Bartlett Farms

LEARNING CENTER

The Fail-Proof Way to Prepare Your Pastured Thanksgiving Turkey

*There are no affiliate links in this post.*       

       Have you ever taken on the challenge of preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey? With travel-worn friends and relatives gathered together to break bread, it’s no doubt that cooking the main dish for Thanksgiving dinner can be stressful.

       Because our family has not yet hosted Thanksgiving, we haven’t had the privilege of providing turkey for everyone. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be prepared for future Thanksgivings!

       One intimidating aspect of preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey is picking the best recipe. Obviously, your recipe choice could either make or break your main dish. On top of that, many people don’t know how to cook a turkey, let alone properly shop for and prepare a pastured turkey, which is a completely different bird. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! In this article, we’ll show you the exact steps to a perfect holiday turkey:

  1. Check for local sources, such as your local grocery store. Even better, order from Bartlett Farms to have your turkey delivered right to your doorstep.
  2. Order well in advance: turkeys are in high demand during this time of the year, so it’s important to order ahead of time to get the quality turkey that you’re looking for.
  3. Thaw your bird or have it delivered fresh: thawing your turkey slowly over a period of hours/days in your refrigerator or in cold water is the best idea if it’s frozen, but a faster idea is to have it delivered fresh.
  4. Prepare your recipe: I’ve put three recipes from trusted sources at the end of this article. The blogger Sarah Pope recommends wet-brining pastured turkeys beforehand, as they tend to be dryer than conventionally raised (and brine-injected) turkeys. Here is how to do it. 
  5. Cook your bird in time for your guests: in addition to thawing time for a frozen turkey and using optional marinates/dry-rubs, planning a well-timed roast (or grilled!) turkey is essential as some recipes require many hours of cooking.
  6. Carve it properly and save the gravy: How to properly carve a turkey can be found here.
  7. Serve it hot with all your favorite holiday side dishes…and don’t forget homemade ice cream to go along with homemade pie at the end! PS– I love chocolate, so I add ¼ cup cocoa powder and a pinch of salt to my Nourishing Traditions Vanilla Ice Cream recipe on page 550. It is INCREDIBLE. My husband likes to add marshmallows to his. 🙂
  8. Don’t forget to save the bones and any scraps to make bone broth and have turkey soups and sandwiches in the following days…yum!

Here are 3 recipes that I’d use if I were making this year’s turkey:
1.The first (gluten free) recipe is from Nourished Kitchen.
2.The second recipe, called Maple Brined Turkey with Citrus and Herbs, is also from Nourished Kitchen.
3.The third recipe with stuffing is from Nourishing Traditions.

       It is a blessing to have friends and family, especially around the holidays. Always with several options for Thanksgiving dinners every year, it has been a gift to spend time with people I love and to taste many different kinds of turkey dinners. One of my favorites was done by my uncle in Moorhead, MN; he made an incredibly juicy roast turkey with a dry-rub beforehand. In the coming years, I hope to provide a dish just as delicious for those same people that have so generously loved and served me throughout my life. There really is a lot to be thankful for! As long as we plan far ahead of time (a week minimum) with the recipe, thawing, and marinade/dry-rub times, I’m sure we all can put smiles on the faces of our loved ones come Thanksgiving. Happy planning and stay warm, friends!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving turkey recipe?

3 Top Reasons To Avoid Soy Products (And Animals Fed Soy)

       Soy is everywhere. It appears in almost any processed food product, in baby formula, as a main dish and a condiment, and even in animal products from animals fed soy (second-hand soy? No thanks!). Some even consider soy a superfood–but is it really that good for you?

       The truth is that many people have soy sensitivities or allergies, and even if you don’t, soy can still have a negative impact on your health by creating hormone imbalances. Not so “super” anymore, are you, soy? In fact, hormonal changes are so well-noted in medical literature that they’re hard to miss. Some of the best examples of soy’s negative impact on hormones are delayed menstruation, endocrine disruption to match the degree of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, could potentially lead to breast cancer and pose a risk for those who have breast cancer, can suppress the pituitary-thyroid axis, and can drop testosterone levels in men. But, it doesn’t end here…it can affect our babies and the proper development of children: soy phytoestrogens could increase susceptibility to prostate cancer for our preborn baby boys, they could accelerate puberty in developing girls, and harm the reproductive system of females exposed to soy early in life (“…altered ovarian differentiation (i.e., multioocyte follicles), delayed vaginal opening, caused abnormal estrous cycles, decreased fertility, and delayed parturition”). According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. By contrast, almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. A recent study found that babies fed soy-based formula had 13,000 to 22,000 times more isoflavones in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula.” Thankfully, research is exposing the major problems with this popular “health food.”

      Though it’s almost impossible to completely avoid hormone disrupting foods, environments, and habits in our modern age, removing soy can make a significant difference.

Here are 3 top reasons to avoid soy:

  1. Hormonal disruption to the degree of damaged reproductive systems, suppressed thyroid, and cancer
  2. Allergies and sensitivities causing immune response and inflammation 
  3. Present in many processed foods that are better avoided in the first place. Soy is often given many different names, including “natural flavors.” Click here to learn some of soy’s different names.

      There are many negative aspects of soy, but that doesn’t mean we all must avoid all soy at all times. I appreciate Sarah Pope’s opinion on her blog The Healthy Home Economist: “Please note that fermented soy in small, condimental amounts as practiced in traditional Asian cultures is fine for those who have healthy thyroid function. Only miso, tempeh, natto, and traditionally brewed soy sauce fall under this category. In addition, if you want to sprinkle a few edamame on your salad or have a few small cubes of tofu in your miso soup from time to time, that is fine too. A little soy lecithin in a nonGMO snack food from time to time isn’t necessarily a problem either. Just don’t make it a regular part of your diet!

      If you have any sort of thyroid issues going on, however, it is really the best policy to avoid all soy all the time as soy is a potent goitrogen (thyroid suppressor) even if fermented.”

The truth is that I’m happy to avoid most soy, but I love certain soy products. Tamari (traditionally brewed soy sauce) and natto are two favorites of mine. I’ve tried to make natto (and chickpea natto) a couple of times, but it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a place to purchase chickpea natto yet as a soy-alternative, but my hopes are high! As for a replacement for soy sauce or tamari, coconut aminos do the trick!

Have you tasted natto? Have you tried to make it?

Additional Reading:

  1. Estrogenic foods, such as flax (another popular “health food”!) and soy can trigger precancerous breasts! 1.a.https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/soy-flax-estrogenic-foods-herbs-trigger-precancerous-breasts/
  2. A thorough list of scientific literature demonstrating adverse effects of isoflavones (phytoestrogens found in soy): 2.a.https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/studies-showing-adverse-effects-of-isoflavones-1950-2010/
  3. Dangers of soy formula and alternatives to it: 3.a.https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/why-babies-should-not-be-fed-soy/
    3.b.https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/why-soy-formula-even-organic-is-so-dangerous-for-babies/

Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and three children and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.

Celebrating 15 Years At Bartlett Farms!

You probably wouldn’t believe us if we told you our “plans” when we started back in 2004. 

No farming in our background, no knowledge of animals, no business experience, no house, no electricity, and no water. 

Just bare land and a dad and mom with four energetic young boys!

Dad had the vision and the rest of us had creativity a desire to “be country.” 

If you have kids bouncing off the walls who can’t get enough of being outdoors, you might be able to relate to how we felt living in town! 

It took a lot of courage for dad to leave his teaching career at NDSU and plant our family flag in the uncharted territory of the Turtle Mountains. 

Seriously, it couldn’t have happened without God’s faithful provision.

But here we are 15 whole years later still going strong and AMAZED at what has fallen into place along the way!

  • 2004 – Moved to the Bottineau property with a popup camper and semi-trailer full of belongings and started building our house. Got our first two chickens “Lewis and Cluck”
  • 2005 – Started learning to garden, raise goats, and grow our own food.
  • 2006 – Built the upper stories on the farmhouse and started selling raspberries. 
  • 2008 – Got our first cow and sold broiler chickens.
  • 2009 – Sold our first cow-share for raw milk.
  • 2010 – Added a fourth cow and delivery routes to Minot. 
  • 2011 – Fought to keep raw milk cow-shares legal in ND and won!
  • 2012 – Grew more animals rapidly due to Bakken oil field boom.
  • 2013 – Bought additional cows for raw milk.
  • 2015 – Added online ordering and more delivery routes.
  • 2017 – Clarified our business values and the real food mission.
  • 2018 – Focused on education and expanding real foods.
  • 2019 – Celebrating 15 years of Bartlett Farms!

One of the most encouraging parts about growing the farm has been getting to know people like you and watching your kids being raised right.

Seeing children born and nourished from the earliest ages with raw milk formula, grass-fed beef hamburgers, pastured thanksgiving Turkeys and so much more!

Like Aubrey wrote to us about her baby: 
“Thank you for the amazing milk I know I can trust cleanliness and production wise. I am certain that one of the reasons we had such a healthy and tall baby is the nutrients he got from the quality, safe milk we get from you guys that I drank like it was going out of style.” -Aubrey Y. Minot Air Force Base

Or hearing from satisfied customers about their beef delivery:

“First-time customer; half-beef ordered. Bartlett Farms performed exactly according to all that they told us to expect from them – from the timing and pricing of the order to the delivery details to (maybe the most important aspect) the QUALITY of product. Without exaggerating or trying to prop them up, I can certainly say this is the BEST beef our family has ever had…” Robert T. Fairdale

As we reflect on the past 15 years we want to say THANK YOU for making Bartlett Farms possible!
We are here because we believe God has created ways to heal and nourish that people like you are learning about and implementing in your families. 

You know what a difference food makes, and we’re here to support you on that journey. 

Let’s give a big cheer for the next 15 years and again, THANK YOU for being with us and partnering with Bartlett Farms and the real food mission.