Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas don’t have to be unhealthy. You can boost the nutritional quotient of your holiday meals by incorporating more raw foods like uncooked fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains into traditional Thanksgiving Day or Christmas recipes. Nutrition experts tell us that eating more raw foods can increase fiber consumption, vitamins and minerals, aids in weight loss, and can even increase energy levels—something we can all use during the busy holiday season.
These delicious and healthy recipes were developed by our colleagues at Omega, the folks who make those amazing blenders, from Living Light, chefs who specialize in raw foods, and from Excalibur Dehydrators.
Cranberry Orange Relish
2 cups frozen cranberries (defrosted and allowed to drain)
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped sweet onions
2 tbsp grated ginger root
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp Psyllium powder *
2 cups Orange segments, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet and salty walnuts (optional)
To quickly defrost cranberries, place them in a 125°F dehydrator for 30-40 minutes (or pop in your microwave). To make orange segments, peel and section oranges, removing the seeds. Chop each segment into about 4 pieces. Put the defrosted, drained cranberries, oranges, nuts, celery, onions, ginger root, coconut, sugar and Psyllium powder in a food processor outfitted with “S” blade and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture in a shallow glass dish and place it in a dehydrator for 2-3 hours at 115°F (you can also use a warm oven if you don’t have a dehydrator). Transfer to a glass quart jar and refrigerate for a day or longer prior to serving. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
* Psyllium, a great source of fiber, can be found at stores like Whole Foods, New Seasons, or other health-oriented grocery stores.
Holiday Nut Nog
1 Quart Almond Milk, Strained
2/3 Cups of Macadamia Nuts
8 Soft Pitted Dates
2 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp flax oil
2 frozen peeled bananas
½ tsp nutmeg
Dehydrate macadamia nuts in 105°F in a dehydrator or 12 hours (or in your oven). If using vanilla bean, sit the bean lengthwise, scrape out the soft center (seeds) and discard the outer shell. Put the vanilla, almond milk, macadamia nuts, dates, maple syrup and flax oil in a blender. Blend with an Omega Blender until perfectly creamy. Just before serving, add bananas and blend until smooth. Serve chilled, sprinkled with a little nutmeg.
Black Bottom Pecan Pie
½ cup almonds
1 ½ cups pecans
¼ cup coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar
6 soft dates, pitted
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup soft pitted dates
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups chopped pecans
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pecan halves
½ cup organic cocoa powder
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups maple syrup
2 tbsp vanilla
Place almonds, pecans, dates, evaporated cane sugar and cinnamon in the food processor using the S blade, and process until crumbly, yet sticky. Press mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender to achieve a smooth consistence (they recommend their Omega Blender). Pour ¾ cup of the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Save any chocolate mixture that remains to roll into chocolate truffles.
Place dates and coconut oil in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blend until smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans by hand and spread on top of the chilled chocolate bottom.
Mix together syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Coat the pecan halves with mixture and use to decorate the pie. Arrange nuts in symmetrical fashion around the edge of the pie. *Chill the pie for a minimum of four hours prior to serving. *
Blend ingredients in an high-speed blender until smooth. Drizzle over pie and serve.
Additional Notes: To soak and dehydrate nuts, cover nuts with water and allow them to soak at room temperature for 8 hours. Then rinse and drain. Dehydrate at 105°F on an unlined mesh sheet for 12 hours, or until crisp. To warm the coconut oil to liquid, measure the recommended amount into a glass jar. Cover the jar and place it in a warm dehydrator at 105°F – 125°F for 30 minutes. You can also use a warm oven.
I cup soaked, rinsed and towel blotted pecan halves
½ cup of maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Toss the soaked pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg together and spread them on a silicone sheet (they recommend Excalibur’s Paraflexx sheet). Dehydrate pecans at 105°F for 12 hours or until they are crisp in a dehydrator. (Or use a warm oven.) Enjoy as a snack or salad topper, or use in desserts, like the Black Bottom Pecan Pie. Store Candied Pecans or other flavored nuts in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.