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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

A Healthier Thanksgiving – Five Simple Suggestions

November 9, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Last year, my wife and I were in Cairo, Egypt, during Thanksgiving. No turkeys were on the menu. Instead, our host ordered us a different species of fowl–a stuffed pigeon. Needless to say, having a pigeon for Thanksgiving eliminates the problem of leftovers!

Family and social traditions are important, so most people don’t want to make drastic changes in a Thanksgiving meal just to be “healthier.” Yet there are some simple ways to make a difference without a huge adjustment. Here are a few:

1. Mashed potatoes – The golden yellow color of Yukon Gold potatoes makes them seem buttery even without butter.

2. Yams – replace high fat and high sugar candied marshmallow yams by combining mashed yams (canned or boiled from fresh) with unsweetened crushed pineapple.

For those families who want to reduce meat consumption, here are more ideas:

3. Bread stuffing – easily made with no animal products. Substitute vegetable broth and sauteed onions in traditional recipes that require chicken broth.

4. Tofu pumpkin pie – no animal products and easier to make: Use 14 oz. pkg. tofu (puree with 14 oz. water until smooth) to replace eggs and milk in traditional 9-inch pumpkin pie recipe. Bake longer if necessary until firm.

5. Tofurkey and other turkey alternatives under various brand names such as Holiday Roast, UnTurkey, and Celebration Roast – made with soybean protein and/or wheat protein. Served with enough onion mushroom gravy and cranberry sauce, you will not miss the real thing.

As our experience in Cairo taught us, Thanksgiving is more a state of mind than a particular group of items on the menu. But whether your family is eating a stuffed pigeon, a tofu substitute, or a bona fide turkey with all the trimmings, make this a special Thanksgiving with a renewed appreciation for the Earth’s bounties.

Note: This column is written by a faculty member of the University of Phoenix Utah Campus and does not necessarily represent the views of the institution.

Jonathan Neville, MS, JD, is a faculty member at the University of Phoenix Utah Campus. He has a master’s degree in agribusiness and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics.

SOURCE Jonathan Neville


Source: newswire