Food For Thought: November Anti-inflammatory Recipes

Food For Thought: November Anti-inflammatory Recipes

As we approach a time known in part for feasting and treats, it can be tempting to over indulge. For November we’re giving you recipes that are perfect for celebrating, just as delicious as the traditional version and won’t negatively impact your condition. Four new recipes to try each month!


November Breakfast Recipe – Sweet and spicy blueberry smoothie

A five-minute preparation time means this smoothie is a quick way to get your day off to a healthy start, boosting your body’s ability to deal with surplus inflammation. Blueberries are considered an antioxidant superfood, packed with phytoflavinoids, potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. A study from the University of Toronto actually found eating a healthy diet, including almonds, reduces inflammation by about the same level as taking a first-generation statin drug. Spinach is one of the best known of all the anti-inflammatory superfoods. It contains lutein, which is related to vitamin A and beta-carotene. Spinach also gives you iron, vitamin K, and folate, and it is very low in calories, so it’s perfect for maintaining a healthy weight thereby reducing strain on joints. Cinnamon is a popular spice often used to flavor sweet and savory dishes. Cinnamon is more than just a delicious additive, studies have shown that the spice has anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease swelling and stiffness. Cayenne and other hot chili peppers have been praised for their health benefits since ancient times. All chili peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids. These are what give the spicy fruit its anti-inflammatory properties.


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper



  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.



November Lunch Recipe – Honey Turmeric Glazed Turkey

In the month of Thanksgiving, we encourage you to think moderation not deprivation. So this month we give tips and tricks for anti-inflammatory recipes that still hit all the taste notes associated with the holiday! This week we tackle the star of the show – the turkey and the ways in which you can boost anti-inflammatory properties depending on how it’s prepared.

When shopping for a turkey for diners with inflammatory conditions something to take note of is the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids with the recommended ratio being 4:1. With ample time spent foraging in a pasture with natural and mixed vegetation, it is very likely that the omega-3 content of turkey meat can be increased and that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats can be improved. So, make sure you research where your turkey is sourced. A number of online options exist in which you can select a turkey specifically based on a lower ratio.

Replacing butter with coconut oil goes a long way in creating an anti-inflammatory feast. Coconut oil may ease inflammation by improving antioxidant status. Antioxidants work by stabilizing free radicals in the body, neutralizing the reactive atoms that can contribute to inflammation. Honey is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities, which may be useful for the prevention of chronic inflammatory process like atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis. Garlic is a tasty boost to just about any savory dish. Like onions and leeks, it contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Garlic can therefore help fight inflammation and may even help prevent cartilage damage from inflammatory forms of arthritis.


  • For Turkey:
  • 1 whole turkey (+/- 11 lb)
  • 4 cups turkey broth
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • For Honey Turmeric Glaze:
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. sea salt



  1. Thaw the turkey thoroughly if frozen.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F and place the oven rack to the lower level. Remove giblets and rinse entire turkey with cool water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place the turkey into a roasting pan on the rack, positioning the wings behind turkey.
  3. Place sprigs of rosemary in cavity of turkey. Mix together sage, thyme, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Using your fingers lift the skin of the turkey near the thighs and rub coconut oil underneath and on top. Next, rub dry seasoning under the skin and all over the top of turkey. Pour the turkey broth into pan.
  5. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone. Place the uncovered turkey in oven and roast for 1 hour.
  6. After taking it out of the oven baste turkey with broth. If you find that the broth has evaporated, add 2 cups of broth to the pan, allow it to mix with the drippings, and then baste as normal.
  7. Create a tent of foil over the turkey before returning to the oven.
  8. Continue to cook the turkey, basting every 45 minutes until the thermometer reaches 165°F degrees. Cooking time will vary with size of turkey (a good rule of thumb is 13 minutes per pound of turkey).
  9. Melt coconut oil for the glaze over medium/low heat, stir in the honey, turmeric, garlic, and sea salt until smooth. Use a basting brush to cover turkey with glaze. Return turkey to oven for 20 minutes, uncovered so that the glaze turns golden and sticky.
  10. After removing from the oven allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.



November Dinner Recipe – Roasted salmon, smoky chickpeas and greens.

After indulging in your Thanksgiving lunch, you may want something a little lighter come dinner time. Not only is this salmon dish bursting with flavor but can help keep your anti-inflammatory diet on course and can help you maintain a healthy weight, key in limiting strain on afflicted joints.

Research indicates that the omega-3 fats found in salmon oil can suppress your body’s inflammatory response in a variety of ways. Including reducing levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals produced by immune cells. Additionally, ensuring you consume enough omega 3s can help maintain a healthy ratio of omega 6 to omega 3, the recommended ratio being 4:1 or less. Beans and legumes, including chickpeas, combat inflammation because they’re loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, fiber, and protein. Certain varieties of paprika, especially hot ones, contain the compound capsaicin. It’s thought that capsaicin binds to receptors on your nerve cells to reduce inflammation and pain. Kale is packed with anti-inflammatory properties and contains a variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants that help protect our bodies against cellular damage. This nutrient-dense, detoxifying leaf is a great source of: various amino acids. vitamins A, C, and K. Garlic is an appetizing addition to just about any savory dish. Like onions and leeks, it contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, garlic can help fight inflammation and may even help avoid cartilage damage from arthritis.


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas (no added salt)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 10 cups of chopped kale (spinach can serve as a substitute depending on taste)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ¼ pounds wild salmon, cut into 4 portions



  1. Position racks in upper third and middle of oven; preheat to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine 1 tbsp oil, paprika, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Thoroughly pat chickpeas dry, then toss with the paprika mixture. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the chickpeas on the upper rack, stirring twice, for 30 minutes.
  3. While that bakes, puree buttermilk, Greek yogurt, herbs, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and garlic powder in a blender until smooth. Set to one side.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add kale (or spinach) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add water and continue cooking until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes more should be sufficient. Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of salt.
  5. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and push them to one side of the pan. Place salmon on the other side and season with a 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the dressing that was set aside onto the salmon. Garnish with more herbs, if desired, and serve with the kale and chickpeas.



November Dessert Recipe – Pumpkin Pie

What Thanksgiving would be complete without pumpkin pie? You don’t have to forego this treat in order to stay true to your anti-inflammatory diet. With a few simple adjustments and substitutions, you can still tuck in to this traditional dessert guilt free!

Healthy nuts are packed full of the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats but contain very little unhealthy saturated fat. As a result, nuts have major anti-inflammatory effects. In particular, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and peanuts are excellent sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E may protect the body from the effects of harmful free radicals and have been shown to reduce inflammation. As with last week’s turkey recipe, one point to note is maintaining a healthy omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio. Almond flour contains high levels of omega 6s so ensure you are getting enough omega 3 from other sources such as fish for dinner if you’ve had pumpkin pie at lunch. Alternatively substitute with ¼ cup coconut flour for each cup almond flour. Pumpkins are high in fiber, helping you feel full for longer which is helpful in terms of weight management. Additionally, it’s packed with beta carotene and vitamins B6 and C which fight inflammation, as well as bone-healthy magnesium – all great nutrients for supporting people with arthritis. Honey is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities, which may be useful for the prevention of chronic inflammatory processes like atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Turmeric and especially its most active compound, curcumin has many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression, often a secondary condition associated with chronic illness including arthritis. Studies show that cinnamon and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties.


Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour OR ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave (optional)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Pie Ingredients

  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ – ½ cup honey or agave
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (optional)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (optional)
  • ¼ tsp maca (optional)

Coconut Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all crust ingredients together in a food processor until fully combined. Press the mixture into a pie dish, making sure it’s evenly spread. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix all pie ingredients except the egg, blending lightly. To avoid over beating the egg, beat lightly and fold into the mixture.
  4. Add to your pie dish and bake around 40 minutes. Don’t worry if the centre is not fully set at this stage.
  5. Place the pie in the fridge for about an hour to set. Before serving remove from the fridge allowing the pie to become room temperature.
  6. To make coconut whipped cream chill a good quality coconut cream in the refrigerator over night to allow it to harden. Scoop out the hardened cream (leave any clear liquid behind). Add the vanilla essence and whip until light peaks forms. Serve as a side to your pie and enjoy!
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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