Many of us who are watching our weight, or just really care about staying on plan struggle around the holidays. Every holiday party is packed with carbs and sugar. We fear being judged or having to deal with the backhanded comments from fellow gathering attendees “You are not fat, you need to eat” “It’s the holidays, can’t you just enjoy yourself?” or the lovely “Well if you think your fat and shouldn’t eat this stuff…then you must think I am a whale!” (yes, all said to me at holiday gatherings).
There is a way to enjoy the Thanksgiving gatherings and actually get to eat! There are plenty of traditional foods that are low carb friendly already found on the tables of most American Thanksgiving gatherings! Here are just a few:
Side salads (minus croutons, those are easily removed)
And cooked green side vegetable (as long as it is not a casserole, those usually include flour)
Sliced meats, cheeses, olives and raw vegetables from traditional appetizer trays
Alright, feeling a little better? No? Our next suggestion is to bring 2 -3 things that fit your diet that you can share! Who knows? You may inspire someone to follow your lead and switch to a low carb lifestyle! We suggest bringing an appetizer, a side and a desert. Combine with the turkey and you have all the bases covered.
What is great is that you can take any traditional thanksgiving recipe and with a couple of changes, make it low carb (and just as good).
For example, lets take the traditional green bean casserole. Take the traditional recipe that uses cream of mushroom soup (that commonly has flour in it and also canola oil) and make your own cream of mushroom soup instead. Here is how to make your own cream of mushroom soup.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 tablespoons almond flour or arrowroot
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. When foaming subsides add the mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms have released their moisture and the edges begin to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly until incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add the chicken stock and then the cream, whisking constantly to avoid lumping. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, 5-6 minutes.
Replacing the breaded and fried onions are easy as well!
Slice 1 whole red onion and skillet fry them in ghee or coconut oil and coat them with almond flour or pulverized pork rinds. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will make the perfect “breaded” (not breaded) onions for your casserole.
Lastly, make sure to get 2 pounds of fresh green beans (not those sorry soft canned ones) and boil them for 6 minutes. Put the green beans and home made cream of mushroom soup in a casserole dish, top with your onions and bake until bubbling at 375 for about 20 minutes.
For desert, substitute pretty much any traditional baking recipe flour for almond flour and sugar for swerve or stevia (whatever your preference is).
Here is a recipe for a low carb pumpkin bread:
2 1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup stevia or swerve
2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Sea salt
3/4 cup Pumpkin puree
4 large Eggs (lbeaten)
1/3 cup Butter
1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper so loaf doesn’t stick or use a disposable aluminium loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, stevia, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and sea salt.
Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and press evenly to make a smooth top. Sprinkle the top with pumpkin seeds and press them lightly into the surface.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing
Bringing your own low carb options that are delicious will not only make you feel great about sticking with your plan, but will impress your skeptical friends and family and possibly convince them that this low carb thing may be a great way to live!
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