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A Wild Twist on Thanksgiving Dinner: Part 1

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Being a vegetarian for the last few decades, Thanksgiving is not a food holiday I get overly excited about. Unless I’m hosting (which is rare) the Thanksgiving meal for me is usually a plate full of sides. Which is perfectly okay, I don’t mind, it’s a great opportunity to exercise the idea that the day is not about the food and more about the time spent with family and friends.

That being said, I still need to eat and I do love food! It’s not surprising that over the years I’ve become a connoisseur of delicious Thanksgiving sides. In fact, I enjoy encouraging my family when meal planning to elevate the side dishes to new and delicious heights. I definitely know a good side dish when I see one and that’s why I’m excited to share my Wild Blueberry and Ginger Relish with you.

After visiting the Wild Blueberry barrens back in August, I’ve been using them a lot in my recipes. I love the intense blueberry flavor, the fact that they are loaded with antioxidants, and their deep blue color is just gorgeous, which can really make a dish stand out! I also love that you can use them straight from the freezer; you don’t have to thaw them out first. And, being that you purchase them frozen they won’t go bad in your fridge and they are available for use year-round.

Think of this Wild Blueberry relish as a delicious and healthier twist on its cranberry cousin. Wild Blueberries are naturally sweet so very little added sugar is needed — this recipe only uses two tablespoons! In fact, depending on how you will use this relish, you could get away with using one tablespoon. If you’re eating it as a side dish, then one tablespoon is likely sweet enough, but if you plan to use it on turkey sandwiches, you might want to use two to bring out more of the intense blueberry flavor.

Something to remember when cooking with fresh frozen Wild Blueberries is that once they are cooked they will release a bit of water. While very little added liquid was used in this recipe, it still needed a little thickening up. Chia seed was the perfect thickening agent and with it came a healthy dose of omega 3 fat.

Little added sugar, tons of antioxidant power, and omega 3, too? I call that a real relish upgrade!

Wild Blueberry & Ginger Relish

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About the Author

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Danielle Omar is a registered dietitian, clean-eating coach, teacher and cookbook author. She is a passionate food and nutrition educator and founded Danielle Omar Nutrition to support busy men and women on their journey to becoming their healthiest self. An avid cook, she also enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog. Danielle has a Master’s degree in Nutrition and has been teaching nutrition at the college level for over 10 years. She has contributed to local and national media outlets such as The Washingtonian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, and Women’s Health Magazine. Through her private nutrition practice, media work, and group programs, Danielle has successfully motivated hundreds of busy professionals and families to eat confidently and live a healthy life. 

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