Healthy Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Tips n’ Recipes

Tired of the heavy sides and mundane main dishes at your Thanksgiving table? Well, I’ve got some fun, fresh n’ healthy tips to keep your dining experience as pleasureful and worry-free as possible…

What scares you most about enjoying Thanksgiving gluten-free? Is it the contamination? The stuffing? The lack of taste?

We’ve all got our ‘scaredy pants’ on during the holidays…worries there may be a trace of gluten or soy or dairy in a beverage, dessert, main dish, side or condiment…

No matter what worries you the most, be sure to always check the ingredients on the labels and stick to ‘fresh, clean’ foods made from Mother Earth…

Here are a few tips n’ swaps for you to test out on your Turkey table…

Enjoy!

Steer Clear of Canned Gravy

  • Instead use the drippings from your freshly roasted turkey.  I don’t like to take a chance on ‘processed’ foods, when you can simply get creative and combine your fresh drippings with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of oregano and black pepper.

Swap Out the Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • Who doesn’t love pure, organic canned pumpkin? I know I sure do…use pure pumpkin instead of the pie filling to nix the added sugars.. the real stuff is best when you use it with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice.  You won’t be sacrificing the flavor and you’ll reap the healthy vitamins from the pure pumpkin, too!

Jarred Cranberry Sauce

  • Create your very own chutney using fresh cranberries, apples, pears, stevia and ginger.  The taste will surely beat that of anything inside a jar…so, go ahead turn on that stove top and whip up your very own cranberry sauce or chutney to serve atop your turkey and roasted veggies.  You can even use this chutney to top your desserts, as well.

Heavy Whipped Topping

  • Instead, try whipping a mixture of Greek yogurt with gluten-free vanilla extract, stevia on medium-high speed with a mixer until stiff peeks form.  This will create a beautiful whipped topping without the additives or preservatives in bottles whipped toppings and processed heavy creams.

Boxed Mashed Potatoes

  • Break out the creativity at your farmer’s market or produce stand.  Try mashed beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips…I could go on forever…these natural root veggies add the perfect touch of sweetness without the starchy additives, sugars and preservatives.  Serve these mashed veggies with the above chutney and whipped topping for a special decadent treat.

And here is an amazing offer to receive an iPad from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where I received my Nutrition Certification.

Prospective students who enroll in IIN this Friday are eligible to receive an iPad, so tell your friends and family to call IIN at (877) 730-5444 from 10am – 4pm ET on Friday, November 26.  All you have to do is mention my name, Amie Valpone to ensure you receive referral credit when you enroll.  It’s a win-win situation!

Also, I’m offering all of you Free Shipping for any order in my Shop over $50 with code: FREESHIP50

Here are a few Gluten-Free dishes you can easily serve up for your Turkey Table…

Chilled Cranberry Macadamia Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 large pears, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 12 dates, chopped
  • 3 large Honey crisp apples, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. stevia
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. freshly graded lime zest
  • Pinch of all-spice
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Topping: Greek plain yogurt
  • Topping: Ground flax seeds

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine cranberries, pears, dried cherries, dried apricots, basil, dates, apples and macadamia nuts; pulse until minced.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
  4. Serve chilled with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt and a sprinkle of ground flax seeds.
  5. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Golden Stuffin’ Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, very finely mashed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 12 pieces gluten-free bread, roughly chopped into 1/2 inch cube-like pieces
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a muffin tin with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, cook avocado, sweet potatoes and vegetable broth; approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine gluten-free bread, raisins, mushrooms, rosemary, egg, vinegar, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper; gently toss to combine.  Add warm avocado mixture and mix well.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared muffin tins.  Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven; set aside to cool before removing.
  7. Serve warm.
  8. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Cherry Chia Cornbread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, finely mashed
  • 2 cups grilled corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • 1 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Optional Topping: Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse avocado and grilled corn for 15-20 seconds.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.
  4. Transfer mixture into prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with fresh cranberry sauce and a dollop of Greek plain yogurt.
  7. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Sahale Snacks Giveaway…

I am happy to announce that one of my favorite Gluten-Free (and incredibly tasty) snacks, ‘Sahale Snacks’ is now available in Seattle’s Best Coffee.  So, with this exciting news, I’ll be sending the winner of my Sahale Snacks Giveway a sample of each of the two flavors that are offered at Seattle’s Best Coffee.
Last week, Valdosta and Sing Buri nut blends debuted at Seattle’s Best Coffee counters in convenient 2-ounce pouches — enough to share with a friend over coffee or to satisfy a morning and an afternoon snack craving.  I surely stash these lil’ babies in my desk drawer…you surely can’t beat the crunchy, sweet n’ savory blend of nuts, seeds, dried fruits n’ spices in your morning oatmeal, atop your lunchtime salad, as an afternoon pick-me up to beat the 3PM slump…in your evening stir-fry or enjoyed as a dessert nibble atop Greek yogurt.

Sahale Snacks’ rich and peppery Valdosta Pecans pair especially well with Seattle’s Best Coffee winter beverages, like Vanilla Cinnamon Latte. The spicy and exotic Sing Buri Cashews make a lively accompaniment to tea, espresso, and brewed coffee drinks.

Sahale Snacks Valdosta is a blend of lightly spicy pecans, sweetened, dried cranberries and orange zest. The flavor combination echoes flavors of the American South and will pair especially well with Seattle’s Best Coffee winter beverages, like Vanilla Cinnamon Latte.

Sahale Snacks Sing Buri is made with cashews glazed with soy sauce and lemongrass combined with dried pineapple, peanuts, and sesame seed – all lightly dusted with mild Chinese chili. This aromatic blend is reminiscent of a flavorful Thai dish and makes a lively accompaniment to tea, espresso, and brewed coffee drinks.

And in honor of these two tasty new flavors, I thought I’d create a fancy, schmancy recipe using Sahale Snacks to show you just how easy it is to include them into your everyday eats…

Sweet Cocoa Nutty Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sahale Snacks Honey Glazed Almonds
  • 1 cup Sahale Snacks Cranberry Cashews
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine Sahale Snacks Honey Glazed Almonds and Cranberry Cashews; process until smooth.  Slowly add oats, agave nectar, almond extract and coconut oil.  Process until smooth consistency.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl; using hands form into golf-sized balls.
  3. Roll each ball first in cinnamon, then in cocoa powder to coat completely.
  4. Transfer coated balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place into the freezer for 25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

To Enter my Sahale Snacks Giveaway, simply:

Visit the Sahale Snacks website and tell me which flavor you’d like to try.

I of course, love them all, but if I had to choose…I’d surely go with the Southwest Cashews or the Cranberry Pecans, which are a staple in my pantry as they always seem to add such a perfectly crunchy yet creamy consistency to any dish or just simply nibbled on alone right out of the bag

…(which I do quite often, hehe)…

Have you ever tried Sahale Snacks? If so, what are your favorite flavors?

I’ll be picking a winner on Friday, October the 1st at 5PM EST.

Good Luck.

And, speaking of contests…I’m in the running to become “The Next Food Blog Star”

You can VOTE FOR ME HERE by giving me a RED HEART

(You’ll have to create a log in/sign up for Foodbuzz to give me a RED HEART Vote)

…as I enter Challenge #2 …with my delicious Arabic creation below, vote for me to inch one step closer to being the Next Food Blog Star!

Thank you for your support….

Gingered Cranberry-Orange Holiday Relish

This is a wonderful dish to serve at your holiday table.  I will be serving this relish alongside roasted turkey, grilled fish and roasted root vegetables.  It seems no matter what you pair with this relish, the taste is always exquisite.  I often use leftovers on my turkey sandwich and salad the next day as the relish is a perfect accompaniment to bean casseroles, baked tofu, poultry, fish, crackers, toast and pitas.

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges, unpeeled and slice into 8 pieces for each orange
  • 1 grapefruit, unpeeled and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup stevia
  • 2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. warm water

Directions

  • Place orange and grapefruit pieces (skin-on) in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Slowly add cranberries, stevia, honey, cinnamon, ginger, balsamic vinegar and warm water; pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Transfer relish to a small bowl and chill before serving.

Winter Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread

Gotta love dried cranberries and cashews…two of my favorites, so I thought I’d toss them into my whole wheat bread recipe.  To my surprise, the bread was fantastic and the tender cranberries and ground cashews were the perfect touch to this warm winter bread.  I served each slice with an additional dollop of Stonyfield Oikos Greek yogurt and marmalade.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bran flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 pint Stonyfield plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup cashews, ground

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  • Slowly add in Stonyfield yogurt and gently fold.
  • Transfer dough into a loaf pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and firm.