Serving a Side of Anti-Inflammation with Holiday Meals
With the Christmas season in full swing, you may be on the lookout for some delicious holiday recipes. This can be tricky if you live with a chronic pain condition, due to the fact that many traditional recipes and common ingredients cause aggravating inflammation. If you follow an anti-inflammatory diet or are living with chronic pain, continue reading to discover two tasty recipes that are well worth preparing this Christmas.
Savory Treat: Curried Cranberry and Walnut Sweet Potato Rounds
If you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory Christmas dish that can be prepared ahead of time and served at room temperature, it’s well worth trying this Curried Cranberry and Walnut Sweet Potato Rounds recipe.
- 2 inch large sweet potatoes or yams sliced into 1/4 thick rounds
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon thai red curry paste
- 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons honey plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2-4 ounces blue cheese crumbles. Goat cheese is equally great!
- leaves fresh sage for garnish (optional)
For years Curry powder has been marveled at for its numerous health benefits. A recent article featured on livestrong.com highlighted curry powder for its anti-inflammatory and cancer prevention properties, as well as protection against Alzheimer’s.1 It is also important to note that there is a spectrum of spiciness when it comes to curry powder, so be on the lookout for a mild mix if this is a concern.
Ginger is also revered for its medicinal properties. Gingerol, a natural oil and the primary bioactive compound found within ginger, touts its anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-oxidation properties. 2
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, thai red curry paste, curry powder, cumin, ginger, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
- Place the potato slices on the parchment and drizzle curry mixture on top. Rub the mixture on both sides of the slices, place in a single layer, then bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and flip the slices. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool at least five minutes before topping.
- At the same time you roast the sweet potatoes add the walnuts to a small baking dish and toss with the honey. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until lightly golden and toasted.
- Remove walnuts from the oven and immediately spoon them onto a parchment lined plate in a single layer so they do not stick to each other. Once the walnuts have cooled for about five minutes toss them with the cranberries.
- To assemble the bites: top each sweet potato round with a little bit of the walnuts and cranberries. Sprinkle each round with blue cheese and garnish with one sage leaf. Drizzle with honey if desired.
Last but not least, enjoy!
Sweet Treat: Raw Apple Crumble
While you may not be able to consume pastry, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a festive dessert.
- 5 organic apples sliced very thinly
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ½ cup dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup raw hazelnuts
- ¼ cup cashews
- ¼ cup quinoa flakes
- ¼ cup dried cranberries (fruit juice sweetened)
- 1/8 cup juice from the apple filling
- 1/4 tsp PGX or ground chia seed
- Get started with the pie crust by soaking the hazelnuts and cashews in water for about 20 min.
- Thinly slice the apples (using a mandolin if you have one) and place in a large bowl. Allow the apples to marinate in the mixture containing 1 juiced lemon, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Set aside for 30 min. This will be used as the pie filling for step 6.
- Drain the cashews and hazelnuts and add them into a food processor along with the dates, vanilla, and cinnamon. Use the pulse setting until the mixture begins to stick together. This will be used in the next step for the pie crust.
- Using coconut oil, coat the pie pan. Pour the mixture from the processor into your pan and use your hands to create a pie crust. Place the pie crust in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
- Place 1/4 of raw hazelnuts, 1/4 cup of cashews, 1/4 cup of quinoa flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in a food processor. Pulse until course. This will be used last as a crunchy topping.
- Drain excess liquid from the marinated apples (from step 2) and set aside for use in Step 7, then add the apples to the pie crust.
- In a small mixing bowl combine 1/8 of a cup from the apple filling with 1/4 teaspoon of ground chia seeds. Once thickened, pour the mixture over the apples.
- Add crunchy topping from step 5.
Just be warned, your friends and family members may ask you for your secret anti-inflammatory Christmas recipes!
Related article: 10 Holistic, Non-Pharmacological Ways to Alleviate Chronic Pain