Food Network Magazine staged a Thanksgiving face-off and asked a registered dietitian to name the better choices. Study up before the big meal: Here’s how some staples compare.
Apple Cider vs. Sparkling Cider WINNER: Apple cider. Sparkling cider is usually sparkling apple juice, which doesn’t contain the same amount of fiber that unfiltered ciders do (the real stuff is a little cloudy). Plus, the spices that make cider so delicious, like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, give you an antioxidant boost.
Dark Meat vs. White Meat WINNER: It’s a draw. White meat contains half the fat of drumsticks and thighs and fewer calories, but dark meat has more iron and twice as much zinc. And a new study suggests that the taurine in dark meat might help prevent heart disease.
Rolled Piecrust vs. Graham Cracker Piecrust WINNER: Graham cracker piecrust. Recipes for rolled piecrusts typically call for a lot of butter and sometimes lard, so they are high in saturated fat. Graham cracker crusts are lower in fat and calories, and they contain some extra fiber.
What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? If you’re looking for an allergen-friendly recipe or just a delicious new take on this holiday staple, you’ve found it here! I’ve created a sweet stuffing that is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan so you can easily serve this to your entire Thanksgiving table without having to worry about food preferences. If nut-allergies are a problem, you can easily substitute in ground flax seeds for a similar crunch and nutty flavor.
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season where friends, family, and loved ones gather to have one fantastic meal after another. It’s not the time to skimp on those food safety habits that can make or break the festivities. Here are some simple reminders.
Purchasing the Goodies
At the market, be sure you check the quality of all the products you buy. Look at the color, firmness, and texture of the produce and meats and don’t forget to check the expiration dates on packaged foods. Once you pay for your groceries, be sure to get them stored in the proper place immediately—refrigerator, freezer or pantry. A few extra stops on the way home is plenty of time for bacteria to have a party on your food.
Make room for your turkey—overcrowding your freezer or fridge can actually raise temperatures dangerously high and spoil your food and ruin your equipment.
Here's one for the bread basket: homemade biscuits, portioned right.
Store-bought biscuit dough is full of hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fats) but homemade biscuit recipes call for large servings of shortening or butter. We aren’t revolutionizing the biscuit, just making them in a more portion-conscious way.
Most recipe yields are for 8 to 10 pieces, which means a 300-plus calorie bread to go along with your meal. Below is a traditional biscuit recipe portioned out to keep the calories in check.
Ellie Krieger's homemade green bean casserole. Photo courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Even when attending a virtual Thanksgiving, where presumably, the calories, fat and additives aren’t actually real, we want to bring something healthy to the table. So when we were asked to contribute a dish to Food Network’s virtual Thanksgiving, the choice was easy — we signed up right away to “bring” Ellie Krieger’s Green Bean Casserole With Crispy Shallots. No proper Thanksgiving meal is complete without this traditional casserole. So don’t leave it off of your table, but do skip the canned soup and canned crunchy onions. Both the creamy sauce and crunchy onions (which make the dish) are as easy to make as it is to open a can, but the difference in taste from the original is enormous. The homemade version is so much more fresh and flavorful than the one made with canned stuff, plus it’s not heavy and loaded with sodium from the soup.
It probably comes as no surprise that a Thanksgiving meal can pack in tons of extra calories. What’s really eye-opening is how much exercise you need to burn those calories. Don’t get us wrong, Thanksgiving dinner is a meal to be savored; just keep some of these numbers in mind before you pile those goodies too high in your plate.
Your vegetarian friends won't mind if there's turkey on the table, as long as there's plenty of veg-friendly fare for them to eat.
A 2008 study called Vegetarianism in America, published by Vegetarian Times, showed that 7.3 million people, and growing, follow a vegetarian diet. That means that there’s a good chance a vegetarian may be coming to your Thanksgiving dinner this month. If you’re not a vegetarian, you may be wondering how to accommodate an herbivore while keeping your favorite foods on the table. With a few simple recipe tweaks, you’ll be able to please both the meat and non-meat eaters alike without having to overhaul your entire menu.