It’s time to talk turkey

 

December 25 will see many of us feast on this native bird of the United States and Mexico as the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner. Indeed, most Christmas dinner tables simply wouldn’t be complete without a turkey, with its popularity in England going back much further than many imagine. King Henry VIII is reputed to have been the first King of England to have turkey for Christmas, with contemporary records suggesting that by the time of Queen Elizabeth I turkeys were commonly served for English Christmas dinners. But perhaps the most famous record of turkey’s place at a Christmas feast comes from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, when a reformed Scrooge sends Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim an enormous bird.

A bird in tune with the times

Turkey is a nutritional star, being an incredibly efficient generator of protein as well as a source of healthier lean protein. Just one serving provides more than half of the body’s daily protein requirement. Delivering all B-vitamins, zinc and potassium as well, it even contains trace minerals thought to aid cancer prevention. Pasture-raised turkey can have an increased omega-3 content, while consuming skinless turkey is associated with a decreased risk of pancreatic cancer. Turkey also contains selenium, essential for the healthy function of the thyroid and immune system.

Why turkey should not be just for Christmas

Regular consumption of turkey can help lower cholesterol levels and keep insulin levels stable, due to its high protein content. However, as people may not know how to best cook it on its most important annual outing, it can be maligned for its dryness and blandness and so shunned the rest of the year. But with a little care there is no reason yours can’t be a succulent and delicious centre piece for your Christmas feast. The benefits from cooking a whole turkey should be considered, as cooking the full bird with the skin on, sealing in the natural juices, gives you a great advantage in retaining juiciness, while the fat from the skin will not seep into the meat.

Brace yourself, hold your nerve and it will come out fine on the day!

Buying tip: Pick a fresh, organic and pasture-raised turkey, nurtured in humane conditions free from antibiotics.

A Just Routine seasonal treat

If you would like to accompany your turkey with a delicious Just Routine recipe of apple and sausage meat stuffing, you can download it into your Just Routine App Cookbook. This is freely available to all Just Routine App users. Go to the Cookbook, press on the Knife and Fork symbol at the top right-hand corner of the screen and search the dinner section of Just Routine Recipes.

Don’t forget to let us know how you get on!

And finally – if you’ve read this far, here’s a Christmas Cracker joke to share over Christmas dinner:

Why did the Turkey refuse to cross the road? Because he was a chicken… 

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

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