Hello beautiful people! The weekend is almost here and today, I’m excited to kick off my Friday with some of my favorite seasonal food finds from Whole Foods in honor of the approaching holidays. As I reflected on some of the reasons why the holidays stand out as such a heart-warming, comforting, special time of year, I realized much of what I love about the holidays are all the simple things…the excitement in children’s faces, the extra time with family, and of course, the flavors and smells of foods that we only relish in a couple times a year.
In the last few years, I’ve really challenged myself to be present throughout the holiday season- cherishing every mouthful of butternut squash or pumpkin oats, and every sip of holiday nog or peppermint cocoa…because these flavors, these foods- bring a sense of warmth, nostalgia, and feelings of happiness. They’re special because we don’t have them year round…we only have a few precious weeks with these foods, these flavors, these smells and taking the time to awaken our senses and appreciate each and every second is what really brings the holidays to life.
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, I wanted to highlight some of the fall foods I’ve been savoring…foods that remind me to stop and watch the trees changing colors. Foods that make me want to curl up under a cozy blanket as crisp, fall air seeps in through the window…
Califia Farms Holiday Nog
Every Thanksgiving, my mom always has a small carton of eggnog for the few family members (including myself) who enjoy a small glass with our pumpkin pie. I was thrilled to see a dairy-free version of this classic, holiday drink at Whole Foods and scooped it up without thinking twice. It’s got all the wonderful flavor of traditional eggnog, but far less sugar and since it’s not so rich, it’s easier to gulp down a larger glass. Talk about a drink that makes me savor the season…this nog just begs for flannel pajamas, slippers, and cozy-ing up on the couch to watch holiday movies.
Among my favorite picks? Acorn and butternut squash. Acorn squashes’ sweet nature makes it a perfect breakfast choice. After baking it, I like to cool it and top it with pumpkin yogurt and some granola for a hearty, delicious breakfast. I have been purchasing the frozen, organic butternut squash from WF and adding it into my smoothies (see butternut squash smoothie recipe herehttp://activebyannie.com/?s=butternut+squash) – a welcome change-up to my usual smoothie routine. I also love sweet potatoes- this fall, I grabbed some purple sweet potatoes at Whole Foods…which I don’t generally see throughout the year.
Siggi’s Pumpkin Yogurt
My favorite yogurt brand delivers big-time with this seasonal pumpkin edition. Perfect alone or topped with granola, chopped walnuts or pecans, or as I love, topped on some baked acorn squash.
Organic Canned Pumpkin & Pumpkin Spice
I love pumpkin flavor and have added these two items to just about everything…swapping out my usual overnight oats for ones packed with Vitamin-A rich pumpkin and the bursting flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, adding both into my smoothies, and even playing around with pumpkin in our chili dinners! I’ve been adding a little pumpkin spice into my coffee each morning too, along with a little half & half or almond milk and love how it transforms my cup o’ joe into something so special.
Epic Bone Broth
I love soup and I love broth…in recent months, I’ve heard more and more about the benefits of bone broth. It’s definitely a goal of mine to make my own some day, but for now, I am grateful I came across this bone broth on sale at Whole Foods. I warm this up, add in some extra turmeric, and top it with avocado. I could sip on this all day- so nurturing and a perfect thing to enjoy on a chilly fall day. This has been my go-to in the afternoons when I’m tempted to reach for an extra cup of coffee. I definitely recommend giving this a try!
Thank you to Whole Foods for letting me join you in this campaign- #MyHolidayTradish. Taking the time to reflect on the importance of the holidays and savor the little things is truly the reason for the season. As part of this campaign, Whole Foods is giving away free groceries for a year. Click on this link to enter: http://bit.ly/2eld6q2
Make sure to stop and smell (and taste) the holidays this year 😉
Question of the day: What special foods do you enjoy throughout the holiday season?
This post is in collaboration with Whole Foods Market Chicago. As compensation for my time, I received a WF gift-card. All opinions are my own.
Please remember to recycle all containers!