Eat Right: Whole Foods for the Holidays
It’s no secret that when it comes to the holidays, food takes center stage for New Jammies families. So there’s no better time than now to establish healthy habits for kids with whole food recipes. Whole food is defined as “food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances.”
These food types include fresh fruits and vegetables, local, grass-fed meats, fish, eggs, dairy and cheese, whole-wheat and whole-grains, local- and home-baked goods, seeds and nuts. A whole food diet avoids refined grains and sugars, high-fructose syrups, food loaded with fillers and preservatives, and junk and fast food, especially.
During the holidays, hearty meals can be made fresh with all-natural ingredients grown in the garden and frozen after harvest or, in warmer climates, local farmer’s markets. Traditional dishes such as roasted turkey and squash, sweet potatoes and yams, Brussels sprouts, cooked carrots, creamed spinach, quinoa with mushrooms, corn casserole, green beans with almonds, cranberry salad, whole-grain rolls, baked apples, and gluten-free pumpkin pie.
These recipes from Whole Foods, located online at wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes, can help families plan for a healthy whole food turkey dinner this holiday:
Roast Turkey with Apples and Onions
Serves 12 with leftovers
· 1 (14-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
· 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
· 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 1 tablespoon kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
· 5 crisp apples, such as Pink Lady or Fuji, peeled, cored and quartered
· 5 red onions, quartered
Preheat oven to 475°F.
Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels; brush skin with butter. In a small bowl, combine sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Loosen skin over the turkey breast meat with your fingers and work a little of the sage mixture under the skin and over the meat. Sprinkle remaining mixture over skin and in the cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the body; place in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack and roast 20 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 350°F, tent breast loosely with a piece of foil and roast 1 hour longer. Remove turkey from oven, remove foil and baste with pan juices. Arrange apples and onions around turkey and continue to roast (without foil covering) until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F or juices run clear (not pink) when you poke thigh with a paring knife, about 2 hours more.
Transfer turkey to a platter and let rest 30 minutes before carving. Cover pan with foil to keep apples and onions warm and serve alongside turkey.
Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms
· 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
· 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
· 1 pear, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
· 1 garlic clove, halved
· 2 pounds Portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills scraped out
· 1 cup red or white quinoa
· 3 cups tightly packed fresh spinach, chopped
· 4 green onions, thinly sliced
· 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
· 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
· 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Put vinegar, mustard, pear and garlic in a blender with 1/3 cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute, to make the dressing.
Cut mushrooms into chunks and combine in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Spread mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
While mushrooms roast, prepare quinoa. In a medium pot, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, 10 minutes more. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.
Combine mushrooms, quinoa, spinach, green onions, almonds, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup more dressing in a large, wide serving bowl. Stir to mix well. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Chestnuts
· 10 chestnuts
· 1 large or 2 small red bell peppers, diced
· 1 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
· 1 tablespoon olive oil or safflower oil
· 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Slash an “X” through chestnuts; on the flat side of nut. Place them, cut side up on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove husk. Cut chestnuts into small pieces and set aside.
Clean and trim sprouts. If sprouts are large, cut in half vertically. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté red pepper for 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and sauté 3 more minutes.
Add water, cover, and steam about 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir in chestnuts, and cook, uncovered, until chestnuts are warmed through and sprouts are tender, being careful not to overcook sprouts. Serve immediately.
This recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Greek Yogurt, contributed to Food and Wine at foodandwine.com, by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, is a great option for a whole food side that babies eating solids and toddlers can enjoy, as well as the whole family:
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Greek Yogurt
· 2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
· 1 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Drain the sweet potatoes in a colander, shaking the colander to help remove excess water. Pour the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt to the sweet potatoes. Mash to your desired texture and serve warm.
Healthy and homemade recipes from food blogger the Wellness Mama, online at wellnessmama.com, offer whole food-friendly options for traditional holiday fare that will have the family asking for seconds:
Healthy Grain-free Paleo Green Bean Casserole
· 2-3 medium onions, very thinly sliced
· 2 eggs
· 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or coconut milk
· 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour
· ½ cup coconut oil or tallow for frying (I use tallow)
Healthy Cream of Mushroom Sauce
· ½ cup butter
· ½ cup cream or coconut milk
· ⅓ of onion mix above
· 8-10 mushrooms, finely diced
· ½ tsp garlic powder
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 4-5 egg yolks
· Coconut milk or water to thin
· 5 cans of cut or french style green beans (Can also use fresh or 2-3 bags of frozen, or 2-3 pounds of fresh just heat first to remove extra liquid.)
Thinly slice all the onions, separate, and put in medium bowl.
Add the two eggs and the heavy cream and mix well until evenly incorporated.
Add coconut flour and mix by hand until evenly coated (note:may use slightly more or less depending on your brand of coconut flour.)
Put tallow in large skillet and turn on medium high heat. When hot, add the coated onions and evenly brown, turning occasionally. When browned, remove from heat and set aside.
In medium sauce pan, melt butter and saute mushrooms until starting to brown, then add cream or coconut milk.
Whisk in egg yolks and spices and about ⅓ of the onion topping mixture and continue stirring until the yolks begin to cook and the mixture thickens.
Add extra milk or water if needed to thin (only a few tablespoons might be needed). Drain green beans and pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Pour the cream mixture over and mix well until incorporated.
Top with onion mixture and heat at 325 in oven until topping starts to crisp (but not burn) and green beans are heated.
Sugarless Cranberry Sauce
· 2 bags of fresh cranberries (usually 12 ounce bags)
· ¾ cup pineapple juice or orange juice (I recommend pineapple)
· ½ cup of applesauce (no sugar added)
· ½ cup of water
· Juice and zest of one orange
· 3-4 tablespoons of honey or to taste (optional)
Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a sauce pan and and bring to a boil.
Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
Reduce to a simmer and pour the juice and zest over the cranberry mixture.
Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving.
NOTE: This is not as sweet as store versions. Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice and applesauce but you can add more honey or stevia to taste if needed.
Bon appetite, and happy holidays!
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