Innovative Hamptons raw vegan personal chef and author of Raw Food! Anat Fritz recently shared ideas about bringing her young, creative and healthy approach to cooking to the comfort food-heavy traditional Thanksgiving meal.
How do you experience Thanksgiving as a raw vegan health advocate?
Having grown up in Germany, Thanksgiving is a very new holiday to me. I really love the way friends and families come together to celebrate the spirit of giving and sharing. I am looking forward to sitting around the table for hours and indulging in the beautiful dishes that people share and bring from their own home kitchens. At least that is the way I get to experience it. Since I have no family here in New York, I am always a guest and I love the diversity of it and finding out where everyone is from.
I love to contribute my healthy interpretations of Thanksgiving favorites. To every high cholesterol, buttery and fattening option (In moderation it’s great, but who can really keep moderate with all that food in front of us?) I envision a raw vegan version of it—and trust me, my options are just as indulgence-worthy as the family-favorite “originals.” I would never go for less.
Last year, I contributed with my signature dessert: Key Lime Mousse. This year, I’m planning on a few savory, cozy comfort food dishes, like Parsnip Sweet Potato Purée or Champignon Parsnip Kohlrabi rice as side dishes, and a Persimmon Pudding with Cashew Cream as dessert. All of this is easy to make and fits right into the culinary themes of the rest of the meal.
Scroll down for recipes!
How do you as a raw vegan cope with the big bird monument on the center of the table?
If you mean the turkey, I don’t mind it at all. My motto is: To each their own. I am by no means a missionary, and especially not when I am invited to someone else’s house. I think that is really something to refrain from—otherwise you are going to spend next Thanksgiving by yourself! My view is to be inclusive. Anything else makes no sense to me!
What I can do is to joyfully introduce my view of healthy, delicious food to the occasion. That is something I find appropriate. It’s always about conscious choices. This pulls us out of a passive position and empowers us to lead a self-determined life. We live in a world where everything is instantly available, but if it is not on the table, you can’t choose it—very simple. As long as you know what you’re doing, I’m all for it. There is nothing wrong with having the traditional turkey share a plate with healthy Thanksgiving sides like the ones I mentioned. In fact, I am grateful that, holding up my dish, I’m being waved through the gate of poultry and butter and getting to position my little treats right next to the big bird.
I am doing a demo day at my son’s school this Friday and will be showing the kids how easy it is to make super healthy and delicious chocolate. Unlike the store-bought version, raw vegan chocolate is full of antioxidants, minerals and benefits. And it tastes great. Hopefully they take the knowledge home and create their own treats for the holidays!
Anat looks forward to helping her clients live a happier, healthier and more delicious life. Create some healthy Holiday alternatives with her! Contact Anat Fritz directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit anatfritz.ucraft.me.
Thanksgiving Recipes from Raw Vegan Chef Anat Fritz
Parsnip Sweet Potato Purée
Yields 2 -3 portions, 20 min prep time
100gr macadamia nuts
220 gr sweet potato
140 gr parsnip
50 ml almond milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cumin
1 dash freshly ground nutmeg
fresh ground pepper
Grind macadamia nuts in a food processor—or better a coffee grinder—as fine as possible. Peel parsnip and finely chop together with sweet potatoes.
Blend all dry components in a food processor into a viscous mass. With a slow pour, add the almond milk. If you need more liquid, add up to 100 ml water. At last, intermix olive oil and finely grated garlic and spices.
Yields 2-3 portions, 20 min prep time
This recipe is super easy and fast to make—I use it as I use rice: as side dish or in seaweed sheets as sushi rice, on salad or just as a quick snack with a bit of tamari and chopped cilantro or mint leaves.
1/4 bund smooth parsley
1/4 bund cilantro
1 large handful white champignons
Clean, de-stem and chop parsley. Peel kohlrabi and parsnip. Chop both in the food processor on pulse mode. Repeat same with champignons. The outcome should resemble rice, therefore not too fine.
Intermix parsley and cilantro and season to your liking with salt. Carefully add tamari teaspoon wise. The rice should not get too wet.
Yields 3-4 portions, 15 min prep time plus 8hrs soaking time
For Cashew Cream:
90 gr cashews
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup
1 generous dash ground vanilla
For the Pudding:
4-6 ripe persimmons
1 dash chipotle powder (alternatively cayenne pepper)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Soak the cashews in cold water for 8 hours. Discard the water and rinse the nuts. Blend the cashews with lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla powder and 100 ml water in a high speed blender for 3-5 minutes.
De-stem and cut the persimmon in thick cubes, blend with chipotle powder (or cayenne pepper) and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve with cashew cream.