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Three Ways to Use Elderberries

Elderberries are a great option for fall and winter wellness. They are easy to grow at home and fun to harvest and process into your own homemade medicine. We like to make elderberry juice when then berries first ripen in August or September, then we make elderberry syrup to store in the fridge for the upcoming winter and we also freeze more berries to use for teas we make as needed. You can also purchase dried elderberries for any of the recipes.

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Paleo Turkey Gravy

White sweet potato fills in for the flour, you can add a dash of cream if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 quarts chicken stock with fat, divided
  • pan drippings from the turkey
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. The day before Thanksgiving, simmer the sweet potato in a small saucepan until soft (about 15 minutes).
  2. Drain, cool and place in refrigerator uncovered overnight to dry out.
  3. Bring chicken stock to a simmer, reserve 1 cup for deglazing.
  4. Using an immersion blender, add sweet potato a little bit at a time to achieve desired thickness.
  5. Once the turkey has been roasted and removed from the oven, deglaze the roasting pan with 1 cup of chicken stock, strain and add to gravy.
  6. Salt to taste and keep warm on stove.
  7. If the gravy separates, blend before serving.
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These can be squeezed in to any space in the oven shortly before the turkey is finished cooking. If you cook them in a pretty pie dish they can go straight to the table while still hot.

Ingredients

  • 1 1⁄2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil 
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves.
  3. Mix with the olive oil, salt and pepper in a sheet pan and roast until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, about 40 minutes. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.
  4. Serve immediately.
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Slow Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter

Cooking a turkey that is raised on pasture low and slow, beginning the night before Thanksgiving, yields a flavorful and tender final result.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup butter, softened or ghee or coconut oil
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 pasture-raised turkey, about 16 to 18 lbs, giblets removed and reserved for another purpose
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered
  • 2 large lemons, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. 
  2. Combine butter and herbs.
  3. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry. With a butterknife, loosen the skin of the turkey from the flesh of the breast. Spread the herb butter between the skin and the breast meat. Season with unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  4. Stuff the turkey’s cavity with lemons and onions.
  5. Truss the turkey and slow roast for approximately twelve hours, tented with parchment paper or foil or in a covered dish.
  6. Baste every 2 to 3 hours. Increase the heat to 375 degrees and continue roasting for one and one-half hours or until the skin is a rich brown and the meat has reached an internal temperature of at least 185 F. Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes prior to carving.
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Pumpkin Custard

The pumpkin purée can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to use it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pumpkin, cooked, puréed, strained 4 large eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup cream or coconut milk
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 pinch unrefined sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cloves, ground

Directions

  1. Pour into greased oven-proof dishes (ramekins, small Pyrex dishes or a pie pan). Bake at 350 degrees until the
    center is set, about 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the baking dish (less time for tiny ramekin dishes).
  2. Tip: to test whether the custard is done, remove it form the oven and hold the dish on its side. If the face of the
    custard slides at all it needs to cook longer. Do not overcook, though, or it will become tough. A slightly undercooked custard will still be tasty while an overcooked one will not be as good.
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Apple and Mushroom Stuffing

You may be surprised that there is no bread in this stuffing. It looks and smells exactly like a classic Thanksgiving stuffing. After making this the first time, we never looked back and make it every year!

If you don’t have poultry seasoning you can make it ahead of time or use fresh herbs, use three times as much fresh herbs as the recipe calls for in dried herbs when substituting.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound each ground turkey and ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, freshly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 3 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 3 granny smith apples, cored and chopped
  • 1pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup turkey stock or drippings from turkey

Poultry Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, brown ground meat along with sage, thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes.
  3. Mix well and remove to bowl when cooked through.
  4. In the same skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in celery, onion, apples and mushrooms, and cook until onions are translucent and celery and mushrooms somewhat softened. Mix in the poultry seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and turkey stock. Set aside.
  6. Combine the meat with the sautéed vegetables in a large baking dish, and pour the egg/stock mixture over.
  7. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, uncovering for last 10 minutes to brown the stuffing on top. (you can also stuff your turkey with some as well).

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Spiced Cranberry Sauce Three Ways

Homemade cranberry sauce can be an exceptional flavor addition to your holiday meal. Canned cranberry sauce lacks the flavor and texture of homemade cranberry sauce. You can also add just enough sweetness to offset the tartness of the fresh cranberries for your tastebuds, and spare yourself the unnecessary sugar.

Cranberry sauce tases best when made at least a day ahead of time so the flavors meld, and can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or can be frozen as far ahead of time as you need and then defrosted for the holiday.

I usually make at least a triple batch and defrost jars throughout the winter to add to meals. If using dried spices simmer them with the cranberries, if using essential oils add them after the sauce cools.

Base Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger or 1 drop Ginger Vitality
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 2-3 drops Cinnamon Bark Vitality
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice 
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves or touch spoon to top of Clove Vitality bottle and stir in
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey, optional

Pear and Ginger Ingredients

  • 3 Bartlett pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1 additional tsp minced fresh ginger or 1 additional drop Ginger Vitality

Fig and Rosemary Ingredients

  • 16 dried black mission figs, stems removed and very finely chopped
  • 1 four-inch sprig rosemary or 1 drop Rosemary Vitality

Mandarin and Star Anise Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed mandarin juice
  • zest from one mandarin
  • 1 whole star anise

Directions

  1. Rinse the cranberries in a colander and pick out any mushy ones.
  2. Place all ingredients except honey in a covered saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Once the cranberries start to pop, turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have all popped and the mixture has turned into a chunky sauce, about 20 minutes. If it gets too thick, add a little water. Pluck out the star anise if using.
  4. Allow to cool completely. Add honey to taste if desired and essential oils if using. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. Serve cold for the best flavor.