By now, you all know the dangers of a sugar heavy diet. But the holidays are right around the corner and it’s going to take some extra vigilance to stay sugar free. We’ve got a few ideas on how to remove sugar from your Thanksgiving and holiday dinners.
The Marshmallow Conspiracy
Here’s the truth: marshmallows and sweet potato casserole might be your great-great Aunt Margaret’s recipe, but she didn’t come up with it on her own. You know where the recipe originally came from? You’re all smart potatoes, you can probably figure it out.
Making marshmallows at home is a very laborious, and sticky, process, as anyone who’s tried it can tell you. In the time of the pilgrims, (or maybe just a little after) marshmallows were mostly reserved for upper class families, with a kitchen staff to clean the sugary mess. Then the food processing people figured out how to make marshmallows in bulk. Suddenly, marshmallows were available to everyone. And, to encourage everyone to use them to their daily lives, a cookbook was distributed.
Enter the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. That’s right, your traditional Thanksgiving casserole hasn’t been passed down from grandmother to granddaughter, but from marshmallow maker to you.
A marshmallow laden sweet potato casserole is at least 20 grams (5 teaspoons) of sugar per serving. The same serving of sweet potatoes, plain, has 6 grams (1 ½ teaspoons) of sugar.
If sweet potatoes were called bitter potatoes then a case might be made to add marshmallows to make them palatable. But, the delicious sweet potato needs nothing than butter and salt to enjoy. Don’t invite marshmallows to dinner this Thanksgiving.
A can of jellied cranberry sauce contains 24 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar per ¼ cup. To compare, a cup of whole cranberries contains only 4 grams (1 teaspoon) of sugar. Cranberries are meant to be tart, and that tartness makes them an excellent complement to your turkey.
Make homemade cranberry sauce using fresh or frozen cranberries, and simmer in a saucepot. Add grated apple and apple cider to taste. Or, try with orange zest and fresh orange juice, and a cinnamon stick. You can even try to use our Orange NuStevia for that added sweetness. Try Kristine’s Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce!
Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, don’t eat it from a box
Pre-made stuffings are packed full of chemicals and, you guessed it, sugar! Think outside the dressing box this year, and knock grandpa’s golf socks off with homemade dressing. Try Martha’s Prune and sausage stuffing, if you think your crowd would like sweet and savory.
Shaken, Not Stirred
If your family gatherings involve alcohol, eliminate the added sugar and skip the sugar based drink mixes. Current favorite gin and tonic, contains 32 grams (8 teaspoons) per serving! Beer and wine are good low sugar choices. But, if you want to serve something a little more festive, branch out into our stevia sweetened cocktails.
And, Now for Dessert
Eliminating dessert from holiday meals is just not an option. Traditional pumpkin pie serves up 25 grams (6 teaspoon) of sugar per slice. And who has only one small slice of pie? Skip the added sugar and try a stevia sweetened recipe. Chocolate Raspberry Mousse, Carrot Cake, Mini Chocolate Mint Pudding Pies, and Cherry-Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate Coconut Crust.
Now, have yourself a second slice of dessert. Go ahead, you deserve it.
Create some new traditions for your Thanksgiving dinner this year by reducing the sugar on your plate. Let us know how you do!