Thanksgiving Recipe Adaptation Tips and Links

sweetcashewcream-1Are you struggling with any Thanksgiving recipe adaptations? Have an awesome adaptation discovery you’d love to share? Please stop by today’s post!

My greatest adaptation tip is that most of the time, I can substitute olive oil for butter—-in baked goods, for topping steamed vegetables, and in casseroles. Obviously this won’t work for something like caramel! Another tip I’d like to share is to not give up on a beloved recipe; there’s almost always a way to adapt it. I have kept all my old recipes and over the last few years, I’ve been slowly adapting them as I learn new cooking and baking techniques and supplies.

Okay. Let’s look at how to adapt most of those Thanksgiving favorites.

Mashed Potatoes: I use tons of good quality olive oil, some full-fat coconut milk, and salt and pepper.

Tips: Don’t use too much coconut milk or they’ll taste like coconut. I use about a 50/50 oil to coconut milk ratio (heavier on the olive oil, more scant on the coconut milk), and my family is good with that. If you do get more coconut flavor than you’d like, it can be countered by adding some garlic, rosemary, and/or chives.

Gravy: Arrowroot flour/powder is my go-to thickener now. It works but it is finicky like a princess’s cat. I suggest that you do NOT add it to boiling substances or you’ll get a snot consistency. And when you add it, whisk like your life depended on it. Tapioca starch/flour is similar in nature, and I treat it the same. I have noticed that performance does depend on the brand! My higher quality flours perform better.

Procedure: I use about 1 tablespoon of arrowroot for each cup of liquid. First, I make an arrowroot slurry by mixing the arrowroot in the smallest amount of lukewarm temperature water as possible (maybe a tablespoon for a tablespoon), and I set that aside. Next, I bring my gravy broth to a boil, shut off the heat, move the pan over off the burner, THEN add the arrowroot slurry, whisking like crazy.

Green Bean Casserole: For this one, I make my own onion rings, dipping onions in a gluten-free flour and then frying them, and I make a homemade mushroom soup. It’s a lengthy process but my family loves it so much. Here is my recipe. I like it better than other ones I’ve seen out there because the onion rings are closest to the ones I remember from the can.

Cranberry Gelatin Salad: In place of Jello, I use plain gelatin and juice to make my own gelatin. I use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. Everything else is just the same as the recipe has been handed down through the generations. Here is my recipe.

Corn Casserole: I haven’t adapted this one to reach the near 100% whole food mark yet, but I’ve adapted it for gluten-free, dairy-free. Everyone’s favorite family recipe is a little different, but you can find gluten-free, dairy-free cornbread mixes at the store. There are gluten-free, dairy-free brands of canned cream corn you can use. Use olive oil in place of butter. If your recipe calls for sour cream, you could try making some cashew cream as a substitute. (But plan ahead, you have to find raw cashews and soak them for several hours.) Have you perfected this adaptation?

Pecan Pie: Easily adaptable. I use olive oil in place of butter, maple syrup in place of corn syrup and brown sugar, and arrowroot in place of flour for thickening. Here is my recipe.

Pumpkin Pie: Another easily adaptable pie. I use maple syrup in place of sugar and any dairy-free milk for the milk.

Coconut cream, banana cream, and peanut butter cream pies: I’ve had success with adapting these using alternative milks (coconut cream is best for the consistency as it has the most fat) and arrowroot in place of flour.

Pie Crust: There are very pleasant gluten-free, dairy-free pie crusts available frozen in the store. My daughter makes her own crust using Bob’s Red Mill (I believe any gluten-free flour combination will work. We have tried just using arrowroot for this recipe. But it got stringy, so best to make it with a “combination” gluten-free mix.) I believe I also featured this recipe in my pecan pie post.

Granny’s Adapted Pinch Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup of gluten-free flour (tested with Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk of choice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Follow these directions very closely. It’s not hard, but the wording is confusing!

In a 1/2 cup measuring cup, put in 3 tablespoons of milk and then fill, IN THE SAME 1/2 cup measuring cup with the milk still in it, up to the 1/2 cup mark with olive oil.

Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Whisk together to immerse. Add the flour and mix well. Use your hands to knead gently and briefly.

Push into the pie pan.  We do this by forming about 8 or so little balls and placing them around the pan. Then, we push them together, up the side of the pan, and a little bit over the lip of the pan Next, we use our fingers to flute the edge.

Use as directed in your recipe.

Sweet Potato Casserole: We make the kind with the pecans and glaze on top. It is so good. Here is my recipe. However, there are some marshmallows you can buy now that don’t use any food coloring, if you need to do the marshmallow topping.

Whipped cream: I make a sweetened cashew cream. I haven’t posted the recipe yet on the blog, so I can’t link to it. But it’s very similar to the ones that are out there on the internet if you care to Google it. Or ask below, and I’ll type it in the comments for you.

Stuffing/dressing: I don’t have this one adapted yet. My family doesn’t miss it too much. But there are some great recipes out there. Do you have one?

Need to be egg-free? Following an auto-immune diet? Lastly, I highly recommend The Curious Coconut and her autoimmune recipes for more rigid food restrictions. I don’t know her at all. But I have purchased her holiday e-cookbook and it is amazing! I recommend trying some of the recipes ahead of time because they’re a little tricky and can give unexpected results! We have made a couple of the dinner rolls, and they looked so cute in her photos…

What questions do you have about adapting recipes? Are you stuck on one? Are you scared to try? Do you have an AWESOME one you’d love to share?

Choose food that doesn’t make you sick and doesn’t make you overeat. Best wishes. Happy Thanksgiving!

Terri

 

 

8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Recipe Adaptation Tips and Links

  1. Tim Steele

    Nice tips! I was just thinking what to get at the grocery store today.

    We have been making mashed potatoes with only chicken broth. Oil and milk are not required at all.

    I love stuffing! I just tend to throw in healthy things like broth, spices (especially sage), onions, celery, walnuts, cranberries, etc. When I was eating gluten-free, I’d just use Ezekial Bread or and GF bread I could make or buy. Now that I’ve been a bit more adventurous with wheat, I make some whole grain, sourdough rye or spelt bread and use it for the stuffing. I generally make 2 loaves at a time, and put one in the freezer, if they spend too long in the freezer, they are perfect for stuffing, lol.

    I rarely cook “in the bird,” but cook it in a big casserole pan.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hmmm. I should try the potatoes with no oil even. (My husband has taken to that idea of minimizing added fat and sticking to the intrinsic fats in things.) Sometimes I’ve used the boiling water to thicken them instead of any milk, but I’ve always used some sort of fat. I wonder if someone transitioning from a full-fledged American diet would notice potatoes with just broth. Do you rice the potatoes? Or hand mash them? Or whip them?

      Thanks for the stuffing/dressing idea. My aunt always made the best dressing. Sage definitely makes the dressing, if anyone would ask me!

      Happy Thanksgiving. I’ve got a nice crew coming in town to share it with, so I’ll start cooking probably on Sunday.

      Reply
      1. Tim Steele

        I boil the potatoes until they are very well done, almost falling apart, drain, and mash immediately with a cheap-o wire masher (ie. http://amzn.to/2fcO3pt ). Add broth as you mash to get the desired creaminess.

        If company is coming over, I might whip them up a bit more with a hand-held electric mixer.

        Nobody will notice the lack of fat. And if someone wants butter instead of gravy, they can just put a pat in before they eat it. We like them better made this way.

  2. Jackie

    Wow! Thanks for all of the recipes.

    I used to love this breadless stuffing recipe before I figured out my body does best right now on a low FODMAP diet. It definitely isn’t trying to imitate bread stuffing, but it has the vibe of stuffing. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/133589/breadless-stuffing/

    I don’t usually eat grains more than twice a week, but on Thanksgiving I eat some gluten free tapioca bread based stuffing.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I wing it too! A rice stuffing. That’s an interesting idea that fits our diet well. I’ll think on that while I prep the rest. To me, if it has celery and sage and is crumbly and isn’t dry or mushy, then it’d be a success.

      Reply

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