With Thanksgiving almost upon us, tonight I began prepping food to contribute to the family dinner on Thursday. I am very determined to adhere to my plant based diet during the holidays. And yes, I’ve heard it all from well meaning people…from “it’s just one day of eating whatever you want” (two really, counting Christmas) to “a little turkey and dessert never hurt anybody” to “you can get right back on track after the holidays”.
I realize that what people are really saying is, they don’t want me to miss out. I appreciate their concern. And trust me, I don’t feel that I am missing anything…except pain, a body thrown out of whack and unwanted holiday weight gain!
With my resolve firm, I greatly enjoyed puttering in the kitchen this evening, creating my first raw cranberry relish, and my first totally plant based pumpkin pie. Both recipes are from Anthony William. The cranberry relish is from his new book, Life Changing Foods. And the pumpkin pie recipe is from his Holiday Pies printout.
Having never made cranberry relish, I was very surprised to find that other people apparently know something about the goodness of fresh cranberries that I don’t! I had to visit four grocery stores before I could locate a bag of these bright red berries. They were sold out all over Joplin. Thankfully, Aldi’s still had a few bags.
This recipe was super easy. Using my new food processor, I combined 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 cups of coarsely chopped apples, 1/2 cup of orange segments, 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest and 4 tablespoons of raw organic honey and pulsed until roughly combined. The relish can be garnished with chopped mint before serving.
I sampled a bite of the relish as I popped it into the fridge to chill. It was delicious, with just the right blend of sweet and tart flavors, and quite a contrast to the super syrupy cranberry sauce from a can.
The pumpkin pie was just as easy and full of healthy goodness as well. The crust was made by processing 1 cup of raw organic almonds, 1 cup of raw organic pecans, 3 cups of dates, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (I located this at my local health food store, Fox Farm Foods), and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
After pressing firmly into a pie dish, I let the crust chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. For the filling, I used my blender to combine 1 cup of dates, 2 bananas, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup heavy coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice. When the mixture was smooth I poured it into the crust and placed the pie back into the freezer for 30 minutes, before transferring to the fridge.
I tried a bite of the crust and a dab of pumpkin pie filling. Oh my. Both were excellent…tasty, not too sweet, and perfectly seasoned with spice.
Tomorrow evening I will attempt making coconut whipped cream, using heavy coconut milk, lemon juice, honey and vanilla bean powder.I’ll let you know how that turns out. With or without whipped topping, this pie is amazing…and absolutely good for me.
I’m looking forward to cutting into it Thanksgiving day!