Healthy, Tasty Thanksgiving Recipes Used at the White House

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You’re likely in the midst of finalizing your Thanksgiving menu. Looking to do something new and get the family more involved this Thanksgiving?  Well here’s a start.

Here are two healthy Thanksgiving recipes enjoyed at the White House and featured in food journalist and author Clara Silverstein’s “A White House Garden Cookbook.”  The book, which can be found at www.redrockpress.com/delicious.html, features recipes that include ingredients from community gardens across America.

Here are the recipes for two White House favorites: White House Whipped Sweet Potatoes and White House Apple Pie.


Silverstein tells us that Michelle Obama and the First Family are particularly fond of sweet potatoes. This recipe gets its flavor from a subtle mix of  spices, plus citrus juices and just a bit of butter (or margarine).  The sweet potatoes add just the right amount of sweetness, but with no added sugar.

Serves 4

3 medium (12 to 16 ounces each) sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of ground cloves
4 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees.
2. Wash the potatoes, pat dry, and wrap each one in foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, approximately one hour (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes).
3. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Unwrap the foil and allow them to cool enough to handle.
4. Cut each potato in half. Scoop out the inside and place in a
large mixing bowl.
5. Add the butter, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, cloves, orange juice, and lemon juice. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed, whip the potatoes until smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add the salt and serve.

Serves 8

10 ounces unsalted butter, kept cold
3 ounces lard, kept cold (or substitute solid vegetable shortening)
3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
11/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup ice water

2 pounds apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Sugar, for sprinkling

For the crust:
1. Cut the butter and lard or vegetable shortening into small
chunks. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and lard, then pulse briefly until the mixture forms small crumbs. Add the ice water and pulse just until a dough forms.
2. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into disks. Wrap each
disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
3. When chilled, prepare the pie shell: On a floured surface, use a
rolling pin to roll out one disk to a 14-inch circle. Transfer the
dough to a deep 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Refrigerate the crust in the pan for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
4. When ready to bake the bottom crust, heat the oven to 375
degrees. Line the cold crust with foil and fill with baking weights,
rice or dry beans to hold it in place. Bake the pie shell for 30
minutes and remove from oven. Leave the oven on once the crust is done. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

For the filling:
1. Peel and core the apples; cut them into chunks. In a large
saucepan, toss together the apples, sugar, honey, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice. Let sit for 20 minutes.
2. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook,
stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until the fruit thickens.
Let cool.
3. When the filling has cooled, pour it into the baked crust.

For the top crust and egg wash:
1. Roll out the second disk of dough to a 12-inch circle.
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the salt. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg on the edges of the cooked crust. Place the top crust over the filling. Using a fork or crimper, gently crimp the top crust, sealing the pie around the edges.
3. With a paring knife, slit the top of the crust in several places to create steam vents. Brush the egg wash over the crust, then sprinkle with the sugar.
4. Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top crust is golden brown. Let cool for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Enjoy the holidays everyone! If you try a recipe mentioned here, we’d love to know how it turned out.

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