Each year, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day with my husband’s family. This year there were 37 of us present, ranging in age from 14 months to 97 years.
I wish I could say that the past 26 years I’ve been involved in the celebrations has influenced the food choices of the group, but sadly it has not.
The majority of the food served is loaded with processed grains and sugar.
Each year, up until this year, I would make a sweet potato dish, sweetened with dried apricots and topped with pecans. Each year there has been so much left over as our guests opted for the sugar sweetened yams instead, that this year I opted not to make them. They were not missed.
I have also made a cranberry dish each year, using fresh cranberries, raisins, pears, and oranges. Each year there was a huge quantity left over as people favored the sugar sweetened cranberries, and I would get tired of eating them for days to some. This year I made a small quantity only and there were still leftovers.
Next year I may opt out of the cranberries as well.
Personally I’m happy to eat the veggie appetizers with garlic dill dip, salad with a yummy dressing (sesame garlic ginger this year), and some steamed or sauteed vegetables.
My desserts are usually a big hit, but this year all I made was a low-glycemic coconut carob mint “candy” because I’ve been avoiding sweets. I didn’t make enough to share, just enjoyed them myself because I figured they were no match for all the store bought sugar drenched pies served along with a homemade marble cake, my mother-in-law’s recipe.
As I watched my family members fill their plates with all the sugar, starch and meat with fatty gravy (store bought, not even home made), I wondered HOW can I make a difference. The vegetables were eaten in tiny amounts by most. My husband, kids and I ate a lot more vegetables that everyone else in the room combined.
How do I reach the masses with the message that this food is destroying their health?
Maybe I’m naive, but I thought it was common knowledge that sugar and white flour are harmful, cause hormone imbalance, diabetes, heart disease and cancer?
I’m scratching my head, and thinking.
I care about these people and hate to see them suffer.
In the meantime, I want to share with you ideas for creating holiday celebrations that focus on the people connections and offer foods that delight and nourish.
Here are a couple of delicious recipes I made for Thanksgiving this year , including a sugar-free cranberry gel.
Thanksgiving Raw Food Recipes
Garlic Dill Dip
(variation of recipe in Healthy Holiday Traditions)
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 3/4 cups water
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Blend nuts, lemon juice, water and salt
- Put mix in a bowl and stir in dill and garlic.
- Add more dill and garlic to taste if needed.
Sesame Garlic Ginger Dressing
- 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 slier of fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- Blend all ingredients.
- If too thin, add extra tahini, if too thick add water.
Cranberry Orange Relish
(variation of recipe in Thanksgiving Feasts)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 pear
- 1 cup raisins
- Process everything in a food processor until smooth
- Add extra raisins if you prefer a sweeter relish
Spicy Cranberry Blood Sugar Balancer
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1/4 cup coconut cream (Artisana)
- 2 teaspoons konjac powder (http://www.konjacfoods.com/product/1.htm)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1 sliver ginger
- Process all in blender or food processor until smooth
- Add stevia if desired for sweetness
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I got a chuckle reading that you have not had much influence on your friends and family. It made me feel not alone. I always feel I’m talking to the wall when I offer healthy food suggestions. sigh. Thanks for your recipes and tips for those of us who are awake.
I just do not even try to talk to people anymore, they really just dont care….is this wrong of me. If they act interested I will but mostly no one is. It is frustrating. Thanks for the recipes!!
I found out the same thing this Thanksgiving.Everyone wanted the same old turkey(sniff)dressing,etc.BUT NOT the raw versions of the delicious sides I wanted to offer.I informed all this time was the last for me to prepare this kinda meal.NO WAY,was I gonna keep doing it!(Of course,no one can fix it as good as I do),to all that were present.Sorry Charlie,NO more.Couldn’t even accept that it’s suppose to be about seeing the people instead of some poor bird or ham.By the way my mom and I still love the cranberry relish you had last year(with the pineapple and walnuts),yes some of us LOVE the new kind that didn’t come outa a can.One day we can hope that before it’s too late they will see the light.