Healthier Thanksgiving: Chef offers recipes without gluten, dairy

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Dairy, nuts and gluten are common ingredients in a Thanksgiving spread, but for those with allergies or dietary concerns, there are healthy alternatives.

Dairy, nuts and gluten are common ingredients found in a Thanksgiving spread.

But chef Mareya Ibrahim has tasty ways to get around them in her 'Fit Foodie' recipes.

Starting with pie.

"One of my favorite hacks is using firm tofu in my pumpkin pies. I know it sounds crazy but you can pull all of the cream out and it gives a great texture and that spring that you like when you eat your pie but it makes it really light," said Ibrahim.

Of course some of the key ingredients that you are using in food most likely include butter, eggs and sugar but chef Mareya has some fabulous alternatives for all three.

Along with tofu, it's full-fat coconut milk in lieu of eggs and heavy cream, monk fruit instead of sugar. She spices things up with Madagascar vanilla, roasted cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.

The pie crust is butter- and gluten-free using almond flour and cassava root.

"My crust I toasted some almonds and a little bit of the Earth Balance and I lined the bottom of the crust just to give it a nice other layer of that nuttiness," said Ibrahim.

Her vegan gravy should please most everyone. Shiitake mushrooms impart a meaty texture and instead of corn starch or arrowroot there's this bonus:

"A collagen powder. This gives you body and a little bit of that fine quality that we get from those ingredients but the benefits of collagen. And after the age of 35 we stop producing collagen and it's really the glue for our joints, our connected tissue are beautiful glowing," Ibrahim said.

A dish for all palates is her blended butternut squash, leeks and fermented black garlic soup.

"Low sodium veggie broth and full fatted coconut milk.You need that body for your bisque," Ibrahim said.

The dishes aren't meant to fool friends and family but are tasty healthy alternatives that you can swap out without having to cook multiple dishes for the big day.
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