Do you know the truth of Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is actually a holiday that was created by the Native Americans. It was a ritual celebration to celebrate the harvest, a way to give thanks to nature for its bounty, a way to honor the change of seasons and a way to give thanks for FOOD.
But today, we have forgotten that.
Native American culture was finally in the spotlight during Thanksgiving last year – but not for their beautiful culture, not for their wise words, not for the real gift that they gave to the Pilgrims, and the protection they afforded the “white man.”
No, instead they were spotlighted because 396 years after the first Thanksgiving, Native Americans are still peacefully fighting to protect their land.
Last year the Dakota access pipeline was in full, non-violent protest but this year, there will be no protests because they lost. But we cannot forget.
So again, this year, I would like to pay homage to Native American culture by celebrating with traditional food that doesn’t hurt the environment.
This is not a recipe guide for pumpkin pie or green bean casserole … in fact I will not even give you the healthy options for these “traditional” American dishes.
Instead, this Thanksgiving, I want to share some traditional Native American recipes with you.
Ancient cultures have so much to teach and share with us – it is time we remembered, and it is time we listened.
There are the steps you can take to show respect and love to Native American culture and our land this Thanksgiving.
Chose Native food – and by ‘native,’ I mean local.
When you look at food these days, what you come to see is that at this point we are just eating oil …
So step one … buy local. Who cares if it’s not “traditional American food.”
– traditional food is really what you could find locally.
Be adventurous with your meat
Some native Americans ate turkey … but the majority ate deer, duck, goose, rabbit, chicken and even swan. Now, if I am honest with you I have never eaten swan, or rabbit and I don’t have a good recipe for either … but if you want to be truly adventurous like that, go on google.
Or find a hunter.
Venison is one of the most sustainable meats that there is or bison. Bison actually do some amazing things with their horns, they aerate the land. No one truly knows why they do it, but if we all demanded more bison on our table we would have an animal source of protein that actually helps the environment rather than hurts it.
If you want turkey, go for it, just buy one that was raised in your area without antibiotics, hormones, and cruelty and give thanks to it for its life when you eat it.
Really Say ‘Thank You.’
So simple yet so powerful. Why do you think all religions say to be thankful for your food … because the food is medicine and gratitude is the most powerful medicine there is!
Eat recipes that Native Americans would have eaten in the “Pre-Grocery Store Era.”
What did Native Americans eat on Thanksgiving?
Depending on the tribe Native Americans actually would have eaten things like:
If they did have turkey (which sometimes they did), they would just stuff it with one oyster because oysters, in the time of Native Americans, were the size of large dinner plates!
They would also have had tons of veggies:
- Wild onions
- Sweet potatoes
- Collard greens
For fruits it would have been:
And lots of nuts:
- Maple syrup
- Hickory nuts
Yes, Native Americans ate popcorn, just not like we do it today.
Remember, your food choices have the power to impact the masses and impact generations. Feel thankful that you can make a difference with each bite.
All my love & Happy Holidays
Wild Onion and Bone Broth Soup
Bone broth is steeped in centuries of tradition, and it is easy to make for a lot of people, Bone broth also pays respect to every part of the animal. You can use any type of bones to create bone broth, and many grocery stores are now starting to sell them (although they should probably be giving them away).
All you have to do is simmer the bones with a dash of vinegar, 10-20 hours for poultry or seafood, or 24-28 hours for beef bones. I personally just do it in a crockpot.
This process draws out the proteins, minerals, and healing gelatin. Bone broth is also incredibly rich in calcium, magnesium phosphorous and potassium … why do you think soil loves bones so much!
- 1/2 cup of grass-fed butter or 1/3 cup olive oil
- 5 large sweet yellow onions sliced into thick rings
- 2 quarts of bone broth (you can also get store bought if you HAVE to)
- 1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or Hawaiian salt (more if you like more)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 6 oz of locally sourced cheddar cheese (extra sharp is the best)
* if you want to be extra healthy leave the cheese off
- Melt butter in an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat and add the onions. Cook roughly 7-8 minutes stirring often so that they do not brown. You want them translucent.
- Add the bone broth, thyme, salt, and pepper and turn the heat to low. Simmer the mixture uncovered for 45 minutes stirring occasionally
- Portion the soup into ramekins or ovenproof bowls and sprinkle with a thin slicked layer of cheese (optional).
- Place in the oven under the broiler for roughly 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Yummy and easy!
Biodynamic Grilled Synergy Salad
The three main crops that Native Americans grew were corn, beans, and squash – These crops were often referred to as the “Three Sisters” because they grew very well together and helped each other out.
The beans would naturally climb the cornstalks, and the squash would spread out below creeping along the ground and stop weeds from growing. The squash would also keep the moisture in the soil by shading it, which resulted in a perfect trifecta of growing.
And these plants grow together for a reason. When eaten together they provide almost all of the nutrients that your body requires in one meal.
- 2 Zucchinis halved lengthwise
- 2 yellow summer squash halved lengthwise
- 3 ears of organic corn
- 2 cups of cranberry beans (sometimes called Shell beans in New England) – if you have to do canned then you have to, but if you can do boxed it’s better or soak and boil your own …
- Brush squash and zucchini, and husked corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Grill over charcoal until slightly crispy with a few grill marks on each side (roughly 4-5 minutes each side)
- Transfer the squash and zucchini and finely dice them
- Cut the kernels from the corn and add combine all chopped veggies in a bowl
- Toss with the beans
- Drizzle with Olive oil, a dash of apple cider vinegar, a drizzle of honey, and salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with fresh herbs
10 Minute Baked Scallops
Scallops are one of the healthiest Mollusks to eat, and they are also incredibly easy to make. Most people tend to over think and overcook them, but just keep it simple. They are delicious as is!
Baking scallops is an excellent low maintenance way to cook them so you will have time to drink some wine and talk to the family (so if you don’t want to do that pan fry them instead), this is strategic meal planning at its finest.
The trick to baked scallops is to cook them at a very high heat, don’t cook them too long and make sure you moisten them with something (I like lemon juice).
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees
- place the scallops (rinsed) onto a baking sheet, drizzle with lemon juice and a dash of pepper
- bake 10 minutes at 450
easy, and delicious!
** If you catch your own scallops or buy them in the shells you only need to remove the dark side of the shell, do this with the hinge facing toward you. When you have removed the top shell take a spoon and scrape the shell from the hinge back to remove the dark inner part, rinse the scallop.
Place the scallop in its shell on the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, bonus points it will look really impressive!
Roasted Root Vegetables
Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper are cheating, and they work on everything. Roasted veggies are the EASIEST no-fuss way to make sure you are getting some healthy goodies on your plate.
Traditionally Native Americans would have cooked carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and squash.
Don’t make it hard on yourself, take all of these veggies, chop them up, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and perhaps a dash of balsamic or some fresh herbs and roast at 350 for 15-20 minutes, stirring once.
You can also add all of these veggies to your bird if you are cooking the turkey, and you have a one-dish wonder!
Yep, Native Americans had popcorn. You can either serve it as a dessert (drizzle it with dark chocolate and put it in the fridge for some extra yummy-ness) or serve it as an appetizer.
And don’t forget the most important ingredient of all this Thanksgiving:
Chelsea Newman CTNC has taught nutrition and transformation to some of the largest companies in the United States. She founded the top nutrition coaching practice in Hawaii, her home, and later went on to study nutrition, healing and ancient wisdom around the world. Her work is frequently featured by some of the industries top leaders and her coaching programs have gained international attention for their unique and holistic approach. Chelsea Newman has helped hundreds of people transform their health and create thriving and awakened lives. She calls her approach “Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World.”