Loaded Secret-Ingredient Chili
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If you’re cooking for a family, you know that the ability to customize equals success. With so many people on restricted diets these days (including us), the same is true for entertaining. One person doesn’t eat dairy, another won’t go near a sweet potato with a 10-foot pole, another wants three helpings loaded with every single topping. Unless you’re avoiding things like beans or nightshades, chili makes an easy staple. Fill the crockpot with chili, and set out a colorful array of toppings that your family or guests can use to customize their bowl.
Sounds simple. Feels deluxe!
Toppings like diced avocado, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped green onions, or fresh cilantro add color and delight to the traditional chili toppings of grated cheese, diced onion, or sour cream. Whether it’s a football watch party, a winter potluck, or a Tuesday-night dinner, this approach to chili is not only delicious but problem-solving. It satisfies the gluten and dairy-free eaters, the picky kids, and those who eat anything and everything.
It’s also easy to make, can be made ahead, and leftovers freeze well for those no-time-to-cook days.
If you think peanut butter in chili sounds too weird, think again. When it comes to blue-ribbon winners at chili cook-offs, this ingredient isn’t so secret. I promise, it won’t make the whole pot taste like peanut butter, but when you taste it you might think, Yum, what makes this chili so rich? What is that smooth flavor filling in all the flavor gaps between earthy chilies and bright tomatoes? Only the cook will know.
- Animal protein such as bison, beef and turkey contain thyroid-supporting nutrients like iodine, selenium, zinc, and tyrosine.
- Tomatoes are a good source of key thyroid nutrients like vitamin A, Iron, and fiber. They are a very good source of vitamin C. A study recently shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism stated, “In patients with hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal pathology, vitamin C improves the abnormalities in serum free T4, T3, and TSH concentrations.”
- Sweet potatoes are loaded with complex carbohydrates that can help fill you up and stabilize blood sugar levels. They’re also a rich source of thyroid- and immune-supportive antioxidants beta carotene and vitamin C, as well as the minerals copper and manganese.
- Avocado is rich in healthy fats like oleic acid, which can help reduce cholesterol. It is also one of the few foods that helps the body produce glutathione, a super-antioxidant that can boost immune function, detoxify the liver, and help combat autoimmune symptoms.
- Studies have shown that cilantro can help accelerate the body’s excretion of mercury and lead. Heavy metal toxicity from mercury has been linked to an increase in thyroid antibodies, which are an indicator of autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto's or Graves Disease.
- The dairy toppings are of course optional and many with thyroid issues choose to avoid them, but if you are able to tolerate dairy, sour cream provides vitamin A, and cheese provides vitamin D and tyrosine—all key thyroid-supporting nutrients.