5 Healthy Organic Thanksgiving Fruit
Eating healthy during Thanksgiving can be challenging especially if you are surrounded with all sorts of delicious treats to indulge you. But it is still possible to incorporate healthy thanksgiving fruits and vegetables to your menu. You could use them when preparing desserts, appetizers and side dishes.
Apples are plentiful around the Thanksgiving season and they can serve as delicious side dishes or desserts. Apples are rich in dietary fibers which aid in digestion, and in polyphenolics and flavanoids phytonutrients which protect the body from free radicals. They are also a rich source of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and traces of minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.
Aside from the traditional apple pie and apple crisp for dessert, you can also sweeten up your turkey stuffing by adding diced apples to your usual ingredients. For your side dish, you could prepare baked apples. This is a simple recipe involving baking peeled and sliced apples together with vanilla, cinnamon sticks, butter, and brown sugar to taste.
Pumpkins, which contain about 26 calories per 100 grams, are a good substitute for high-calorie dishes in your Thanksgiving menu. They are rich in vitamins A and B complex, and minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. They also help prevent macular diseases among the elderly because of their high zea-xanthin content.
Pumpkins are normally harvested starting late September until the middle of October, but are still readily available by Thanksgiving Day. Popular dishes for pumpkins are pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin crisp. You can easily experiment a new recipe for pumpkin because it goes well with other ingredients normally used for side dishes or desserts.
Squash, particularly the butternut variety is another inexpensive and nutritious addition to your Thanksgiving table. One hundred grams of squash provides more than 350 percent of the Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) for vitamin A, more than what is present in pumpkin. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for good eyesight. Squash is also a good source of dietary fibers and contains a significant level of vitamin B complex and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, and copper.
Some of the recipes that use pumpkin, such as soups, pies and cakes, can be substituted with squash. One of the simplest squash recipes involves roasting squash along with baby carrots and potatoes, and seasoning it with olive oil and salt, and served alongside your turkey.
There are many health benefits if you include cranberries in your menu. Cranberries have antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanidin flavonoids, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, and cyanidin which can help prevent cardiovascular diseases. These berries are also high in vitamins A, B complex, and C, and potassium. Additionally, cranberries have an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score of 9,584 per 100 grams, and are considered one of the highest among other berries.
Cranberry sauce is normally present on the Thanksgiving table. But aside from cranberry sauce, cranberries can also be used in cakes, cookies, bars, breads and salads. Instead of using high-calorie salad dressings, you could use cranberry vinaigrette. It can be done by combining one-half cup of fresh cranberries with three tablespoons of vinegar, two tablespoons of water, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Blend them in a food processor until smooth then add it to your bowl of fresh greens.
Popularly consumed since ancient times, figs are high in minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and copper, as well as in dietary fibers. They are also a good source of antioxidants such as lutein and carotenes which are beneficial for overall wellness. This fruit also contains vitamins A, B complex, and E, and phytochemical compounds which can help the body lower its risk of infections, degenerative diseases, and even some forms of cancer. Furthermore, it has chlorogenic acid which can aid in lowering the sugar level in the blood.
Figs are abundant from September to November. They are normally turned into jam and used as sandwich spread. One of the very simple recipes for figs is the fig crostini with goat cheese. This recipe is easy to make; just top the toasted bread with goat cheese, fresh fig or fig jam, and sage or basil leaf. You could also add fresh figs to your vegetable salad, or use them to top your favorite cake recipe.
You can make a twist to your traditional Thanksgiving menu by incorporating these five healthy fruits and vegetables. This way, you will enjoy a sumptuous and delicious meal without guilt.