It’s that time of year again. That time when the pumpkins evolve from Halloween decorations to Thanksgiving Desserts. When early holiday bargain hunters loiter around malls wailing ominous noises while they wait for Black Friday deals to kick in. When the average American stuffs their belly full of Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy and Biscuits while watching Tony Romo score less with the Dallas Cowboys than he does with pop music divas.
Serious brownie points if you get at least one of those references.
Tony Romo just threw another fourth quarter interception and Jessica Simpson is not happy.
Now I’m not even American, (Oh Canada!) but I’m a huge NFL fan and most of my friends growing up were American, so it was an absolute dream come true when I was invited to their Thanksgiving dinners. Football and more food than I could possibly stuff down my throat in one day? When I was an unhealthy little runt that was my idea of heaven. Not anymore though.
Thankfully, us Raw Food Lovers need not submit to societal norms, punish our bodies, and struggle to stay awake through the 3rd quarter of the 2nd football game. Instead, we can replace the unhealthy traditional dishes that normally plague the family dining table with Delicious, Nutritious, Raw Vegan Versions.
And, in doing so, Keep it Freesh instead of joining the Sheep while they Bleat Weak before falling Asleep in Grease.
So here are four Raw Thanksgiving Recipes to upgrade this lovely holiday from one of sloth and sleep to one of gratitude and abundance. And staying awake through all three football games!
The Jonny Freesh Raw Thanksgiving Dinner
We’ll kick things off with the appetizer. Mashed potatoes are a classic thanksgiving dish. Unfortunately, potatoes don’t really work that well raw. However, there are plenty of great substitutes. Here’s my version using Cauliflower, Jicama (Bengkuang in Indonesian) and Cashews.
Raw Cauliflower Mash Recipe
Food Processor or Blender
1 cup Cauliflower Florets
1/2 cup Jicama (chopped)
3/4 cup Cashews (soaked)
¼ cup Irish Moss Paste (2 parts Soaked Irish Moss : 1 part Water)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Garlic Clove (minced)
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Fresh pepper
¾ tsp Salt
- Blitz or blend all ingredients until smooth and fluffy. If you want a bit of texture use the food processor, (this can take a bit longer depending on your processor) and if you want it smooth use your blender.
- Set in a lovely cylinder with a cookie cutter.
Serves 3 – 4 people as Appetizer
Beautiful on its own. Wait till you see it with a full compliment of Thanksgiving food.
Now we’ll move onto the Main course. This is what I call a Holiday Freesh Loaf. Despite the rhyme in the name, it’s not really a meatloaf substitute. However, if you wanted to give it a meaty flavor you could easily substitute in some mushrooms and add some dark miso to give it that Umami flavor that characterizes meat.
Raw Holiday FreeshLoaf Recipe
Food Processor, Loaf Pan
½ cup Almonds (soaked)
½ cup Pili Nuts (soaked)
1 cup Sunflower Seeds (soaked)
½ cup Onion (chopped)
1 cup Carrot (shredded)
¼ cup Red Pepper (chopped)
¼ cup Dates
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Tamari/Bragg’s Liquid Aminos/Nama Shoyu
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 tsp Dried Thyme
3 tsp Dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Chili Powder (optional)
1 tsp Sea Salt
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- Process all ingredients in a food processor until coarse mixture is attained.
- Gently wipe down loaf pan with olive oil.
- Press mix firmly into rectangular loaf pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set in freezer for 3-4 hours, then slice and serve or dehydrate slices until desired dryness is reached. I like it partially dehydrated (3-5 hours).
Serves 2-4 people as main course or 6-8 people as appetizer.
Dehydrated in the Front, Non-Dehydrated in the Back.
If I were trying to give it a meaty flavor, I would replace the carrots and red peppers with beets and mushrooms, replace the almonds and pili nuts with walnuts, and add some dark miso. I would also consider getting rid of the dates, and in that case I would dehydrate the nuts after soaking, or use dry ones if I didn’t have a dehydrator. If you can’t get pili nuts (kenari in Indonesian) replace with almonds or walnuts.
Now for the gravy. An irreplaceable dish in any good Thanksgiving meal. Mushrooms make a delicious gravy. If you don’t like mushrooms, you can use some Young Coconut Meat and Irish Moss paste along with similar flavorings.
Raw Mushroom Gravy Recipe
2 ¼ cups Buttom Mushrooms (peeled and de-stemmed)
1/2 cup Water
2 tsp Bragg’s/Tamari/Nama Shoyu
4 tsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
4 tsp Onion (chopped)
4 tsp Dark Miso
pinch Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
- Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
- Serve over Cauliflower Mash and Holiday FreeshLoaf.
Makes 1 ½ – 2 cups Gravy
A Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner – What a Novel Idea!
And of course, what would Thanksgiving be without a Pumpkin Pie?
Raw Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Blender, Food Processor, 8.5-9” Pie/Tart/Quiche Tin
- Process nuts and seeds until coarsely mixed.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture easily compresses in your fingers.
- Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pie tin with coconut oil.
- Press crust into pie tin until bottom and sides are covered with firm layer.
1 cup Pumpkin (soaked overnight)
1 cup Cashews (soaked)
¾ cup Irish Moss Paste (2 parts Soaked Irish Moss : 1 part Water)
1/3 cup Dates (soaked for at least an hour, preferably overnight)
3 tbsp Date Soaking Water
1 ½ tsp Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp Ginger Powder
1 Vanilla Bean
¼ tsp Nutmeg Powder
¼ tsp Clove Powder
3 ½ tbsp Liquid Sweetener of Choice
½ tsp Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Salt
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- Blend all ingredients except coconut oil until smooth and well incorporated.
- Add Coconut oil and blend just until incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the crust and let set in the fridge for 4-6 hours or freezer for 2-3 hours.
- Keep cold until ready to serve.
Makes 1 pie that serves 8-10 people
Smooth and Creamy
This is a really thick recipe so you need a powerful blender to make it. I soak the pumpkin so that it blends easier.
I hope that these recipes can help you transform what may have once been an unhealthy holiday to a nourishing one!