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Sur-THRIVE the Holidays

Dreading that stuffed-turkey-feeling? Food coma? Adding 5 pounds in one weekend? No more! Start by working delicious, healthy side dishes into your Thanksgiving holiday meal... Then take a LONG walk.

I love Thanksgiving. Vermont, my family (and friends who join us), the PIE... So much to be thankful for! Gathered together around the bountiful table, sharing our thanks for another year; it is truly one of my favorite times of year.

And then there's the food...In years past I would nosh on the wonderful pre-dinner snacks laid out while we waited for the bird to be cooked. Then I'd have several generous helpings of turkey, stuffing and potatoes... Did I mention STUFFING? Oh, there's green beans, sweet potato, butternut squash and cranberry sauce, but if I'm honest it's the stuffing I'd have that 3rd helping of. Clear the plates, loosen the pants and immediately dive into the pie. Apple or pumpkin? Yes please! By the end of the meal I'd feel like a stuffed turkey myself.

Now that I no longer eat turkey, and do what I can to avoid gluten, I come to Thanksgiving prepared - armed with delicious alternatives - so I'm not temped by the stuffing. A few weeks ago, we held a class dedicated to Thanksgiving Sides to share the knowledge and delicious recipes. If you missed it, no worries! There's always next year... In the meantime, here's my favorite "stuffing" recipe...

Savory Herb Stuffing

1 C soaked raw walnuts, finely ground in the food processor

1 C soaked raw pumpkin seeds, finely ground in the food processor

1 C raw sunflower seeds, finely ground in the food processor

1/3 C chopped yellow onion

3/4 C diced celery

1 C chopped mushrooms, briefly marinated in 1-2 T gluten-free tamari

2 T olive oil

1/4 t sea salt (Herb Sea Shakes works great here!)

1/2 t black pepper

1 1/2 t sage

1 1/2 t thyme

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mix well, and serve.

Last year I blogged about my favorite cranberry relish. To recap...

The BEST Cranberry Relish EVER!

My small family gathers in Vermont every year for Thanksgiving. Because we're a small bunch, we often invite friends and holiday orphans to join us in giving thanks over a beautiful meal. A regular at our table is my mother's wonderful friend Glenda (picture Glinda the good witch and you'll get an idea as to just how wonderful she truly is).

We typically make a cranberry relish every year, even before I went raw. Often we've used a recipe from Eating Well Magazine. But this year, hold onto your hats, things CHANGED! Enter Glenda... You were wondering when she would make an appearance in my Thanksgiving tale. She ever so gently asked whether I would be open to trying her recipe for cranberry relish this year. Well, of course! So we did... Even Bob, our 86-year-old Thanksgiving orphan, asked to take some home with him at the end of the night. When does that ever happen with cranberry relish?!?!

Here it is...

Cranberry Relish

1 bag raw, organic, whole cranberries

1 whole orange, cut off ends and quarter the orange (rind on)

1/2 a pineapple, cored and sliced

Process ingredients in a food processor, well. Transfer to a bowl. Add the seeds from one pomegranate. Add agave or maple syrup to taste if you like your relish sweeter.

The best part about recipes like these? I feel very satisfied at Thanksgiving without feeling like I've over-done it. No food coma! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Augusta

PS. Each Peach Cafe will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the Thanksgiving weekend. We'll be back on Monday, November 28th! Have a safe and happy holiday.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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