Fresh Thanksgiving Ingredients

Fresh Thanksgiving Ingredients
Posted November 12, 2013

Fresh ingredients are what make a Thanksgiving table shine. Here are some of the best fruits and vegetables to include in your menu this time of year.

  1. Julia Child once said, "It's hard to imagine civilization without onions." She was right. This hard-working, ever-present root vegetable is the staple of every cook's kitchen. Versatile, easy to use, and full of healthy vitamin C and fiber, they add layers of flavor and texture many dishes and cuisines. And onions are one of the best utilized ingredients in your Thanksgiving feast, whether they are the featured ingredient or part of a background of flavors in a dish.
  2. You probably grew up having sweet potatoes for the big feast day, but called them yams. Bake it, mash it, make a pie—it’s all good. Sweet potato fries are awesome, scalloped sweet potatoes are fantastic, and sweet potato pie with pecans will satisfy the sweet tooth. 
  3. Apples are one of the best ingredients to incorporate into your fresh Thanksgiving. Full of fiber and with several important vitamins, go for a big sweet apple pie or an apple crisp, chop into a Waldorf Salad or mix with greens and a vinaigrette for a fresh take on a fruity salad.
  4. Fresh pumpkin is a must for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, or for cookies. Pumpkin puree made from fresh pumpkin is so much better than canned. Full of antioxidants and loaded with flavor, fresh pumpkin can't be beat.

And remember that Thanksgiving is a great time to eat locally. You’ve probably eaten locally and in season at Thanksgiving without even knowing it with squash and sweet potato dishes, pumpkin and apple pie, and other traditional family recipes. We know that eating locally and sustainably support the local economy because it supports local farms and farmers, because it's lighter on the earth, and because it supports responsible development.

This holiday season, pledge to purchase and add at least one locally grown, raised, or produced item to your Thanksgiving menu. There are turkeys locally raised in Napa and other Bay Area locations. Winter squash, pumpkins, and other local vegetables and fruits are available at your farmers' market, and even locally grown flowers are here to decorate your festive holiday table. And of course, there are local wines and brews to enjoy! Take the "eat local challenge" this holiday season and support local farms, ranchers, shops, nurseries, and your local community. It's easier - and tastier! - than you think.

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