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Cornucopia

by Milissa on November 21, 2010

in Nutrition

What a delicious word—cornucopia! It doesn’t roll off the tongue lightly, but spills substantial consonants and rounded vowels, like ripe squash and apples tumbling out of the horn of plenty itself. Onomatopoeia, of a sort.

Okay, so now you know my little secret: I’m not only a yoga teacher, I’m also a word geek.

A cornucopia seems the perfect symbol of Thanksgiving—that post-harvest and pre-permafrost holiday. In this season Minnesotans have much to celebrate; especially when we look forward to the next several months, where the only thing growing will be mold on the cranberry sauce forgotten in the back of the refrigerator.

I hope I haven’t ruined your appetite with that thought, because I’d like to share my favorite root vegetable recipe. Grounding and nutritious, as well as delicious, it’s also easy and can be made a day ahead. I’ve toyed around with this beta carotene-rich side dish for years, and have found that the simpler the preparation the better. Use local organic yams, and you can’t go wrong. The fresh ginger is warming to the system and helps with digestion of the feast. Even the pickiest eaters at my table haven’t minded the absence of marshmallows, once they’ve tried this naturally sweet, rich-hued version.

Gingered Yam Puree

8 large yams (I prefer Garnet)

1-1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root

1/4 cup pear juice

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash the yams. Bake yams in the skin until very soft. Baking time varies with size of yams (they will be oozing syrup and smell yummy when done). When the yams are cool enough to handle remove skin and place cooked yams in the bowl of a food processor.

Grate ginger (or chop very fine by hand or in a food processor). Squeeze minced ginger through cheesecloth (or your clean hands, if it’s just for family) to extract the juice over the yams. Puree until smooth.

Add pear juice (or apple or orange juice if you prefer) to the puree until you reach the desired consistency.

Fold the puree into a casserole and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. You can reheat as needed.

Serves 12

I wish you a happy, safe, restful and abundant holiday. With lots of leftovers!

And if you need a boost to make it through the marathon of winter holidays, you are welcome to join us for the Half-Day Restorative Yoga & Mindfulness Retreat, December 11. I’ll be preparing another nourishing and tasty dish as part of the potluck that day. If you ask, I might even share the recipe.

Namaste

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