Thanksgiving is the holiday that seems to sneak up on all of us. Barely after summer has ended and the kids are back in school, the influx of Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING reminds us that the feast of Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
I’ve been focused on making healthier dietary choices, and I’d like to continue this pattern of “better for me” eating even during the holidays. Specifically, I’ve worked hard to reduce the amount of sugar and refined carbs that previously dominated my diet. Instead, I’ve been loading up on protein-rich foods that keep me fulfilled, satiated and not craving a cookie before bedtime.
Since I’m in charge of hosting Thanksgiving this year, I’ve spent a lot of time brainstorming the menu, working to create one that’s both delicious and still adheres to my new eating habits. I came up with three simple ways to pack more protein into our holiday meal, and I’m excited to share them with you today!
1. Cheers to Charcuterie. Quite possibly the perfect way to begin a meal, the combination of cured meats, creamy cheeses and pungent pickles is too good to resist. I like to incorporate a few leaner cuts of meat, such as pastrami and smoked chicken sausage to balance out some of the fattier (but oh-so-good) cured favourites.
I particularly like that each guest can control what they want to eat, and how much of it to indulge in. While I would definitely add fruit, crackers and crusty bread to my charcuterie board, I’d select these options in moderation, focusing on the quality protein instead.
2. Make Your Greens with a Side of Protein. Salads are a staple at holiday meals and the protein content can easily be upped with the addition of chopped nuts, cubed or crumbled cheese and a ranch-style dressing made from siggi’s skyr yogurt.
Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland that has been made for over 1,000 years. siggi’s skyr is a strained non-fat yogurt, made with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar. Because one cup of skyr requires about four times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt, skyr contains 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt. I was first turned onto siggi’s skyr when it debuted in Canada earlier this year, and since then, I’ve been hooked.
3. Pumpkin Spice Your Protein. siggi’s skyr yogurt is so versatile that I use it in everything from dips to dressings to desserts. It’s lower in sugar than regular yogurt, making it a better-for-me option, and comes in five varieties that I love: 0% Plain, 0% Vanilla, 2% Strawberry, 2% Blueberry and 2% Black Cherry. All of siggi’s skyr yogurts have absolutely no preservatives, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours or artificial colours, and all the flavours and colours come exclusively from the real fruit or vanilla bean they use.
Here’s my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Parfait, featuring siggi’s 0% Vanilla skyr yogurt. It’s a no-bake, protein-rich, easy to make dessert, which definitely ticks all the boxes for me! Plus, since it’s high in protein and lower in sugar than traditional parfaits, I can indulge in leftovers without feeling too guilty. This recipe serves six and doubles easily for a crowd.
1 container siggi’s 0% Vanilla skyr yogurt, divided in half
1 cup pumpkin pie filling
1 block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup crushed shortbread cookies
chopped pecans (optional)
pumpkin pie spice (optional)
You can use parfait cups or stemless wine glasses – whatever you have on hand!
Mix 1 cup of siggi’s 0% Vanilla skyr yogurt with pumpkin pie filling in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, mix remaining 1 cup of skyr, cream cheese and sugar; blend until smooth.
Place 2 tablespoons of crushed shortbread cookies at the bottom of the cup; press slightly. Spoon a few tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture followed by a larger layer of the pumpkin mixture; repeat with another few tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and pumpkin pie spice, if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to enjoy!
siggi’s is available at Whole Foods Market (BC), Real Canadian Superstore, Co-op, Extra Foods, Metro, Longo’s, Highland Farms, Commisso’s Fresh Foods, Coppa’s Fresh Market, Al Premium Foods, Adonis, Euromarché, Grand Marché Col-Fax, Mourelatos, and many more. For more information, please visit siggis.ca.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!
This post is sponsored by siggi’s Canada. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.