Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend. It’s a time to rest and relax, visit with friends and family and enjoy great food. This year, enjoy the delicious tastes of the fall season while going for quality and not quantity of food. When you eat sensibly you’ll reap the health benefits of your meal and have energy for a walk around the block after the feast! Let’s explore three delicious and healthy GoBarley recipes for your holiday meals.

A Brunch with Barley

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin, ground cinnamon and ginger. These pumpkin waffles with cinnamon yogurt sauce prepared with fibre-rich whole barley flour are ideal for Thanksgiving brunch. Make sure you use 100% pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar and fat. Packed with tastes of the season, two of these waffles have 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre. To punch up the protein a notch, use 2% plain Greek yogurt for the sauce.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Let the waffles rest briefly after cooking. The heat inside will finish cooking them, and you will taste the pumpkin and spice flavours at their best if the waffles aren’t piping hot.

A Twist on Traditional Stuffing

Stuffing is the classic holiday side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of your usual fare, this stovetop sausage stuffing recipe is a savoury twist on an old favourite. The unexpected flavour and texture is from the toasted barley, sweet dried apricots and crunchy pecans. This dish can stand alone as a quick and tasty casserole, served alongside traditional roast turkey, or even an unconventional Thanksgiving recipes 04.15.14-17(1)main like pork and fish. The stuffing is calorie dense, so keep the serving size to ½ cup (125 ml) when using it as a side dish.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Swap the ½ cup (125 ml) chopped dried apricots for cranberries to give an added festive flavour.

A Vegetarian Side Dish

This giant pancake recipe is made with barley flour then oven-baked on a bed of sautéed Swiss chard and shallots. Not a Swiss chard fan? Try spinach or kale instead. The edges of the pancake puff as it bakes, creating a bowl shape. Before serving, fill the centre with more sautéed vegetables, such as peppers, and zucchini to pack in additional vitamins, minerals and fibre. It’s perfect for the vegetarians at the Thanksgiving table with 11 grams of protein and only 182 calories per serving.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
For a hearty appetizer, serve wedges of the pancake topped with your favourite sauce—chili tomato, salsa or even a splash of Sriracha.

Barley Bottom-line
With so many foods ready for harvest, it’s easy to celebrate and enjoy the rich flavours of the season. Enjoy a small portion of a special dessert such as your favourite homemade pumpkin pie or this delicious creamy coconut barley pudding. And always make time for an activity, such as a long trail walk with your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!