Just like mom made?
Stovetop stuffing is another popular holiday tradition. That red cardboard box had a reserved seat at most family tables and you probably couldn’t get enough. Who could have imagined that some stale bread, spices, and dried vegetables cooked up in a little butter could and would taste so good?
If you’re working to carry your health-consciousness through the holiday season, you’re probably looking for a better way to make this traditional dish. You probably can’t bring yourself to eat something that contains things like high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein (even if it is less than two percent), partially hydrogenated oils, sugar, caramel color, maltodextrin, BHA, and BHT (preservatives). Yikes!
How about…better than mom-made!
No need to fear, because with just a little extra elbow grease you can have this family favorite without all those unwanted chemicals and preservatives. Starting with wholesome ingredients from scratch and throwing in a mouthwatering combination of spices, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is. And of course, making something yourself helps you always know exactly what’s in your food!
Don’t forget the herbal benefits
As you read through your holiday recipes, you may start to notice that the spices typically stealing the show are well known for their health benefits. If you can focus on letting these flavors and tastes shine and eliminate all the unnecessary processed sugars, bad fats and carbs and curb overeating, your holiday meal could actually be beneficial to your system.
Even Simon and Garfunkel knew the benefits of the spices used in this dish…they sang about it in their 1966 hit “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.” While this dish doesn’t use rosemary (although you can always try adding it for a slightly different flavor profile!), it puts to use all the others.
Parsley is a medicinal herb that benefits the body as a diuretic and helps remove toxins from the body. It has also been touted as an effective breath freshener, but unfortunately, isn’t in high enough amounts in this dish to overcome those potent dried onions. Sage has incredible antioxidant properties that helps support better brain function. Thyme has been know to help with chest and respiratory problems including coughs and chest congestion–even bronchitis, and has antibacterial properties.
Home-Cooked Stovetop Stuffing (serves 9)
- 3 slices bread of choice (this recipe uses Nature’s Own Wheat+Protein)
- ½ tablespoon dried parsley
- ⅛ cup dried onion flakes
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons Better Than Boullion, Chicken
- 1 ½ cups of water
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Cut your bread slices into 1×1 inch squares and spread them onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake four minutes (until browned) then flip all squares and bake (until browned). Set aside to cool completely, but keep the oven on.
- Mix all dry ingredients (parsley, onions, thyme, pepper, sage and salt).
- Combine dry ingredients with bread crumbs and stir or toss gently to coat.
- Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add Better Than Boullion and stir to combine.
- Add bread and spice mixture and heat through, stirring frequently until well-coated and warm (at this stage it will look and smell very similar to the boxed stuff).
- Set entire mixture aside, emptying pan. Add 1 ½ cups of water and three more tablespoons of butter and bring to a boil.
- Add stuffing mixture back to pan, stir to combine. Cover and remove from heat.
- Let stand five minutes and fluff with a fork.
- Transfer to a baking dish and cook in 350º oven until top is a little crispy, times may vary depending on how soggy your stuffing is.
- If you don’t think stuffing is stuffing without celery, you can add ⅛ cup of it in. Also to sweeten the profile, put in ⅛ cup of sugar free dried cranberries.
- To save time, you can forego the baking of the stuffing in the oven and serve it directly from the stove top, just like momma used to.
- If you need this to be gluten and dairy free, use a gluten free bread of your choice and use dairy-free butter.
- If you don’t have Better Than Bouillon, you can substitute it with an equal number of bouillon cubes (flavor of your choice), but the final sodium content of your dish will be slightly higher.
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