Salt Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving! Are you looking to lower your blood pressure or cut down on your salt intake for other health reasons? Check out these low-sodium recipes for Thanksgiving — Pumpkin Soup, Homemade Chicken Stock and Winter Squash, courtesy of Chef Bryan Sayeau, Executive Chef of Palisade Gardens Retirement Community in Cobourg.

Salt Free Pumpkin Soup

Here Chef Bryan puts a modern twist on these classic Thanksgiving dishes and uses lots of herbs (which have numerous health benefits) to add flavour instead of using salt.

Pumpkin Soup with Maple Cream — Yields 4

1lb peeled pumpkin

¼ cup un-salted butter

1 medium onion finely diced

3 ½ cups homemade chicken stock/sodium reduced chicken stock

2 cups 35% whipping cream

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 ½ oz fine egg noodle

Freshly ground white pepper to taste

Chop pumpkin into about 1” cubes, heat butter and add onion over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in pumpkin and cook for 2-3 more minutes.  Add stock and cook for another 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree soup.  Add cream, nutmeg and season with pepper. Bring to a boil, stir in egg noodles and cook until done.

Garnish with maple cream (see recipe below)

Maple Cream

½ cup 35% whipping cream

1/4 tsp maple syrup

1tsp sugar

2 drops maple flavoring-optional

Whip cream and sugar together until stiff.  Add syrup and flavoring fold in then dallop on top of soup.

Homemade Chicken Stock

2tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

4lbs chicken-(preferably chicken bones) but any pieces will work

2 quarts boiling water

2 bay leaves

2tsp fresh sage

2tsp fresh thyme


Heat oil, add onion and sauté until translucent.  Add chicken and sauté until no longer pink if using chicken pieces.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken renders its juices — about 20-30 minutes.  Increase heat to high and add water, bay leaves, sage, thyme.

Return to simmer, then cover and simmer until broth is rich — about 20 minutes or so.  Strain broth through cheesecloth into a clean pot or bowl.  Stock can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen.

Winter Squash with Ginger, Allspice and Brown Sugar

4lbs hubbard squash

½ cup unsalted butter

Freshly ground pepper

Ginger, allspice and brown sugar to taste

Peel squash and cut into cubes.  Place in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water.  Cover and simmer until tender.  Drain and return to pan, place over low heat and shake continuously until all the moisture has evaporated.  Puree squash until smooth, mix in butter with pepper, ginger, allspice and brown sugar.

Serve as a side to a turkey dinner. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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What is on your Thanksgiving menu today? Share your tips and recipes in the Comments section below.

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