Hello there, friends!
How are ya today? I’m thrilled to report that the last couple of days have been far less hectic than last week and I’m feeling a lot better as a result. The recipes coming out of my kitchen lately have been pretty darn awesome in my opinion, and I’m sure that has something to do with it. Speaking of which, I’ve got an absolutely golden one to share with you today, so let’s get right to it! Just before I do though, I wanted to mention that this post is how I plan to do my formerly-titled Try Something New Tuesday recaps going forward. For more about why the switch was made, check out this post.
Recipe of the Week. Earlier this month, us Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving, quite possibly one of the biggest eating holidays on the calendar. Over the years, the way my family celebrates Thanksgiving has changed. Now, due to geographical separation and changes in the lives of my extended family, the celebration is kept pretty small. My sister lives in the UK, so this year, it was just my mum and I. Having said that, we didn’t use this as any excuse to not go all-out on our meal.
This year and last, we’ve gone out of our way to buy a great big turkey and roast up a TON of vegetables so that we each have leftovers for days. It doesn’t get any easier to make a healthy and totally satisfying salad when you’ve got a whole bunch of healthy mix-ins just sitting in the fridge waiting for you, right?
This salad deserves a grand title, so I’ve named it as such: The Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Salad Ever. And as grand as the name may sound, it’s certainly not a difficult one to toss together. Featuring all of my Thanksgiving favourites, including turkey, roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, delicious tart Honeycrisp apple slices, and a big blob of low-sugar homemade cranberry chutney, I’m pretty sure I could eat it for days without getting bored.
If you don’t actually have the roasted veggies or cranberry chutney sitting in your fridge already, don’t you worry – I’ve included everything you’ll need to make them in the recipe.
For all of my American friends out there who will be celebrating this famous foodie holiday in November, take note – you’ll want to save some leftovers for this. And for my Canadian readers who will likely have gobbled up all the turkey by now (see what I did there?) but still want to get in on the action, oven-baked turkey breast would work just fine too.
New fab find of the week: Dried dragonfruit slices and Power Snacks
From time to time, I go exploring for new superfood smoothie ingredients that take the flavour and nutrition profile of my Vitamix creations to a new level. As I’m sure you may have found, it’s so easy to get into a rut when it comes to the meals we consume each day, and variety is really important because it helps to ensure that we’re covering all of our vitamin and mineral bases.
Ideally, the fruits added to my smoothies (if they contain fruit at all) are seasonal and/or local picks, but as you probably guessed upon looking at the photo above, dragonfruit doesn’t fall into either category. Dried dragonfruit on the other hand, that just happens to be organic and non GMO, and sun-dried? I could get behind that.
As a long-time fan of Navitas Naturals‘ maca, acai powder, and raw cacao powder, I was really excited when a box full of superfood goodies landed on my door step. These dragonfruit slices were one of the surprises in that box, and immediately the wheels in my mind started turning with recipe ideas.
In case you’re a dragonfruit newbie, there are plenty of reasons to love it.
- It’s a source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber
- It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals including vitamins B, C, magnesium, phosphorous and iron
- It’s rich in the antioxidants lycopene and phytoalbumins
On top of all of those things to get excited about, dragonfruit is also a low calorie option and the whole fruit is super hydrating. The flesh is typically either white or vibrant pink, and in the case of Navitas Naturals’ product, it’s the latter.
My plan was to use some slices in a smoothie, but I also snacked on a few in the process of making it. Taste-wise, they’re a lot more sweet than tart (similar to a fresh dragonfruit), and have a really nice chewy texture. Those dark specks you can see on the surface of the slices are seeds, and don’t worry – they don’t get stuck in your teeth. The smoothie I made was quite the superfood powerhouse, and contained the following:
- 5 dried Navitas Naturals dragonfruit slices
- 1/2 large banana
- 6 blackberries
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp Navitas Naturals acai powder
- 1 tsp Navitas Naturals maca root powder
After a thorough blending, this is what it looked like:
Pretty, no? It was definitely a sweet smoothie and next time I’d add more blackberries in exchange for the banana to make it more tart. The dragon fruit slices didn’t play a prominent role taste-wise but I was happy to know they were blended in there to add to the nutritional goodness!
Another other item in my box of goodies was Cacao Goji Power Snacks, which are a raw, vegan-friendly, non-GMO and gluten-free superfood bites that are also available in other flavours. They obviously contain raw cacao and goji berries, but also in the mix are nuts, seeds, raisins, maca powder, lucuma, and camu camu, which comes from a super antioxidant-packed berry.
Nutritionally speaking, these guys are packed with all sorts of things that do the body good. Antioxidants are the main thing to highlight, and these are important because they protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals (which are things like cigarette smoke, pesticides, radiation, pollution, etc). A diet high in these little superheroes is believed to help prevent disease and promote healthier skin, and it just so happens that sources of said antioxidants (like cacao and many other superfoods that Navitas Naturals produces) are incredibly tasty. If that’s not enough, as I’m sure you’ve heard, compounds found in raw cacao trigger the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters which lead to feelings of bliss, excitement, and general all-around happiness. Who wouldn’t want that!?
I’ve been snacking on these little nuggets at work this week, mostly in the afternoon when I feel my energy and concentration starting to lag. While a 1oz serving is very nutrient-dense, it’s also very calorie dense. If you’re ravenous and find you don’t feel satisfied on small quantities of food, you might want to enjoy some raw veggies or a piece of fresh fruit first, then see how you feel. However, in comparison to other dried fruit and nut bars etc, the Power Snacks are surprisingly low in sugar with only 7g per 1oz serving. I also really like that they’re a convenient way to get super high quality whole food nutrition in a form other than a smoothie, because let’s be honest – we can’t carry our Vitamixes around everywhere, right? I’m planning to keep an emergency stash in my desk drawer at work, and figure they’d make a really good take-along snack for road trips and hikes.
So tell me…
- What’s your favourite way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers?
- Do you add any superfoods to your smoothies on a regular basis?