We have to tell you that we are *pumped* for Thanksgiving this year. Seriously, we’ll take any opportunity to have a great meal, and celebrate with our (small) group of loved ones. If you’re wondering how to keep up with your healthy, non-toxic lifestyle during this holiday: keep reading our This Not That, Thanksgiving Edition!
It’s during difficult times that these holidays feel oh so comforting. Even if they have to be tweaked to our new normal.
But we have to be honest here. No matter how much we love a good turkey feast as much as the next person, we are also conscious that Thanksgiving (much like so many other holidays) can bring about a lot of waste, and not so healthy choices.
If you’ve been a part of the Beauty by Earth fam for a while now, you likely know all about one of our favorite blog series where we give you the lowdown on healthy swaps for not so great items.
And if you thought we’d miss an opportunity to do just that for Thanksgiving, we are glad to tell you you’re wrong!
First Thing’s First – The Glorious Thanksgiving Food
Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is definitely known for mountains of stuffing. Not to mention that golden baked turkey that dad always tries to perfectly carve after one too many pre-dinner cocktails.
And while we welcome these classic holiday traditions, we think you can step up your game and *tweak* some of them.
Below we’ll go through a few popular food and home items, and show you how to do just that, Thanksgiving Edition style.
DON’T Use Cool Whip, Use Real Whipping Cream for that Thanksgiving Pie
Forget the Cool Whip, for real. In fact, you’ll never even look at whipped cream the same after you master making your own. Check out this ridiculously easy recipe.
All you need are three basic ingredients (heavy cream, vanilla extract, and some sugar), and an electric mixer to get this show on the road.
If you’re a vegan babe, just switch out the heavy dairy cream to an oat milk-based alternative! It works like a charm, and your relatives will come around to loving it too. I mean, it is whipped cream after all.
DON’T Use Canned Cranberry Sauce, Use Healthy Homemade Cranberry Sauce
We see grandma, faithfully showing up with her bag of canned cranberry sauce every year, and ok we'll admit we do love her for it! But where there’s a better way, we have to step in - Thanksgiving Edition swaps in hand!
While we know the canned stuff tastes great, it is filled with preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. You know, a whole lot of things you really don’t want going into your body. So, why not make your own cranberry sauce? Trust us, this one can easily become a new family tradition that even grandma will look forward to every year.
We love this recipe from Williams Sonoma because it is super simple to master, and full of clean ingredients.
And if you’re not a fan of adding sugar, you can substitute it for any sweetener replacement you prefer.
DON’T Use Regular Marshmallows, Use Vegan or Healthy Real Ingredient Marshmallows
Ok so maybe you never thought you’d see yourself making your own marshmallows, but hear us out for a second! Traditional marshmallows you pick up from the grocery store are packed with sugar, and corn syrup. Got your attention? Good, because we have the better alternative for you right below.
We have a simple and clean marshmallow recipe for those of you who are (or are aspiring to be) stars in the kitchen. This healthier version of those sweet little treats is sure to make even the pickiest of kids happy.
However, if you’re already knee deep in making homemade cranberry sauce, don't stress. There are vegan, real ingredient marshmallows ready for you to purchase (mess free) at some of your local grocery stores.
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows are delicious, and safe to use in all of your favorite dessert recipes. We’re also fans of Smashmallows, that come in a variety of cool flavors like toasted vanilla, and even candy cane. We know what were throwing in our after dinner hot chocolate this year ;) .
DON’T Use Butter, Use Ghee
What is ghee you ask, and how does it fit in to our Thanksgiving Edition healthy swaps? Well, it’s actually a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. So, what’s so special about it? Girl, you know were about to tell you.
First off, ghee doesn’t burn as quickly as traditional butter. This makes it a great option for pan frying or recipes that require sautéing.
This magical butter alternative also produces less of the toxin acrylamide when heated. Especially when compared to other oils that are typically used in the kitchen. We definitely recommend avoiding acrylamide as much as you possibly can, because studies have shown it is linked to some cancers.
We love the idea of using ghee in your Thanksgiving recipes. This healthy swap has so many cooking advantages! We know you'll dig all of its beneficial health properties that leave butter in the dust.
Gluten Intolerant? DON’T Use Regular Stuffing, Use Healthy Grain-Free Stuffing
In our humble opinion, stuffing is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner that we look forward to each year.
Nevertheless, if you, or someone in your circle is gluten intolerant, we know how hard it can be to safely enjoy this amazing holiday classic. Don’t sweat it, we’ve got a solution for that too!
Try using a grain-free stuffing recipe. Seriously, this exists! And it tastes just as good as Aunt Debra’s, we promise.
The ingredients in this recipe are hella versatile. You can totally swap them out for anything you prefer, or for something that simply doesn’t require making an extra trip to the grocery store.
Just Before We Wrap Up the Healthy Food Portion of This Article…
We had to include the following PSA in our This Not That, Thanksgiving Edition blog.
You may have heard us stress this before, but babe, for real – do your part in putting an end to food waste!
We know all of these dear to our hearts holidays come with an excess of meals and desserts, and we hate to see all of that goodness go to waste. Not only is it well, *wasteful*, it also has serious repercussions on our beautiful planet. If you want to know more about the impacts of food waste on the environment, click here.
Save time, money, and the planet by taking the time to portion out your dishes this Thanksgiving (seriously, one pot of mashed potatoes is plenty).
And if you have leftovers, host a beautiful next-day brunch for the fam and enjoy some more of that homemade stuffing. You’ll be happy you did.
DON’T Use Store Bought Decorations, Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Decorations
Fall is a beautiful season in so many cities across the country. Therefore we think you should take advantage of getting outside and enjoying this enchanting weather (before the snow hits).
We recommend picking up some beautifully colored leaves, and using these to make a gorgeous table runner.
And if you’ve kept any of your small pumpkins from Halloween, use these to spruce up your dinner table as well!
DON’T Overheat The House … Wait, What?
You're probably thinking, what on earth does this have to do with healthy swaps, Thanksgiving Edition.
So get this. You have a house of guests (albeit a small group this year, in our new COVID world). On top of that, you also have an oven running all day to cook that turkey to golden perfection. So, turn down the heat in your home girlfriend!
Conserve some energy, and make sure your thermostat is set a little lower. Not only will the environment thank you, but so will the fam. No one wants to get the hot sweats when they’re going for round two of their yearly Thanksgiving indulgence.
DON’T Use Disposable Utensils & Napkins, Use The Good Silver & Cloth Napkins
Bust out the good china, babe. Not only will your table look unreal, you’ll be creating less waste and plastic garbage for the planet. I mean c’mon, if not this time of year, when is a good time to use those family crested plates?
We know the post-Thanksgiving clean-up isn’t anything to get excited about, and can be *super* overwhelming. If you really insist on using disposable plates, try opting for 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper plates. These babies are compostable.
DON’T Use Plastic Bags, Use Eco-Friendly Reusable Bags
This one is such a simple, yet effective tip.
We know you’ll be hitting up the grocery store for all of your Thanksgiving supplies. On top of that, there are high chances that you’ll likely be sending your guests home with leftovers as well.
Remember to bring your reusable bags when stocking up on your groceries, and any other of your fixings for this holiday!
We also think sending leftovers home with your family and friends in reusable bags not only reduces food waste. But it also gives them a cute parting gift they can reuse long after Thanksgiving is over!
Our Parting Thankful Words…
As you can see babe, there are tons of tips and tricks you can use to have yourself a more natural and eco-friendly holiday, Thanksgiving Edition style.
We hope our swaps above gave you a few good ideas to incorporate into your beloved traditions.
Most of all though, we want to encourage you to appreciate what Thanksgiving is all about. Which to us, is showing thanks for all of the good we are surrounded by.
We know our Beauty By Earth fam is all about showing gratitude and acting in ways that benefit our own health, as well as the planet’s and those around us. Take this Thanksgiving as an opportunity to truly hone in on that, and enjoy all of the beautiful things around you – because there really are so many. Cheers to you beautiful, and happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.