Thanksgiving

Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup

soup.jpg

Thanksgiving is only 11-days away and I'm busting at the seams with joy and excitement! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! I love the anticipation of what each day holds. Yesterday, as I walked with my husband (Mike), I spent the majority of the time rambling about the different possibilities for Thanksgiving and how special this day was going to be. Almost as if I was willing it to be!  Of course I had to confirm that watching the Macy's Day Parade and reading the Black Friday ads were first on the agenda! I love an excuse to make a fuse, to throw a party, to gather with family and friends, the justification to showering others with gifts and the wonderful joy in the air of closing out another year with the hope and expectations of dreams to come in the looming year ahead! Its AMAZING!!!! It feels... HOPEFUL because I find I am more reflective this time of year than any other which allows me the chance to acknowledge the purposeful gifts and mighty ways God has shown up and showed off in my life!

Ok.... so I will stop digressing and get back to my point in writing this post.... THIS SOUP. AHHHHMAZING!  (and full of amazing nutrients as well!) If you really want to get creative this Thanksgiving and take the pressure off of providing a labor intensive meal... join me in my Laid-Back GREATFUL Holiday Extravaganza movement!!! I'm going rogue this year and getting away from traditional, and embracing more free time to enjoy the loved ones in my life!!!

I'll be serving up this amazing Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup alongside a fresh Cranberry & Spinach Salad with Turkey & Brie Crostini. Nutritious. Delicious. And Easy!!!

Soup 2
Soup 2

Maple & Bourbon Sweet Potato Soup                                                         (Recipe Inspired by Half Baked Harvest)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 1/2 cups Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Apple Cider
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne (to your taste)
  • Salt + Pepper, to your taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I recommend Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream)
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, add the maple syrup and cinnamon sticks to a large soup pot, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes. You want the maple syrup to thicken and reduce to a syrup like the consistency of honey.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skins and add the orange flesh to the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Add 1 cup of broth and puree until smooth. Slowly stir the sweet potato mixture into the thickened maple syrup. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, the apple cider, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne and a pinch of salt + pepper. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bourbon (if using) and cream. Continue to cook another 5 minutes and then add the cheese + butter, cook until the cheese is melted and the soup is silky smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth to thin. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.

Whether you are planning a traditional menu or creating new menu, I would love to hear what you are planning on having for Thanksgiving! Regardless of your main entrée, make sure you serve it up with plenty of gratitude for the beautiful life that you lead!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING NUTRIFOCUS FAMILY

Thanksgiving is less than 24 hours away and I can feel the holiday spirit in the air! I love the holiday season and I feel Thanksgiving is the official kick-off date!

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving can easily get lost in the whirlwind of anxiety from the thought of eating due to the tradition or expectation to overeat!  Thanksgiving was never intended to be an event where everyone could feel uncomfortably stuffed and weigh a few more pounds at the end of the day. Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that is set aside to specifically recognize the many ways that we are fortunate.

Instead of worrying about how to get out of eating calories or allowing calories to steal precious holiday moments from you, I encourage the NutriFocus family to treat Thanksgiving as any normal day of eating… eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.  This will allow you the chance to enjoy the reason for the holiday and love on your loved ones!

This year I have several things I am thankful for, which I thought I would like to share with the NutriFocus family!

  • My relationship with my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ
  • My loving husband & our marriage
  • My amazing, selfless, loving mother and father
  • My new nephew, Hartwell and my sweet Slayden and beautiful Claudia
  • The return of my brother George from Iraq
  • My Mamaw’s Ability to Continue Healing
  • Each special relationship with my girlfriends and the memories we made in 2010

What are you thankful for this holiday season?!

I’m looking forward to sharing many thanks with my family and friends. I encourage each of you to share your unique blessings and “thank-you’s” with those that you love this year!

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  ~E.P. Powell