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Thu Nov 24 2022

THREE WAYS TO EAT HEALTHY ON THANKSGIVING

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It’s Thanksgiving, and you’re trying to eat healthy. The good news? That roasted turkey that’s about to come out of the oven is a healthy main course that’s high in protein and low in fat (if you skip the skin). The potential bad news? There’s a lot of other food.

 

Don’t worry. A balanced diet is a healthy diet, even on a holiday. So you can focus on friends and family without letting diet issues suck the joy out of your holiday feast. Here are three ways to eat healthy on Thanksgiving: pay attention to your side dishes, desserts and portion control.

Side dishes and appetizers

For starters, consider a tasty dip with fresh, raw vegetables or tortillas. Instead of buying mass-produced chips, offer your guests a choice of Kuna Puffs superfood Tortilla Chips. Available in flavors like Blue Corn with Quinoa, Tortilla with Chia, or Tortilla with Greens (spinach, spirulina and kale), these chips hold up to any dips with a great crunch and great taste.

 

During the meal itself, gravy is a must. A simple gravy often uses the delicious drippings from the turkey at its core, with added flour for thickness and seasoning for taste. Be sure to allow the fat to separate from the drippings and skim it off before whisking in your ingredients. And instead of all-purpose flour, try organic Quinoa Flour from LiveKuna as a substitute. It will add a hint of earthy, nuttiness that says Thanksgiving. 

 

Keep your stuffing simple. Avoid breads made with enriched all-purpose flours. Feature vegetables and whole wheat bread or apples, caramelized onions and wild rice. Other great flavors of the season include walnuts, dried cranberries, celery and apples.

 

Butternut squash is a delicious seasonal vegetable. Halve your butternut squash and remove the seeds, then roast it while cooking up some organic Quinoa. Stuff the squash with Quinoa, cranberries and feta or sauteed kale and mushrooms, walnuts or shallots.

 

The Green Bean Casserole is a classic side. Whether you use a mushroom sauce or a chicken broth, onions or shallots, add bacon or prosciutto and Parmesan, and season with garlic, or nutmeg, Chia seeds can add an antioxidant boost. They are high in fiber and healthy carbs, as well as nutrients like magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Chia also may help heart health and help manage blood sugar levels.

 

Considering cranberry as a featured side for your Thanksgiving table? Instead of the traditional cranberry sauce, the LiveKuna website has a great alternative recipe for Whole Wheat Quinoa Pastry Roll-Ups with Cranberry Chia Seed Jam. This colorful and tasty addition to your meal features the flavors of fresh cranberries, juiced oranges and maple syrup.

 

Desserts

Pie is a staple of the Thanksgiving dessert table. Many fruit-based pies are incredibly healthy desserts, especially if they are made using gluten-free flours. LiveKuna offers three types of gluten-free flour that can be used in gluten-free pie crusts: Quinoa flour, Banana flour and Plantain flour.

 

Quinoa flour is rich in nutrients and amino acids, and full of basic elements like magnesium, iron, copper, folate and phosphorus. Its natural nutty essence will help highlight the flavor in Pecan or English Walnut pies.

 

Banana flour is gluten-free and paleo- and keto-friendly. This superfood flour delivers loads of antioxidants, fiber and resistant starch. The raw flour has a mild banana taste that fades when cooked, but it will help accentuate a banana cream or banana coconut cream pie while creating a crust with a light texture. This flour is also a good pairing for pies with hints of citrus, like Key Lime or Pineapple pie.

 

Plantain flour, which is incredibly rich in fiber, has a largely neutral flavor. That makes it a great substitute for enriched flours in pie crusts for pies that feature bolder fruit flavors, like Blueberry, Raspberry, Cherry or Peach pies.

 

Another great healthy dessert? Dark chocolate.

Convince your guests that you visited the gourmet chocolate shop by dipping your own fruit! Get some quality dark chocolate and melt it down, then grab your favorite fresh fruits. Try halving figs or strawberries, use whole seedless grapes or even pomegranate seeds. For the added sweet and salty effect, sprinkle the melted chocolate with Himalayan sea salt and pop them into the fridge until ready to serve. 

 

You can also make a simple dark chocolate brittle with a healthy trail mix. Just melt down your dark chocolate, drop tablespoon-sized dollops of dark chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with trail mix. Let it cool and serve. 

 

Portion control

First of all, relax, it is a holiday. You can have a little extra without destroying your diet. The holiday season is a time to enjoy family and friends while sharing the bounty of the season.

Without offering a formula that has you weighing every food, trying to calculate exact calorie counts and worrying about each bite, here are a few simple ideas that can make portion control easy.

 

  1. Use smaller plates. The plate-size effect is well documented. Simply put, a larger plate makes it more likely you will overeat. After all, many of us have been programmed to clean our plates since we were children! 
  2. Eat smaller portions. Go ahead and fill your plate with foods that interest you, but do it with one serving spoonful of each offering. Variety is the spice of life!
  3. Divide your plate into sections. Use roughly ¼ for proteins like turkey, ¼ for starches, and make ½ of it a cornucopia of colors.
  4. When it’s time for dessert, just pick one.
  5. Limit your intake of alcohol. This will help keep you from losing your inhibitions – and your control over your portions!

 

And there they are, three ways to eat healthy on Thanksgiving: to go along with that turkey, pay attention to your side dishes, desserts and portion control. Otherwise, skip the politics, embrace your loved ones and enjoy the food. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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