Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving? Is your grocery shopping list already taking shape on the refrigerator?
Before you set those Thanksgiving dinner menus in stone, take a look at my Healthy Holiday Entertaining tips from my latest WBAL TV 11 news appearance! Trust me, you CAN invite nutrition to the table this Holiday season.
Don’t Forget about the Cans
When you’re busy, cooking with cans can be a BIG help. Take advantage of canned foods! They are convenient, easy, and they help your family get the nutrition they need. New research shows that kids who eat canned fruits and veggies tend to get more fruits and veggies overall and have a better diet quality. Currently, 9 out of 10 kids aren’t meeting their daily vegetable needs, and ALL forms of fruits and vegetables, canned fresh and frozen, help kids achieve this!
Try these “Family Fiesta Tacos,” with canned tomatoes, corn and kidney beans – with nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can get this recipe and more at mealtime.org
Put Cranberries on the Menu
Did you know cranberries have health benefits like helping to prevent urinary tract infections? Compounds unique to cranberries help prevent bacteria from sticking to the cell walls and causing infection. On www.cranberryinstitute.org , I found A research review published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition. In it, cranberries reportedly help to:
- reduce the incidence of certain infections
- maintain a healthy urinary tract
- improve heart health and temper inflammation
They may also help maintain heart health by improving blood cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and reducing inflammation. All Cranberry products have these bioactive compounds including cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries, cranberry sauce and fresh/frozen cranberries.
Use Leftovers Creatively
I love honey because it is a versatile culinary ingredient used across a variety of cuisines! For example, it can easily be added to an Asian dish. Make this flavorful Chinese Noodles with Spicy Honey Peanut Sauce and serve it with your leftover turkey! With over 300 varieties of honey just in the US, each different type adds its own unique flavor profile to the recipe.
Honey also balances any recipe enhancing the dish’s flavor: whether its sweet, sour, bitter, salty or savory. Get this recipe and more versatile uses at www.honey.com . Try it out with this easy cranberry compote and use it in LOTS of your fall dishes. Throw fresh cranberries in a pot with a bit of sweetener and simmer until soupy. Top oatmeal, yogurt, use as a spread on sandwiches and wraps – anywhere you can think of!
Entertain with Ease
If you’re hosting or going to a party and want a fun idea that’s super easy, try this KIND bar and cheese pairing: like a “wine and cheese” except with KIND bars! I love KIND foods because they are made from ingredients you can see and pronounce. The new STRONG & KIND bars offer savory flavors and 10 grams of protein per bar from almonds, seeds, and pea protein. These don’t contain soy or whey protein. There are Five Bold Flavors to choose from:
- Honey Mustard
- Thai Sweet Chili
- Hickory Smoked
- Roasted Jalapeno
- Hickory Smoked BBQ
I love to pair Honey Mustard with a creamy goat cheese, Thai Sweet Chili with a Monterey jack, and Hickory Smoked with manchengo.
Tasty and nutritious, add some of these ideas to your Thanksgiving menu and you’ll be sure to add some health as well!
Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @USCranberries @CannedFoodFan @NationalHoney and @KINDSnacks !
Let us know! Have you day-dreamed out any Thanksgiving meal plans yet? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! We’d love to hear them!
Disclosures: I was compensated by Canned Food Alliance, National Honey Board, Cranberry Institute, and KIND Snacks for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.