Traditional Thanksgiving meals may be tasty and comforting, but can trigger hormone fluctuations that leave us feeling tired, stressed and moody. For those with diabetes, hypoglycemia, gluten sensitivity or hormone imbalances, the feast can affect health significantly. Try these hormone-balanced Thanksgiving recipes from Flo Living and Sara Gottfried that are equally delicious and nutritious for everyone.
While mashed potatoes are a staple of the Thanksgiving feast, this root veggie recipe is easy to prepare and more hormone healthy. Turnip greens include an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid. This has been shown to lower glucose levels, and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. Turnip greens also contain choline, an important nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory.
- 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 turnips peeled and cubed
- 1 celery root peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 4 T olive oil or more!
Prepare all veggies. In a large pot place 3 inches of water and a steamer basket. Steam all veggies, one root at a time. Smash everything together with the olive oil and salt in your serving bowl and enjoy.
Baked Parsnips and Green Beans
This alternative to classic green bean casserole is just as savory and much more nutrient dense. Including fennel offers health benefits since it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Try using fresh green beans instead of green beans from a can.
- 2 bulbs fennel sliced into ½ inch slices
- 6 parsnips quartered
- 1 lb of green beans trimmed
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- 2 T olive oil
Prepare all veggies. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring one medium pot of salted water to boil. Drop parsnips into boiling water for 5 min and place into your casserole/baking dish. In same pot of water, boil green beans for 5 min or until just tender. Finally, blanch the fennel in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Mix everything together with the olive oil and salt in the baking dish and place into the oven. Let roast for 20 minutes until everything is golden and the green beans have a caramelized look to the skin.
Cranberries have a natural sweetness that is wonderfully satisfying. Add a jalapeno to the mix for a fun kick. According to Mayo Clinic, Cranberries can help women balance hormonal levels. Cranberries contain resveratrol which is a polyphenol compound with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Again, try using fresh cranberries instead of canned cranberries.
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Replace the usual cheese and cracker appetizer with nutritious nuts! Almonds, in particular, showed the greatest estrogenic activity according to a study published in PubMed. Almonds impact the endocrine system which regulates the pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, thyroid gland, etc.
- 1 1/2 cups almonds
- 1 1/2 cups walnut halves
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh savory leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- About 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Mix almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, maple syrup, cayenne, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram, and oil in a 10- by 15-inch rimmed pan. Sprinkle nuts with 1 teaspoon salt. Bake in a 300° oven, stirring occasionally, until all liquid evaporates and nuts are golden under the skin (break open to test), about 45 minutes. Let cool.
Turkey with Gluten Free Stuffing
Turkey is of course the centerpiece of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. To add extra flavor, try using duck fat instead of butter. Duck, while often associated with a high fat content, is actually quite nutrient-dense. It contains mostly healthy unsaturated fat, yet still has a rich, meaty flavor. Rendered duck fat can be used as a healthier alternative to butter or other animal fats used in cooking.
- One 12-14 pound organic, free-range turkey
- ¼ cup Himalayan pink salt or sea salt (for dry brine)
- ¼ cup rendered duck fat (available at Whole Foods)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 teaspoons truffle salt
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup coconut oil or ghee
- 6 egg whites
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons ground white chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup rendered duck fat
- One yellow onion, chopped
- 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup chopped Swiss chard
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Handful of fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped marjoram
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Sea salt or truffle salt and black pepper to taste
- Up to 2 days before cooking, rinse your turkey, pat it dry, and rub the bird inside and out with the Himalayan or sea salt. Place turkey in a dry brining bag, (available at most grocery stores) and place in refrigerator. After a day, massage the juices and salt that has collected in the bottom of the bag back into the bird, and rotate turkey upside down. Return to refrigerator.
- You can prepare your grain-free bread for the stuffing a few days ahead of time, while your turkey is brining. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring ghee or coconut oil to room temperature and beat together with egg whites, coconut flour, almond flour, ground chia seeds, baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bake this mixture in a greased bread pan for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Set aside.
- After two days, remove turkey from brine bag and pat dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- While turkey is coming to room temperature, prepare stuffing. Cut your wheat-free bread into one-inch cubes. Arrange cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in oven until slightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat remaining duck fat in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, chard, herbs and spices in fat. Transfer cooked vegetables to a large bowl, stir in bread cubes and chicken broth.
- When you are ready to cook your turkey, preheat oven to 375. Mix ¼ cup rendered duck fat, ¼ cup coconut oil, 3 teaspoons truffle salt, and 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper together in a small bowl. Carefully separate the skin of your turkey from the flesh and work the fat mixture between the skin and flesh using your hands to massage the mixture as far up on the breast and thigh meat as you can without tearing the skin. Rub remaining mixture on the outside of the skin and inside the cavity.
- Pack stuffing tightly into turkey cavity and bake at 375 until a thermometer inserted in the tight reads 155 degrees, approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours depending on the size of your bird.
Apple and Cranberry Cobbler
It’s possible to both balance hormones and enjoy a yummy dessert. This tasty, sweet dish doesn’t include added sugar or carbs. Simply indulge in the fresh taste of fruit.
- 4 apples, cored, sliced
- ½ bag of frozen or fresh cranberries
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1 tsp arrowroot
Combine all the ingredients in a 14 inch casserole baking dish. Sprinkle gluten free/sugar free plain granola on top (Udi’s or Elizabeth’s). Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 30 min covered. Let sit 15 minutes uncovered and cool. Serve with fresh mint and coconut yogurt or a drizzle of honey.
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