Tag Archives: Healthier Thanksgiving foods

Our Thanksgiving Table: Saving the best for last – Pumpkin Pie!

We’ve all admitted that Thanksgiving dinner could never be a complete experience without dessert – and more specifically, pie. And even more specifically, pumpkin pie!

It’s a turkey day tradition … and some form of pumpkin pie (although not the one we enjoy today) could have easily been present during that first Thanksgiving feast in the early 1600s. Early American settlers of Plimoth Plantation, the first permanent European settlement in southern New England, might have made a “pumpkin-pie-like treat” by making stewed pumpkins or by filling a hollowed out shell with milk, honey and spices, and then baking it in hot ashes.

A recipe for pumpkin pie appears in a 1651 cookbook from France. This recipe is the first that includes a pie crust making the dish fairly identical to the pumpkin pie we enjoy today.

We’ve almost finished our meal around the FoodFacts.com Thanksgiving table. So let’s enjoy our favorite Thanksgiving dessert. Sad thing is that when we indulge in this traditional compliment to our holiday meal, it will cost us upwards of 400 calories per slice with a hefty 14.3 grams of fat per serving.

We don’t want to feel guilty about this great dessert. We want to enjoy it, savoring each bite. And the only way we can think about doing this (especially immediately following that incredible meal we all just shared), is to find a way to lighten up this recipe WITHOUT sacrificing any of the flavor.

Here’s what you’ll need:
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 can evaporated skim milk
1/4 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 can pumpkin puree
1 frozen pie shell, thawed
For the topping:
1/4 cup whipping cream

Directions:
1. Position oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. Combine all ingredients except pumpkin in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pumpkin, and continue stirring until smooth.
3. Pour pumpkin mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° F (do not remove pie from oven); bake an additional 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
4. To prepare topping, beat cream with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve with pie (1 Tbsp per slice).

This recipe produces a very flavorful pumpkin pie! It also brings the calories down to 210 per slice with 6 grams of fat! That’s a pretty significant savings of fat and calories!!

We’ve really enjoyed having you all gather together around our Thanksgiving table at FoodFacts.com. If you’ve been following along with us, you’ll know that the traditional dinner we’ve profiled came in at 1766 calories and 83 grams of fat for Roast Turkey, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing, Candied Yams, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie. We’ve outlined some lighter recipes for that same Thanksgiving meal. It now comes in at 876 calories and 23.4 grams of fat. That’s over 50% less calories and over 71% less fat than the traditional recipes we’re all used it.

FoodFacts.com is excited to sit down to our healthier feast this Thanksgiving. We hope you give some of these lighter ideas a try. You’ll not only feel good about the nutritional value of your holiday meal – your family will feel good about the wonderful flavors and aromas rising from your kitchen this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving from FoodFacts.com!

Our Thanksgiving Table: Roast Turkey … the holiday centerpiece

We’re getting closer to the big day and as we do, our thoughts turn repeatedly to the centerpiece of our table — the roast turkey!

There really isn’t much that compares to the aroma of a golden brown turkey roasting away in the oven on Thanksgiving morning. And then there are the leftovers! The possibilities are endless … turkey sandwiches with gravy, turkey pot pies, turkey and stuffing casseroles are just a few of our favorites.

Gather round our table where the turkey is the Thanksgiving day main event. But sadly, the centerpiece of our meal can inflict a heavy dose of fat and calories on the holiday dinner. The typical roast turkey prepared in the traditional manner supplies about 400 calories per serving with 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and 994 mg of sodium.

Did the pilgrims actually include a turkey in their original Thanksgiving feast? The jury’s out on this one. It appears that in Massachusetts in 1621 there were plenty of wild turkeys keeping the colonists company. So it would certainly seem natural that a bird would be part of that original dinner thanking God for the harvest and for the colonists’ survival in the new world (which was not an easy feat). The pilgrims celebrated that first Thanksgiving for three days – so we’d have to assume that more than one wild turkey was included. That was quite a feast!

While we love the roast turkey, we also love the rest of the meal and want to enjoy it in its entirety without worrying about compromising our healthy lifestyle in order to do so. That can become difficult when most of the side dishes we love so much are very high in calories and fat, as well as sodium. So what can we do about keeping our turkey at reasonable fat and calorie levels, without sacrificing any of that marvelous flavor? We’d also like to make sure that we keep our favorite, old-fashioned aromas wafting through our homes in the morning hours of Thanksgiving day.

This healthier recipe will ensure both the flavor and fragrance of a winning roast turkey. The apples and onions help to keep the bird from drying out, so that you’ll achieve that moist texture that’s so important.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1 10- to 12-pound turkey
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus a few sprigs
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus a few sprigs
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus a few sprigs
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 1/2 pounds small onions, peeled and halved lengthwise, divided
• 1 tart green apple, quartered
• 3 cups water, plus more as needed

Directions
• Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F.
• Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity.
• Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels.
• Combine oil, chopped parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place herb sprigs, half of the onions and apple in the cavity. Add 3 cups water to the pan.
• Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. Cover the breast with foil, cutting as necessary to fit. Add remaining onions to the pan around the turkey. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting a thermometer registers 165°F, 1 to 1 3/4 hours more. If the pan dries out, add more water.
• Transfer the turkey to a serving platter (reserve pan juices and onions for gravy) and tent with foil.

This will make for a great turkey day experience for everyone. Flavorful and moist for less than half the calories and fat of a traditional recipe. The apples really add to the flavor and aroma of the bird. We love adding this healthy option to the FoodFacts.com Thanksgiving table and can’t wait to sit down to this year’s better-for-us feast!