the week to load our carts and kitchens with food for what
could easily be the biggest meal of the year. And since few of
us will be out hunting for a turkey or trading food with our
Native American neighbors, here are a few shopping ideas for a
traditional and nutritious Thanksgiving:
According to the National Turkey Foundation, most of us (88
percent of Americans) will have turkey on our Thanksgiving
table this year. Nutritionally, turkey is considered a lean
protein food … before we smother it with gravy.
someone to talk turkey? Poultry professionals are ready to
answer questions at the Butterball Turkey Talk Line
(1-800-BUTTERBALL, or 1-800-288-8372) daily from 8 am to 8 pm,
Central Time. And this year we can even text questions 24/7
the entire week before Thanksgiving (yay!). That number is
the most common question received by the Butterball experts is
how to thaw the big bird. Answer? Unopened wrapper on a tray
in the refrigerator, breast side up. Allow at least 1 day of
thawing for every 4 pounds of turkey.
Traditional cornbread stuffing — IF it is made without added
wheat flour or other gluten-containing ingredients — can be
a great dish for friends and family who avoid gluten (a
protein in wheat, rye and barley). And you can make everyone
happy without having to do two separate recipes. Find not one,
but two gluten-free stuffings for Thanksgiving at
Squash: Yes, that includes our traditional pumpkin. But don’t
forget all the other members of the winter squash family
including butternut (one of my favorites), acorn, and kabocha
(named for the Japanese word meaning "squash").
Nutritionally, the orange and yellow flesh of these hardy
vegetables are rich in fiber and antioxidant vitamins A and C.
Serve them roasted, mashed or in soups.
potatoes: And here’s the age-old question. What’s the
difference between a sweet potato and a yam? According to the
North Carolina Sweet Potato farmers — who grow more of this
tuber than any other state — what we tend to call
"yams" are most likely sweet potatoes. A true yam is
similar to a white potato and usually imported from Caribbean
countries. American sweet potatoes are traditionally
orange-fleshed although they can also be white or even purple.
So even though we may interchange the words, the USDA requires
that orange-colored sweet potatoes always be labeled
"sweet potato"… because they are.
importantly, these orange colored vegetables that jazz up our
Thanksgiving table are loaded with anti-inflammatory
substances that have been shown to slow certain disease
processes and premature aging caused by too many relatives in
these foods together and what do we have? A nutritionally
complete traditional holiday feast. And there might even be
room for pumpkin pie.