Christmas Recipes To Keep Your Gut Happy
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Christmas Recipes To Keep Your Gut Happy

  1. Christmas Recipes To Keep Your Gut Happy
  2. Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Pomegranate
  3. Chestnut Soup with Mushrooms
I’ve been writing recipes at a furious pace to meet the publishing deadlines of my upcoming cookbook for people living with Crohn’s disease. Cooking right now feels a bit like looking at the code of The Matrix—a stream of recipe details as I move from the cutting board to the stovetop. There were a couple of dishes from my gut-happy Thanksgiving dinner that turned out so well I wanted to share them. Give one a try and let me know what you think, at josh at go to step one dot com.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Pomegranate

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This was my family’s favorite dish of Thanksgiving and is a solid alternative for incorporating fresh cranberries into a holiday meal. The sweetness from the butternut squash balances out the tartness of the cranberries, which get a bit sweeter from the pomegranate. A serving of this roasted squash has 220% of your daily vitamin A, and is high in vitamin C & E. It is also has a great micro-nutrient profile as a great source of magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. Net carbs are slightly higher at about 14 grams per serving but can be reduced by a third by using balsamic vinegar and alternative sweetener instead of the pomegranate syrup.

2 tablespoons Olive Oil 1 medium Butternut Squash, cut into 1” cubes 1” finger Ginger Root, peeled on two sides and smashed with the back of a knife 1 package Fresh Cranberries 1/2 cup walnuts (optional & preferably soaked overnight and dried or roasted in the oven) 2-3 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses (depending on how sweet you like) 1 stick Cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ground 3 Cloves or 1/4 tsp ground 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1/2 tsp Pepper, ground

  1. Heat oven to 425°.
  2. Add cranberries, ginger, spices, pomegranate molasses, and a pinch of salt to a small roasting pan.
  3. Toss butternut squash with the olive oil in a large bowl with a large pinch of salt and the pepper. Spread out on a large sheet pan, making sure there is space between each cube. Use 2 pans, if needed.
  4. Add both pans to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Using a large spoon mix the cranberries around, they should be losing most of their liquid and starting to get a bit thick. The cranberries are done when the consistency resembles a chutney. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. At the same 30 minute mark, use a spatula to flip the squash cubes over. Continue roasting untl edges have browned and the squash is cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more salt.
  6. Move the squash to a serving dish and mix in the cranberries. Crush the walnuts and sprinkle over the dish. Serve hot.

Note: You can replace pomegranate molasses with 1 tablespoon each of balsamic vinegar and honey or maple syrup.

Chestnut Soup with Mushrooms

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This is one of the most satisfying soups I’ve ever eaten—rich and creamy with an umami boost from the mushrooms. A single cup is packed with over 30% of your daily vitamin A and is high in vitamin C & K, pre-biotic fiber, and beta-glucans from the mushrooms. It is also high in important minerals for protein synthesis like copper, manganese, potassium, and selenium. Net carbs come in around 10 grams, making it a reasonable low-carb addition to your meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium Yellow Onion, diced 3 cloves Garlic, chopped 4 stalks Celery, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 cup Shiitake (or any other small to medium mushrooms), washed and chopped 1 cup Chestnuts, boiled or steamed 2 tbsp Thyme, chopped 1 tsp Black Pepper, Ground 1 tbsp dried Sage 1 Tablespoon fresh Oregano 6 cups Bone Broth, turkey (preferred) or chicken 1/4 cup Heavy Cream (optional) 1 tablespoon Sea Salt

  1. Prep vegetables and add to a pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot, on sauté heated with the oil and a pinch of salt. Stir frequently until onions are translucent and the celery and mushrooms have released some of their water. Add herbs and chestnuts. Stir.
  2. Add bone broth and set to 10 minutes on high pressure. When done, let the pressure resolve naturally. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and stir. Remove to a blender (in batches, if needed to not overfill your blender) and process until completely smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Return to the pot on the “Keep Warm” setting. Add cream, if using, or replace with a dollop of yogurt or coconut milk. Stir and season with salt, as needed. Serve in a warm bowl.

Note: Making this in a pressure cooker will make it significantly faster but you can cook in a stock pot following the same procedure and cooking until the chestnuts and vegetables are soft.