Preparing the Thanksgiving feast can be overwhelming for both first-timers and seasoned hosts alike. Ease your stress on the big day with a few simple time-saving tips, cooking hacks and techniques so you can celebrate the special friends and family joining you around the table.
Master the Menu
Plan your menu to include a variety of make-ahead, heat-and-eat and no-cook recipes to ease kitchen chaos and ensure there is adequate cooking space in the oven and on the stove top. Cranberry-containing recipes like whole berry sauce, stuffing, relish and desserts are a breeze to make ahead. Tart and tangy Ocean Spray® Cranberries are in season starting in October through December. Each one-half cup supplies 25 percent of your daily recommended fruit intake and a good source of vitamin C
and fiber. Make sure to buy two bags and freeze one for use all year long.
Handle Special Requests
Hosting a dinner guest with a food allergy, intolerance or dietary preference can be difficult. Talk with this guest before planning the menu to accommodate their specific needs. All Earth Balance® Spreads are suitable for individuals that follow vegan, lactose-free or gluten-free diets. They are made with expeller-pressed oils, contain no artificial ingredients or trans-fat containing oils and can be used to replace butter in all of your Thanksgiving recipes.
Use ingredients like pre-cubed bread, prepared pie crust, bakery dinner rolls or dried herbs and spices to shorten recipe preparation time. Premium ingredients like The Spice Hunter® Gourmet Herbs, Spices and Salt- Free Seasoning Blends make recipes worthy of a special occasion. Sourced from the most ideal growing regions in the world, their extensive collection includes Salt- Free Poultry Seasoning, Sage Leaves, French Thyme Leaves, Whole Nutmeg and Highland Harvested Saigon™ Ground Cinnamon to season holiday main dishes, sides and desserts to perfection.
Trim the To-Do List
Don’t leave all of the recipe ingredient prep for the big day. Instead chop, portion out and label ingredients by recipe in the days before to save time. Or for an even faster, no-fuss option, pick up pre-cut veggies, including sweet potatoes and butternut squash from our produce department. Peeled and cubed Nature’s Kitchen® Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Chunks come packaged in two-pound containers and are ready to bake, roast or steam. Use them to make traditional sweet potato casserole, creamy butternut squash soup or our recipe for Apple Cider & Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes. Using recipe-ready Diamond of California® Chopped Walnuts saves time too. Toast them in dry skillet over medium heat for several minutes until they are toasty and fragrant before sprinkling over side dishes, salads and desserts. Walnuts are rich in plant-based ALA omega-3s, unsaturated fat, protein and fiber.
Revive the Turkey
Cooking mishaps can happen. If you overcook the turkey, baste it with warm Swanson® Natural Goodness® Chicken Broth before serving to add flavor and moisture. This tasty blend of all-natural, 100 percent fat-free chicken broth is perfectly simmered with flavors of garden vegetables and sun-drenche herbs and contains one-third less sodium than their regular broth. It comes in a recloseable container too, so you can use what you need and refrigerate the rest to bring leftovers back to life. To prevent overcooking, roast the unstuffed turkey in a 325°F oven until the minimum internal temperature at the innermost part of the thigh and wing and thickest part of the breast reaches at least 165°F.
Make Room on the Table
Skip the crystal pitcher and offer chilled water on the table with sleek one liter bottles of evian® Natural Spring Water. Starting as a drop of rain and melting snow on the peaks of the Northern Alps, evian® filters through layers of glacial sand in the heart of the mountains filtering naturally, without chemicals. Its mineral content and unique taste enhances all of the flavors of the holiday meal, while refreshing the palate.
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