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Healthy Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks to Make Your Food Look and Taste Amazing

Make it taste good and look good, too!! Registered Dietitian, Chef and Author of “Clean Eating for Busy Families,” Michelle Dudash shares her cooking “hacks” to get the job done!

  1. Use Yukon Golds for the creamiest mashed potatoes.

Use Yukon Gold potatoes for natural buttery taste. Use low-fat or whole milk instead of cream, roasted garlic cloves. Then guests can ladle on your awesome homemade gravy. And use a potato ricer for smooth and fluffy texture.

  1. Streamline cocktails and mocktails with 100% pomegranate juice.

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice infuses holiday beverages with a slightly sweet, slightly tart flavor without any added sugar, colors, or preservatives. Michelle Dudash, RDN, works with POM Wonderful to teach people about the health benefits and versatility of pomegranate juice and arils. 

The juice is made by pressing the entire pomegranate, giving it a unique blend of antioxidants from the rind, pith, and arils. On average, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice has more antioxidant capacity than red wine, grape juice and green tea, and is available all year round. 

POM Wonderful fresh pomegranates are a good source of fiber and contain 8% of the daily value of vitamin C. Ways to Use:

  • Use naturally sweet pomegranate juice in cocktails, in place of sugary syrups and mixers
  • Garnish festive holiday cocktails with pomegranate arils
  • Freeze arils with water in ice cube trays for a festive pop of color
  • After you’ve head enough wine, swap to this 50/50 mocktail: pomegranate juice mixed with flavored sparkling water
  1. Use your cooking scraps to make an amazing turkey broth

Use the turkey neck, herb sprigs (parsley stems, rosemary, and thyme), and vegetable scraps like onion skins and ends, carrot nubs and peelings, celery ends, garlic cloves to make an amazing, rich turkey broth you can use for gravy. Or after Thanksgiving, add in the turkey carcass to make a delicious broth for making turkey soup or stew. 

  1. Add spices, booze, and maple to your sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes don’t have to be completely doused in marshmallows and brown sugar. Add plenty of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. And a hit of real maple syrup and flamed Brandy goes a long way. You can take your classic recipe and add from there, while cutting back on the butter. 

  1. Make DIY Edible Arrangements

Make a beautiful table scape with:

  • Long cutting boards with bread and butter, fresh figs,
  • Skinny vases filled with cranberries and water
  • Mini pumpkins leftover from Halloween
  • Mini clementines/mandarins, mini apples or crabapples
  • Fill in with clusters of hearty herbs like thyme and rosemary

Michelle Dudash’s Turkey Stock:

POM Mimosa

A delightful cocktail to enjoy with friends and family at brunch or midday dining, the POM Mimosa is a bubbly, refreshing adaptation of a timeless classic. This sparkling libation helps set the tone for the holiday festivities.

1/2 oz. freshly squeezed pomegranate juice* or POM Wonderful® 100% Pomegranate Juice

1 glass of dry champagne

1/2 oz. Cointreau®, or other orange liqueur

Garnish with pomegranate arils** from a POM Wonderful pomegranate (optional)

  1. Pour champagne into a champagne flute.
  2. Add pomegranate juice and float the Cointreau® on top.
  3. Toss in a few pomegranate arils for garnish.

*This cocktail can be made with freshly squeezed juice from a POM Wonderful pomegranate  or by using POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice.  To juice the pomegranate, cut it in half (as you would a grapefruit) and juice using a citrus reamer or a juicer. Pour mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve.

One large POM Wonderful pomegranate will produce about ½ cup of juice.

**To prepare garnish, score 1 fresh pomegranate and place in a bowl of water.  Break open the pomegranate underwater to free the arils (seed sacs).  The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top.  Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve arils from fruit and set aside.  (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.)

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