We're all looking forward to Thanksgiving and the other day I came across a headline on a health website that caught my eye: Tips for Healthy Holiday Indulging. I love the idea of "healthy indulging"! Those are two concepts we don't usually put together – especially around the holidays.

But many of the foods we enjoy at Thanksgiving do, in fact, allow us to indulge while we're still being watchful of our health. Many of the items we feature in the traditional Thanksgiving feast can be quite good for our health, as long as we prepare them property and practice portion control.

To help with the preparation, Kelli Rose, our gourmet chef, raw food chef and nutritionist, is sharing three great recipes that you'll want to incorporate into your Thanksgiving celebration this year. So YUMMY-In fact, I think you'll find them so satisfying and delicious that you'll be treating yourself and your guests to these recipes all year long.

And as I reflect on the healthy bounty that we are able enjoy at Thanksgiving, it makes this season even more special. It lifts my spirit to think that we all come together during this season to take time and consider all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives. Honestly, I believe the act of giving thanks is wonderful for our hearts, health and spirit as well. It brings to mind this quote:

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."  – Melody Beattie

And finally, before we move on to Kelli's recipes, don't forget that we're working to share our abundance with our neighbors who may not be in a position to celebrate Thanksgiving very well this year. When you come by the studio, try to bring a nonperishable food; we're collecting donations for the FIND Food Bank.

In Gratitude,

Natalie Taylor signature

Guilt Free Pleasure of Fall’s Flavorful Garden Splendor

image(6)Hues of orange dazzle our eyes as leaves change colors and pumpkins make their way to our doorsteps and centerpieces. Let’s not forget the candied yams, sweet potato pies, pumpkin treats and cinnamon spiced this and that...how could we not indulge in Fall’s flavorful holiday splendors?

Sometimes we just have to splurge here and there, but fitness goals, healthful eating and savory satisfaction can all find a synergic spot on your festive tables.

This month’s recipes offer:

  • A Raw Sweet Potato Casserole dish to satisfy your holiday cravings without expanding your waistline!
  • A Raw Sweet Potato Juice that soothes digestion, reduces inflammation and supports healthy skin!
  • A delightful Pumpkin Glazed Popcorn that allows for some guilt-free noshing!

Raw Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 5-6 servings

Calories: 480/400 per serving

Ingredients:

  •  1 ½ cups raw pecans or walnuts (soaked 6 hours and dehydrated to crispy is preferable)
  • 4 cups peeled & chopped, raw sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ cup dates, pitted, crowned and soaked for 20 min
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or a toothpick swirl of DoTerra Cinnamon oil
  • 1 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar, yacon syrup or Grade B maple syrup

Directions:

In a food processor outfitted with an “S” blade place ¾ cup of pecans, along with all of the sweet potatoes, water, dates, cinnamon, and vanilla. Puree to a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture into a glass casserole dish for serving.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining pecans, sea salt and nectar/syrup and toss to coat. Scatter the pecan topping over the casserole. Serve.

Note:

The casserole can be warmed in the dehydrator or an open door oven by placing it inside at 105* for 30 – 45 minutes just before serving

Sweet on Potato Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 Organic Orange peeled
  • 1 cup Organic Pineapple
  • 1 Organic Raw Sweet Potato peeled
  • Dash of Organic Cinnamon Powder or a toothpick swirl of DoTerra Cinnamon Oil

Preparation:

Peel the orange, chop the fresh pineapple, peel and chop the sweet potato and push through a juicer. Strain the juice to remove any pulp and stir in the cinnamon powder or oil.

Pumpkin Glazed Popcorn

Pumpkin Glazed PopcornPopcorn is one of the easiest and affordable snack foods to prepare. There are many ways to season plain popcorn. This Pumpkin Glazed Popcorn has a sweet pumpkin fall flavor with a hint of therapeutic cinnamon for blood sugar balancing and spice!

I recommend using organic ingredients to ensure nothing is genetically modified.

Yield: 10 cups popped

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Organic Popping Corn
  • 1 tbsp Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 tbsp Organic Grade B Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
  • 1/3 tsp Cinnamon Powder or 1 toothpick swirl of DoTerra Cinnamon Oil
  • ½ tsp Organic Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Neutral Flavor melted Coconut Oil

Preparation:

  1. Pop the corn or buy pre-air popped organic plain popcorn
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup or honey, pumpkin puree, cinnamon powder or oil, and salt. Cook over a medium heat for a minute or two, stirring until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. Measure 2 cups of popcorn and set aside
  5. Put the remaining popcorn in a roasting pan and pour the pumpkin mixture over the popcorn until evenly covered.
  6. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every few minutes
  7. Let popcorn mixture cool. The glazed pieces will harden as they cool.
  8. Mix the two popcorns together, serve and enjoy!

Benefits of Cinnamon Oil