Aside from how stressful hosting Thanksgiving for a large crowd can be on its own, having to mingle with any overly-judgmental relatives at the holiday family reunion can also trigger an unhappy gut response. So, instead of feeling the need to curl up into a ball as you grapple with an unsettled stomach due to the holiday chaos, we’ve gathered delicious, digestion-boosting Thanksgiving recipes (that you can make ahead of time!) that you’ll definitely want to gobble up.
6 digestion-boosting Thanksgiving recipes you can make ahead of time
1. Crudité Platter
Appetizers are one of the easiest ways to ensure no one in the family gets too hangry while they wait for the main course to arrive on the table—especially when it comes to the (expectedly) unpredictable task of making the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. This simple crudité platter by Love and Lemons is one ideal way to stave away dirty looks as the hunger amounts. It’s packed with fiber-rich fruits and veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, and carrots and features a protein-rich white bean dip to dunk the crunchy foods into. After all, fiber is one of the best RD-approved ways to ensure your digestion stays right on tract (ha!) all holiday long. “Fiber plays an important role in overall health and especially digestive health, preventing constipation and helping maintain stable blood sugars,” registered dietitian Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, previously told Well+Good.
Get the recipe: Crudité Platter
2. White Bean Pumpkin Hummus
Are stomachs starting to rumble? Time to bring out the white bean pumpkin hummus by Minimalist Baker that you prepped ahead of time. This creamy dip is the perfect combo of beans and pumpkin, a gut-health match made in heaven. Beans are one of the best foods high in soluble fiber, which absorbs water, swells, and creates a gel-like substance during digestion (and keeps bowl movements flowing smoothly). Meanwhile, pumpkin, which has about 500 milligrams of potassium in a cup of canned pumpkin, is also the key to good digestion.
Get the recipe: White Bean Pumpkin Hummus
3. Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Time to thaw out the fiber-filled green beans you froze from the farmer’s market for this 10-ingredient vegan green bean casserole recipe by Nora Cooks. It features a luscious, creamy vegan mushroom gravy and green beans that you can prep ahead of time. Then all you need to do is lather the green beans with the sauce, toss in some crispy onions in a ready-to-bake casserole pan, and cover with foil until you’re ready to pop it in the oven.
Get the recipe: Vegan Green Bean Casserole
4. Curried Cauliflower, Grape, and Lentil Salad
All three of the leading ingredients of this curried cauliflower, grape, and lentil salad by Minimalist Baker, are packed with gut-healthy benefits and serve major main character energy. For starters, cauliflower is a GI superstar, according to registered dietitians. “Dietary fiber is great for digestion as it helps to prevent constipation and reduce the risk of bowel disorders. Cauliflower also has a high water content that is also helpful for GI health,” Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, previously shared with Well+Good. Meanwhile, grapes are loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and, you guessed it, tons of fiber. Plus, lentils (another fiber hotshot) are also packed with loads of protein (about 18 grams per cup). Basically, this recipe is the trifecta of good-for-the-gut foods, and it’s their time to shine.
Get the recipe: Curried Cauliflower, Grape, and Lentil Salad
5. Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Hosting a bigger-than-usual party this year? This curried butternut squash soup recipe by Minimalist Baker will be the answer to your big-batch cooking and balanced microbiome prayers. It’s made with anti-inflammatory spices like cinnamon and curry powder. It also features butternut squash, filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and tons of gut-friendly fiber. Plus, it’s the perfect recipe to make ahead of time and simply reheat in a slow cooker or large pot as your guests arrive.
Get the recipe: Curried Butternut Squash Soup
6. Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
Tend to get a little backed up after a large Thanksgiving meal? This pumpkin pie chia pudding recipe by Choosing Chia features—you guessed it—chia seeds which are one of the best foods to make you go number two according to registered dietitians. Plus, this delicious dessert is ideal for making well in advance before your guests start knocking on your door—not to mention the perfect leftover snack once the festivities are all done.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
An inside look at what's on an RD's Thanksgiving dinner plate:
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