Eating with IBD can be a challenge year-round. But eating during the holidays can be especially difficult, starting with Thanksgiving. Many favorite dishes are full of dairy, sugar, fat, and other gut irritants. But that’s no reason to miss out on special treats this holiday season. After a bit of digging, we’ve identified and tweaked some great recipes for you to enjoy alongside your Thanksgiving turkey. Here’s an IBD-friendly Thanksgiving Day menu. All recipes are low roughage with gluten-free and dairy-free options.   

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Course: Starter or side  Adapted from Fifteen Spatulas 
INGREDIENTS 
  • 1 3 lb butternut squash
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper, optional 
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (use less for a thicker soup; use more for a thinner soup)
IBD Tips: 
  • Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, powerful antioxidants to help support your immune system. 
  • Soups are an excellent way for people on a low-roughage, low-fiber diet to get valuable nutrients and easy-to-tolerate fiber. 

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1
Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the squash and cut into 1” cubes. In a large bowl, toss squash cubes with 3 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper (optional). Spread squash in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes; flip squash and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until squash is soft and golden on outer edges. Cool. 
Step 2
Melt the oil in a large pot over medium heat; add onion, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Cook until onions are soft.
Step 3
Add the roasted squash and cinnamon; stir for 2 minutes until cinnamon is fragrant. 
Step 4
Add the stock, bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes at a simmer.
Step 5
Puree the soup, either using an immersion blender, or by cooling the soup slightly and blending in a blender (you will likely need to do this in batches).

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Course: Side Adapted from Against All Grain  
INGREDIENTS 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 2 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1/2 pound sweet italian sausage  
  • 1 medium fuji apple, peeled and chopped 
  • 6 cups traditionally fermented sourdough bread cubes OR your favorite gluten-free bread 
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/4 cups turkey or chicken stock 
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, optional 
  • 7 tablespoons salted butter or ghee 
IBD Tips: 
  • The original recipe is for a grain-free stuffing. Stick with this version if you follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or Paleo diet. 
  • To give readers more (and easier) options, our version uses traditionally fermented sourdough bread or your favorite gluten-free bread.  
  • If you’re on a low-roughage diet then process vegetables and herbs in a food processor until very finely minced.

Step by Step Instructions

 
Step 1
Saute the celery, onions, garlic, sausage, apples, herbs and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat while you wait for the loaf to bake and cool.
Step 2
Coat bread cubes with 5 tbsp melted butter or ghee. Place on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 30 minutes on 300° turning occasionally. The bread should come out golden brown and slightly dry.
Step 3
Toss the bread crumbs with the sauteed mixture, eggs, salt and pepper, and stock.
Step 4
Transfer stuffing to a well buttered baking dish and sprinkle the additional 2 tablespoons of butter on top.  Cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes until top is golden.

Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Course: Side  Adapted from Wicked Spatula
INGREDIENTS 
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (without carrageenan) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup ghee, grass-fed butter or olive oil (if using olive oil then skip Step 5).
IBD Tip: 
  • Ghee, a.k.a. clarified butter, is a great source of butyrate. Butyrate has powerful antiinflammatory effects and helps protect against colonic diseases, including colon cancer. This is an excellent substitute for butter if you tolerate dairy fat.

Step by Step Instructions

 
Step 1
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Step 2
While the water is boiling, peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Add to boiling water and boil for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. .
Step 3
Drain potatoes.
Step 4
Put potatoes in a blender with milk, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and blend until creamy. Alternatively, mash all ingredients with a potato masher. Transfer creamy or mashed potatoes to a serving dish.
Step 5
Browning the ghee: In a small skillet, heat the ghee or butter over medium heat. Melt ghee while gently swirling it around the pan. The ghee should turn a golden color and smell nutty; remove from heat. 
Step 6
Pour ghee, butter or olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Green Bean Casserole

Course: Side Adapted from Delicious as it Looks
INGREDIENTS 
  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen cut green beans
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, ghee or olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk, unsweetened 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (substitute regular flour if you tolerate gluten)
  • 1 4 oz. can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (substitute regular bread crumbs if you tolerate gluten), optional
IBD Tip: 
  • Green bean casserole is a favorite Thanksgiving side dish. But many people with IBD stay away from it because of the onions. Onions, especially fried (!!), can wreak havoc on a sensitive gut. This recipe uses scallions, which are less apt to cause GI upset.

Step by Step Instructions

 
Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2
In a large saucepan, combine the green beans, salt and ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Cook longer if you require your beans softer. Drain.
Step 3
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter or oil over medium heat. Add scallions and sauté until fragrant and tender, about 2 minutes. Add stock. Bring to a simmer.
Step 4
In a small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until there are no lumps.
Step 5
Slowly add the milk mixture to the broth and scallions in the skillet, while constantly stirring. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture is evenly thickened. Remove from heat.
Step 6
Stir in the mushrooms, pepper and cooked green beans; transfer mixture to a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish.
Step 7
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Combine with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.
Step 8
Bake about until bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots 

Course: Side  Adapted from The Food Network
INGREDIENTS 
  • 3 bunches baby rainbow carrots (any carrot will do, but cooking time will vary)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt + more to taste
  • Chopped chives, optional
IBD Tip: 
  • In general, the softer the veggie, the easier it is on the gut. If you require a very low-fiber diet, then you’ll want to cook the carrots until they’re super tender. Turn them frequently to avoid burning

Step by Step Instructions

 
Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 2
Toss carrots, olive oil and ½ tsp salt on a baking sheet; arrange in a single layer.
Step 3
Roast, turning once, until very tender and slightly browned, 15-20 minutes.
Step 4
Sprinkle with salt and chives (optional).

Pumpkin Pie

Course: Dessert Adapted from Elena’s Pantry
INGREDIENTS 
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
  • 3  large eggs
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup honey or 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1  Paleo Pie Crust, unbaked (substitute your favorite pie crust if desired)
IBD Tip: 
  • To make SCD friendly, substitute 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin puree (from fresh pumpkin) and choose honey as your sweetener. 

Step by Step Instructions

 
Step 1
In a food processor combine pumpkin puree and eggs. Pulse in coconut milk, honey/maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
Step 2
Pour filling into pie crust.
Step 3
Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
Step 4
Allow to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up.

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