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Make Thanksgiving Prep Easier & Healthier With These Holiday Essentials

October 22, 2020

Thanksgiving Zoom background? Check. All the Thrive Market ingredients you need for a wholesome, stress-free holiday feast—including the highest quality meats, plenty of clean wine, and better-for-you sides? Check, check and check. Now, it’s time to get your day-of game plan ready, and that includes figuring out the timing for thawing and prepping the stars of the show: turkey, ham, or both.

Luckily, if you order your holiday meats from Thrive Market, most of the hard work is already done. That’s because Pederson’s Natural Farms Spiral-Sliced, Sugar-Free Hams come pre-cooked, and Mary’s Free-Range Whole Turkey and boneless Turkey Breast simply need to be delivered to your door, thawed, and cooked to perfection. (Pro tip: Order by November 16th to get your meats in time for Thanksgiving!)

If you’re hosting a smaller holiday gathering this year, you might want to opt for the Mary’s Turkey Breast, which feeds six to eight. Alternatively, you could get a whole turkey, because leftovers are delicious.

Use our cheat sheet below to make sure everything goes smoothly, and we promise your Thanksgiving celebration will be one for the books.

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How to Thaw Whole Turkey

For best results, thaw your Mary’s Free-Range Whole Turkey in the refrigerator. Leave it in the original bag and place in a pan on the bottom refrigerator shelf; thaw for two to three days, or until thawed. (Good rule of thumb: Allow approximately 4 hours per pound to thaw.)

For a quick thaw, submerge the turkey in cold water in its original packaging, breast-side down. Make sure the bag is completely closed and hasn’t been punctured. Flush with cold water every 30 minutes. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound to thaw using this method. See packaging for full details.

How to Prepare Whole Turkey

For an extra-juicy turkey, try brining it overnight after it’s completely thawed. Brining is a technique that keeps the lean turkey meat from becoming dry and tough by soaking it in a solution of salt and water (and herbs and spices, if you’d like to add some extra flavor).

Here’s how to brine a turkey: 

  1. Find a pot large enough to hold an entire turkey. 
  2. Place the turkey in the pot (along with any herbs and spices).
  3. Heat one quart of water until warm, then dissolve 1 cup of kosher salt in the water.
  4. Pour the saltwater mixture over the turkey, plus three quarts of cold water. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged.
  5. Allow the turkey to sit in the brine inside the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

If you’d like to add a seasoning mix to the turkey before popping it into the fridge, we have a brand new product to make brining even simpler and more convenient: the Thrive Market Organic Turkey Brine Spice Blend. This mixture of organic herbs and spices features zesty ingredients like garlic, orange peel, mustard seed, and onion for the perfect flavor combo right in one easy packet. 

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Working over the sink, remove thawed turkey from the bag and allow liquid to drain in the sink. Place turkey in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Spread the seasoning mixture over the turkey. Loosely cover with aluminum foil. Cook for approximately 25 minutes per pound; using a meat thermometer, make sure the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. To prevent over-cooking the turkey, check the internal temperature throughout the roasting time. (Pro tip: Save the turkey pan drippings to make homemade gravy.)

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How to Thaw Turkey Breast

For the best results, thaw your Mary’s boneless turkey breast one to three days in advance of cooking. Allow approximately 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of turkey. We recommend thawing in cold water, in the original wrapping. The cold water should be changed every 30 minutes. After your turkey breast has thawed, store it in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

How to Cook Turkey Breast

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove thawed turkey breast from the bag, rinse with cold water, and season to your liking. Place the breast in an uncovered roasting pan, then add two cups of water (or broth) to the bottom of the pan. Place roasting pan in the center of the oven. Cook as directed on packaging; use a meat thermometer inserted sideways into the center of the breast to ensure an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove turkey breast from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Once turkey has rested, carve and serve turkey with the delicious pan juices.

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How to Thaw Pre-Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham

Our Spiral-Sliced, Bone-In Holiday Hams are made from pork that is humanely raised at Pederson’s Natural Farms without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. They’re fully cooked and completely free of sugar, preservatives, nitrates, and nitrites. 

We’ll ship your ham frozen, and it will arrive frozen at your doorstep. If you choose to warm your ham for serving, it should be completely thawed before you heat it. We recommend thawing your ham in the refrigerator; thaw time is approximately five hours per pound (roughly two days for a half ham).

How to Reheat Pre-Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham

Since it’s already fully cooked, your spiral-sliced ham can be gently heated or served chilled. However you choose to enjoy it, we recommend serving it with one of our go-tos: a sweet-yet-spicy brown sugar glaze.

Brown Sugar Glaze

1 cup Thrive Market Organic Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Thrive Market Organic Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup of brandy
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Cayenne Pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Cornstarch

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the cornstarch. Add cornstarch last to thicken the glaze.

Reheating Instructions

Preheat oven to 275°F. Remove packaging, reserving liquid. Place ham cut-side down on a large sheet of foil in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of liquid (water, broth, etc.) to pan and cover with aluminum foil. Warm ham in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes per pound.

Remove ham from the oven when heated through. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Uncover ham, brush or spoon the glaze over the surface of the ham. Return to oven, uncovered, and heat for 10 minutes.

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Easy & Healthy Holiday Sides, Snacks, Drinks & Desserts

If you’re looking for convenient, wholesome Thanksgiving sides and desserts that taste like homemade, add these to your box before checkout:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Mix

Organic Whole-Grain Stuffing Mix

Organic Grain-Free Stuffing Mix

Seasonal Holiday Spice Cashews (coming soon!)

Organic Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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