During the first Thanksgiving in November of 1621, the autumn harvest most likely consisted of local vegetables such as corn, beans, lettuce, onions, cabbage, carrots, and spinach. Corn was shown on record to have been bountiful but probably wasn’t eaten the more popular ways we eat it today. It was usually removed from the cob, turned into cornmeal, and then into some version of porridge (1). Native Americans are said to have harvested regional-specific fruits including gooseberries, plums, grapes, cranberries, and blueberries. Thanksgiving’s highlighted cranberry was also used as a natural dye.
We offer some really amazing Thanksgiving dishes to complement your holiday. Both savory and sweet, our menu options are inclusive - fully plant-based, gluten-free, and kosher. To top it off, we are 100% organic and nutrient-dense. We wanted to break down some of our key Thanksgiving ingredients to show how this holiday can not only be delicious, but totally guilt-free and healthy.
Japanese Sweet Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. Sweet potatoes are great for gut health, promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria (2). As discussed in our sweet potato blogpost, we touched on the importance of seasonal eating. Eating with the season harmonizes with the body’s cyclical rhythm and is said to help support diversity within your gut microbiome (3). By diversifying your intake of plant foods each season, you are feeding beneficial gut bacteria with fibrous nutrients.
Nutritional yeast, or “nooch” as most vegans call it, is a light, flaky, yellow seasoning that gives certain non-dairy recipes a nice cheese flavor. Nutritional yeast, first and foremost, is high in vitamin B-12. B-12 is the one main vitamin that vegans are told to ensure they supplement into their diet. It’s not actually the animals that contain this vitamin, B-12 comes from microbes within the earth that are consumed by animals while they are eating a plant-based diet. Even though it is possible to get this vitamin through B-12 fortified plant foods, it may be difficult to track one’s intake every day to meet the daily quota.
Almonds contain high amounts of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fatty acids (4). This powerful nut has diverse bioactive compounds and are made up of macro and micronutrients. Regularly incorporating almonds and almond flour into one’s diet has been known to show positive effects on hypertension, obesity, and diabetes (5). Researchers have also confirmed the prebiotic capability of almonds, helping to feed the gut microbiome.
An apple a day really can keep the doctor away. Apples help to facilitate healthy bones, immune functions, and keep our gut health in line. They are rich in fiber and natural acids which jointly aid in easing digestion issues. A diet high in fiber assists in the reduction of mortality from cancers and cardiovascular diseases (6). Why in the world would society try to demonize fruit? Nutrients that apples contain also help to support energy. This seasonally appropriate fruit has many micro nutrients such as fibers, natural sugars, protein, and organic acids, vitamins C, E, B6, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Apples also contain elements zinc, iron, copper, manganese (7).
Pronunciation: meer-PWAH, typically is a common mix of carrots, onions, and celery. This trio makes for a delicious and healing base for soups, stews, broths, and hearty warming dishes such as our Organic Herb Cornbread Stuffing. Similar variations exist in other meals just like rapper Action Bronson points out, “Holy Trinity, peppers, onions, celery…”
1 https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/first-thanksgiving-meal#:~:text=Local%20vegetables%20that%20likely%20appeared,most%20people%20enjoy%20it%20now. (n.d.).
2 Liu M , Li X , Zhou S , Wang TTY , Zhou S , Yang K , Li Y , Tian J , Wang J . Dietary fiber isolated from sweet potato residues promotes a healthy gut microbiome profile. Food Funct. 2020 Jan 29;11(1):689-699. doi: 10.1039/c9fo01009b. PMID: 31909777.
3 Davenport ER, Mizrahi-Man O, Michelini K, Barreiro LB, Ober C, Gilad Y. Seasonal variation in human gut microbiome composition. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 11;9(3):e90731. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090731. PMID: 24618913; PMCID: PMC3949691.
4 Barreca D, Nabavi SM, Sureda A, Rasekhian M, Raciti R, Silva AS, Annunziata G, Arnone A, Tenore GC, Süntar İ, Mandalari G. Almonds (Prunus Dulcis Mill. D. A. Webb): A Source of Nutrients and Health-Promoting Compounds. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 1;12(3):672. doi: 10.3390/nu12030672. PMID: 32121549; PMCID: PMC7146189.
6 Oyenihi AB, Belay ZA, Mditshwa A, Caleb OJ. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away": The potentials of apple bioactive constituents for chronic disease prevention. J Food Sci. 2022 Jun;87(6):2291-2309. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.16155. Epub 2022 May 3. PMID: 35502671; PMCID: PMC9321083.