The Thanksgiving holiday is forever etched in my memory by the savory aroma of anticipation drifting from the kitchen. From roasted turkey to cranberry sauce, each recipe holds a special place in my heart this time of year. It is also an opportunity to invite new ingredients and textures to the table. I remember curiously trying my hand at brussels sprouts to contribute to the meal. And now after a few years of perfecting my recipe, it has become a cherished tradition that my family looks forward to diving into each year.
Believe it or not, fruits and veggies can be the star of your Thanksgiving feast. Not only will they bring seasonal flavor and colors to brighten the table, but also add a variety of nutrients, too. Although delicious when eaten fresh, fruits and veggies can be prepared in a way to highlight their natural flavors. For example, experiment with adding different seasonings, ingredients, or cooking methods to enhance the subtle flavors. Each ingredient incorporated contributes to the depth of flavor. Check out these tips to feature fruits and veggies at your Thanksgiving table.
Layer The Flavor
Aromatic veggies, like onions and garlic, are the first layer of flavor in many savory recipes. They add a depth that compliments more mild veggies, like cauliflower and mushrooms. Save time in the kitchen by choosing prechopped frozen onions or minced garlic.
Add An Acid
Acidic flavors, from ingredients like citrus fruits or vinegar, brighten and highlight other flavors of any fruit or veggie. It also will help tenderize dense veggies. Try balsamic vinegar drizzled on roasted acorn squash or this brussels sprout recipe which uses Dijon mustard.
Flavor With Fat
Add a source of fat such as olive oil or butter to add satiety and help your body absorb nutrients found in fruits and veggies. Take your recipes to the next level with herb-infused oils. Try swapping cinnamon infused coconut oil for butter in baked goods with apples or pears.
Often, different types of fruits and veggies can be combined to complement and balance each other. Try mashed turnips and potatoes, apples with sweet potatoes to bring out a natural sweetness, or sauteed Swiss chard with mushrooms.
Sprinkle On Seasoning
Choose herbs and spices to add a pop of taste without added sodium to fruits and veggies. Check out these herb and spice combinations for inspiration for what to pair next.
- Ginger: To bring out warm flavors, add ground ginger on baked persimmons for a delicate dessert, like this recipe, or mince fresh ginger in your favorite cooked cranberry sauce recipe, or add to mashed sweet potatoes.
- Sage: Providing a hint of mint and earthy flavor, sage is an herb to pair with butternut squash, roasted veggies or mushroom and cauliflower risotto. Bring color and texture to savory dishes by sauteing fresh sage leaves until crisp to be used as a garnish.
- Turmeric contributes a peppery and earthy tone. Try it stirred in pumpkin soup or on roasted turnips and sweet potatoes.