Thanksgiving is just around the corner: Are you excited for delicious food and family time or are you getting stressed just looking at your long to-do list? If you are the one to prepare the meal, or you are just visiting someone else’s home, preparing for your Thanksgiving meal can become stressful very quickly.
Here are a few ways to make your Thanksgiving meal stress-free:
- Know your food safety rules
- Spend a few moments reviewing food safety basics; including Clean, Cook, Separate, and Chill. Knowing how to prepare a safe meal for you family will help ease your stress.
- Stress less with this easy turkey food safety guide; including how to store, thaw, safely handle, cook, and store turkey.
- Don’t forget about the leftovers! Learn how to safely store leftovers; Timing and temperature is everything!
- Planning is key
- Scrambling last minute is a recipe for stress-disaster. Instead, plan!
- Set your Thanksgiving menu with the people who will be helping to prepare the meal. This way others will be involved and more comfortable to help make recipes.
- Make a grocery list! Be sure to check what you already have in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. This will save time in the grocery store and save money!
- Grocery shop at least a few days before Thanksgiving to avoid big crowds and out-of-stock items.
- Make a few recipes the day before and store in the refrigerator. Then on Thanksgiving day, just properly heat all the way through to serve.
- Know your capacity
- Is this the year to try a completely new recipe and experiment, or make a recipe you know and feel comfortable making? Sometimes focusing on the basics and simplifying your menu is the best way to reduce work load and stress. Maybe instead of making 4 sides, choose 2 sides and make them double batches to still feed a crowd.
- Remember you’re not alone! Delegate tasks to family members, like grocery shopping, chopping, cleaning, setting the table.
- Find your balance
- Don’t get hangry waiting for the family meal to begin! Continue with your morning meal (and lunch if having a later big meal) routine by eating a balanced breakfast including a protein, grain, and fruit/vegetable. With a balanced meal, your mood and energy will be stable up until your Thanksgiving meal.
- Enjoy your family traditions
- Nutrition isn’t always the whole picture; there is also honoring family traditions and enjoying what you eat. Swapping white flour for whole grain flour or using less sugar can be beneficial for you health, but Thanksgiving only happens once a year, so enjoy your family recipes.
- Find gratitude for the big and small
- No matter what kind of year you’ve had so far, look for those small things to be grateful for. Showing gratitude helps to shift your mindset and will help to ease your stress.
Try a healthy twist on a classic with this Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole. This is a perfect dish to make the day before Thanksgiving so you can spend less time stressing and more time with your family. This recipe is also a great to bring as a dish to pass!
Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole
- Mixing bowl
- casserole dish
- Mixing Spoon
- 4 cups sweet potatoes cooked and mashed (about 3 large sweet potatoes) *or 2 cans sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup oats
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup nuts chopped (ex: almonds, pecans, walnuts)
- 4 tbsp butter softened
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the sweet potatoes by baking them whole in the oven or by cutting them in cubes and boiling until soft. If using canned sweet potatoes, drain excess liquid.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the cooked sweet potatoes. Add milk, egg, cinnamon, and salt, then mix until smooth.
- Transfer sweet potato mixture to a baking dish and evenly distribute mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients: whole wheat flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, and butter. Mix together until a crumbly mixture is formed.
- Sprinkle crumble mixture on top of the sweet potato mixture in an even layer.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until topping is brown. Serve warm and enjoy!