Thanksgiving Feast: Who’s Counting (the Fruits & Veggies)?

posted Oct 10, 2013, 9:17 AM by Merrin McGregor   [ updated Oct 10, 2013, 9:44 AM ]
It’s that tasty season: Thanksgiving! 
This time of year is a no-brainer for sneaking in great seasonal fruits and veggies: think apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, cabbage, broccoli, and — dare I say it?? — Brussels sprouts...shh… 

A recent study found that people want to see more vegetables on the menu, so give them what they want (just don’t mention it)! Give a little extra thought to amping up the cups of fruits and veggies in your new and old favorite Thanksgiving dishes, and you’ll pull a fast one on the whole crowd!

Where to Start?

For the main course, options abound! First consider the classic, must-serve items for your feast. For so many, Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without the traditional fare. Dishes like stuffing or dressing can obscure many more cups of veggies than anyone would guess — Why not just double whatever your recipe calls for? Potatoes are almost certainly going to make an appearance — Why not up the ante by combining white with sweet potatoes for a swirled mash? And definitely don’t forget the cranberry sauce. (If you’re using a can, give it a boost by simmering with orange juice, orange zest and a cinnamon stick.)

Take Both Sides

Many Thanksgiving sides are traditionally veggie-laden, so there’s no need to mess with a good thing...but perhaps you’re feeling adventurous and thinking beyond the usual suspects. In that case, bite your tongue and try a whole new seasonally-inspired side dish — Why not a casserole of baked apples and squash, or Brussels sprouts gratin? Or check out a favorite in Vegetables Accidentally: Cranberry-Mushroom Barley Pilaf.

Close the Deal

When it comes to dessert, you really can’t lose at Thanksgiving. Pie is a sure winner, whether pumpkin or apple. Or consider alternatives like pumpkin cheesecake or apple crisp instead. Looking for a complete departure from the traditional? Try out Vegetables Accidentally options like Old-Fashioned Date-Oatmeal Cookies or Warm Pear-Applesauce.

Sharing this traditional feast will still be just as tasty, satisfying and memorable as always, but with a few more fruits and veggies to tuck into, you’ll be feeling a little extra thankful. I challenge you to give some thought to upping the fruit and veggie cup count in your annual feast. Share your ideas and results on the Vegetables Accidentally Facebook page. Happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy capturing the sneaky spirit of the season!

PS: I can’t resist taking a moment to mention leftovers too. I’m thinking of a hearty turkey pot pie, loaded with veggies and topped with mashed potatoes...or a California Turkey BLT (Turkey, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado)...or a big pot of turkey noodle soup.

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