needs 6 pies?!

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