Thanksgiving donations 

Recently at church, we were able to take  brown grocery bags with a grocery shopping list on it to collect thanksgiving donations for a local shelter. Basically, it is the ultimate way of showing LOVE via FOOD. So many times in my life it’s been easier to just write a check or toss a $20 towards a charity or fundraiser, but this ministry was one I wanted to be personally involved in. I went to my favorite grocery store with my list in hand and set out only for the items on it. I already did my grocery shop for my family for the week, so this trip was truly dedicated only to my Thanksgiving donation bag. It was such a good feeling picking out food for those in my community who can’t afford it this holiday season. I bought stuffing mix, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, a pie crust, pumpkin pie filling, evaporated milk, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, and cornbread mix for my Thanksgiving donation bag. I know how much it means to me to sit around the table and enjoy these things with my family, so I love being able to pay it forward and allows some others in my community to do the same with their loved ones. 
I’m not the best Christian in the world. We only make it to church once or twice a month. But honestly this opportunity to help others and show them love and compassion by providing them with food really spoke to me and made my heart feel full. The Operation Turkey coordinator at my church told me that we donated over 900 lbs of food and $745 towards buying turkeys for people in our community. That, my friends, is love. Via food. 

Do any of you have charities that you support that really speak to your heart over the holiday season?  Pleas Share them with me! It’s so important to give back and teach our kids to do the same. Xoxo

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Have you heard about all the benefits of coconut oil but you just stare at the jar and wonder how the heck you’re supposed to cook with it?  These roasted sweet potatoes are a great “gateway recipe” for you to get your feet wet with coconut oil.  I recommend trying it out now for a weeknight dinner, and if you like it, it is a perfect side dish to add to your Thanksgiving Dinner menu. 

This roasted sweet potatoes recipe is super simple and loaded with superfoods.  I love roasting sweet potatoes in the oven with coconut oil for a little bit of natural sweetness, rosemary for a fragrant woodsy heartiness, and salt and pepper to balance it out and make it savory.  It’s so fun to make something so healthy that tastes delicious and feels decadent.

Ingredients:

5-6 medium or 2-3 large sweet potatoes

1.5 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil (cold pressed)

1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Scoop out 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil onto your baking sheet.  (I like to cover mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up).  If you’re new to cooking with coconut oil, the weird part about it is that it changes form with the temperature.  In the summer, your coconut oil might be completely liquefied.  In the winter, it might be rock hard!  The good news is that it’s very malleable and you can soften hardened coconut oil in your hands easily.
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces somewhere between 1/2-1 inch.  You are going for 2 things here: size uniformity so that they cook evenly and a size that looks pleasant to bite into.
  4. Add your cubed sweet potatoes to the baking sheet.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary over them.  I love using rosemary from my garden, but dried rosemary works great too.  Thyme works perfectly here too.  This is where you will get your hands dirty.  If the coconut oil is solidified, work it in your hands for a minute first to soften it.  Toss with your hands to coat all the sweet potatoes completely. Try and get them all in an even layer. 
  5. Roast at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Halfway through, take them out and turn them with a spatula so that they caramelize evenly.  They are done when you see them start to brown on the outside and the inside is tender.

Do you have any healthy recipes that feel like a cheat? Share them with me in the comments!