When I was growing up, I remember my family having Sunday pasta and meatball dinners hosted by my grandmother and great grandmother. I used to love traditional meatballs - beef, breadcrumbs, dairy and all! Taste and smell can jog our memories, and these aromas still help me recall those times and the tasty treats that accompanied them. Over the years, as I began my wellness journey, my goal was to adapt some of these special recipes to suit a healthier lifestyle, while still satisfying cravings for tradition and the memories associated with them. This led to: turkey meatballs. Beef was substituted with turkey; frying was replaced by baking at high temperatures, breadcrumbs are now gluten-free alternatives, and cheese is dairy free! If you incorporate animal protein in your diet, turkey is definitely something to consume more often than just at Thanksgiving! Turkey offers high levels of protein and provides an abundance of nutrients while being lower in fat and cholesterol than other meats. The potassium, protein, and selenium in turkey - when eaten on a regular basis - can help boost the immune system. Selenium is known to help defend against viruses and bacterial infections - a great plus for any component of our diets when the goal is maintaining good health. Another positive for turkey is the tryptophan found in the meat. Tryptophan aids in production and boosting of serotonin, which can help balance our mood. Keeping a more positive mood and an optimistic outlook definitely makes it easier to stick with established goals of exercising more and eating healthier. Additionally, the niacin, zinc, and thiamin in turkey also helps to improve metabolism, thus boosting energy needed to stay active and physically fit and help keep weight at a healthy level. Many added benefits!
Recipe is below :)
1 lb Ground Turkey
1/4 Cup Almond Flour
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1.) Heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or grease with olive oil (whichever you prefer or have on hand.)
2.) In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, egg, almond flour, oil and spices together with clean hands. ** Feel free to add dairy free cheese (or dairy if it is in your diet!)
3.) Roll out the mixture into balls of desired size and place on the baking sheet. This makes about 10 meatballs, if you prefer smaller you can make about 12, or 8 if you prefer larger.
4.) Drizzle a little extra olive oil and sprinkle pepper on top before placing in the oven.
5.) Bake for about 25 minutes until the meatballs look golden brown.
6.) Remove, cool and enjoy! These are a great addition to pasta dishes, salads, or any bowl you desire - get creative :)