How to Have a Plant-Based Thanksgiving

On the fourth Thursday of every November, families across the nation gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, or what some call “turkey day” due to the 46 million turkeys that are consumed every year. As time progresses and people develop new dietary restrictions or needs, families move away from the traditional turkey, stuffing and mashed potato feast. 

In more ways than one, 2018 has inspired more people to think green. The rates of veganism and vegetarianism are at an all-time high. Humans have been forced to consider their use of energy, as well as, the amount of trash and waste they produce. These considerations impact the way our society functions, and in turn, the way we celebrate national holidays.

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Thanksgiving without the turkey and butter and cheesy casseroles can still be a beautiful celebration of American history, and all that we are thankful for. More importantly, it can still be delicious. Plant-based Thanksgiving is easier than many people might initially think, and if you have doubts about feeling satisfied and full with just fruits and vegetables - let me change your mind.

The harvest season in North America is one that is revered all over the world and is traditionally celebrated by eating corn, brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Below are some recipes that everyone at the table - herbivores and carnivores alike will enjoy.

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

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This dish celebrates cauliflower on the same platform, but in a new light. The turmeric in this recipe brings a pop of color to the Thanksgiving table, and the pomegranate jewels sprinkled throughout the mixture of cauliflower and fragrant spices provide a burst of sweetness that contrasts the bitterness of the turmeric. This dish, the new girl in Thanksgiving town, will leave you and your guests fighting over the final florets!

Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Gratin

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The recipe provided is vegetarian but is suitable for vegans once the parmesan cheese is replaced with yeast seasoning, and the whole milk is replaced with an unsweetened milk substitute. This dish is a personal favorite, as a long-time fan of beans and broccoli rabe. This dish does not play down the flavor of the vegetables with cream or cheese, but it uses the vegetables as an element to complement rather than merely include them in a dish. This plant-based dish will quickly become a VIP on the Thanksgiving table guest list, with or without cheese.

Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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This recipe offers a vegan perspective on a fan-favorite Thanksgiving favorite: the candied yam. With hints of coconut and lime zest, guests will be pleasantly surprised with this variation of the sweet potato, and will ask in disbelief “is this really vegan?”

Vegan Apple Crisp

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This dish is one that guests would never guess is plant-based. Substituting butter with coconut oil where necessary, this recipe still provides the perfect ratio of crispy topping with juicy, cinnamon-y apple goodness that won’t last long after it hits the table. With ingredients that most have on hand already, or are easy to find in most grocery stores, this recipe can still work its secret vegan magic all year round with different varieties of apples, and leave new people impressed.

Although a majority of people discount veganism as being a diet consisting only of tofu and leaves, there are a plethora of ways people bring this dietary practice to life. Experimenting with fruits and vegetables can be fun, and who knows, they could even be worthy of a spot on the Thanksgiving table for years to come.

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