Happy {Canadian} Thanksgiving: Pear Compote {paleo}

Happy Friday! This weekend is a lovely weekend for us Canadians because it’s Thanksgiving! I’m pretty sure this will be my first time having turkey since last Thanksgiving… as long as I don’t see the raw bird, I’ll be okay. It’s almost like chicken right?! Like numbers, the majority of meat is just not for me.

Anyways, I first should tell ya that Thanksgiving in Canada is not as big a deal as it is south of the border. I think Thanksgiving confuses Canadians — we can’t even decide what day to have the dinner: is it Sunday or Monday?! I had my first “American Thanksgiving” experience last year and oh my: food coma, football overload, pumpkin mania, wine, beer and more wine. You guys certainly know how to throw a holiday!


[Image source]

Many of my Canadian friends don’t even have a Thanksgiving dinner — are you shocked?! Thankfully my family has always had a Thanksgiving feast, which I love! My dad blasts Motown on his record player (yes records…) while preparing the turkey, stuffing and potatoes. My mom is responsible for the sides (salad, cranberry sauce, veggies, sweet potato pie) and desserts (from apple crumble to lemon squares and everything in between).

A few weeks ago, I received a very thoughtful e-mail from my dad suggesting we “lighten up” our festive meal and asked for my suggestions. I was really touched and admire the changes my own family has made.

We still want to enjoy all of the classics but we are doing two things: making less food and lightening up some of our dishes… some just need to be left as is and I am learning to be okay with that.

Making less food: Stuffing and potatoes with turkey is pretty necessary. But we are working on controlling the ginormous portions and eliminating the days of leftovers by just cooking a smaller quantity.

Pear compote1

Lightening it up: We usually make a sweet potato pie (that tastes like a dessert) but this year I am going to make mashed sweet potatoes with some cinnamon and nuts. Sweet potatoes are just as the name implies: sweet. So (I think) the marshmallows and brown sugar can definitely be omitted. My mom also suggested making her cranberry-orange sauce with honey rather than sugar — another great idea! Balance. 

Pear compote2

For many of us holidays are a time when we let loose and eat whatever we want. I completely respect this (and did this) but my biggest piece of advice for enjoying the holidays without going too crazy is to pick and choose. You can have it all, just not all at once. If you know you want the pecan pie or apple crumble, can you take a pass on the potatoes? Ask yourself if you can do without it. If you can’t, then go for it and enjoy. If you can, then pick and choose.

Pear compote3

If you’re looking for a light yet delicious fruity Thanksgiving side then I’ve got you covered! For whatever reason, fruity sauces and chutneys taste great with turkey. Cranberry sauce is the classic but why not change things up with this pear compote? Seriously. Do it :)

I’m going to have to make another batch before Sunday because I’ve done some damage… straight from the jar.

Pear Compote

Ingredients (Makes aprrox. 2 cups)

  • 3 pears, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1/3 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


1. Add the pears and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to a small pot over medium heat.

2. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the cinnamon, honey and raisins and stir to combine.

4. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes — until the pears are soft and the compote has thickened.

5. Allow to cool and serve with your turkey and Thanksgiving feast (or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week).


Wishing all my Canadian friends a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Questions of the day… 

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Do you like fruity sauces/compotes/chutneys with turkey?

33 thoughts on “Happy {Canadian} Thanksgiving: Pear Compote {paleo}

  1. We don’t do thanksgiving or Halloween so we miss out on both accounts but one year I definitely want to be in the US or Canada for both holidays as you guys really do know how to celebrate :)

    Love the idea of a pear compote. When we have turkey at Christmas I love having cranberry sauce with it.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving!
    In Sri Lanka, we did not celebrate thanksgiving at all – so its not a traditional holiday – even when I first came here, I would go to friends houses and marvel at the spread on turkey day – but I do love pumpkin ANYTHING :)
    I would have finished your pear compote in minutes – great idea to combine it with any sort of meat/turkey!

  3. I love Thanksgiving! Moving to the netherlands I’ve adapted the ‘local’ holidays here, but we MUST celebrate Thanksgiving- we always make a big feast with my american friends here. Canadian Thanksgiving… hmmm maybe a good excuse to celebrate thanksgiving twice!

  4. I really need to experience American Thanksgiving one of these days… Why is it that they do everything bigger and better than us? I do really enjoy Thanksgiving, but it’s mostly just another family dinner… the only difference is the bird and the week’s worth of leftover turkey. But other than that? We keep things pretty basic with mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and some kind of dessert.

  5. Well you know I would leave the apple crisp behind for the potatoes any day :)

    I have never heard of pear compote, but it looks and sounds great! I love anything with pears. My thanksgiving tradition is to go home every year. My immediate family hosts at our house, and we have about 25-30 people over for thanksgiving dinner (which is lunch, but we’re southern so we call lunch dinner in this case. Dinner would then be supper). We eat, we play games, the men watch football, and everyone stays until around 7 or 8, when my parents and I collapse into bed after a full (and wonderful) day. I’m getting excited just thinking about it!

    I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving this weekend!

    1. Yes! My American Thanksgiving last year we had “dinner” at like 4pm. It was weird at first and I thought I’d be hungry later. Oops… I was wrong. Thanks girly!

  6. I really like the meaning behind Thanksgiving. Christmas has become so commercial so I love just taking a weekend to relax and be thankful! No huge traditions here, but we do like to all get together for dinner!

  7. So cute! Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like it will be a fabulous time with your family :) Excuse my American ignorance, but even though the dates are different, is the reason for the holiday the same in Canada? I can’t wait for ours in November. My family always makes the same things and I love it, especially getting everyone together. My fav dishes are corn pudding and pumpkin pie. My mom makes the BEST pumpkin pie. Mmmmm….

  8. Happy Thanksgiving lady! I really need to go to an American Thanksgiving one day, just so I can compare the two. We usually a do a big dinner with my dad’s side of the family, which I really enjoy! My family is very ‘all about food’ so we definitely end up with a ton – I usually try close to everything, but I keep my portions small. Works for me!

    1. I think that totally works too… I should have mentioned that :) That’s great that you have tastes of everything makes for a yummy night. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  9. My Thanksgivings include copious amounts of terrible for you (albeit delicious) food and some nice stretchy leggings. When I have my own holidays, though, you can bet I’ll be the weird one of the fam who makes it all healthy. Well.. no. There’ll still be pie and stuffing. I hear you all don’t have turkey trots, which I think is preposterous. You should def experience that one day! Happy [early] Canadian Thanksgiving!

  10. I wish it were Thanksgiving here. All I want to do is kick back and relax! And eat. :)

    That pear compote sounds perfect! I like the idea of lightening things up.

    Thanksgiving traditions usually involve eating and watching football. Pretty simple!

    Have a great weekend and a happy Thanksgiving!

  11. That pear compote is a great idea! Our Thanksgivings are usually pretty small family-wise, but we have a ton of food! There are a couple classics that I have to have (like the sweet potatoes and marshmallows and corn pudding) because I know I’ll literally only eat them once a year. Other things (like regular mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, etc.) I’ll skip cause they’re not as ‘special’. I also pick just one piece of dessert to try so I don’t go over board.

  12. I remember being so excited to experience Thanksgiving when I was over there- purely because I love Turkey! Although the shock of getting sweet potatoes with sugar and marshmallows threw me in a tailspin- sweet potatoes are strictly a savoury food here! Hope you have a great time and eat a tonne of turkey for me…even if it means with your eyes closed and unhappy look on your face ;)

    1. I promise I will… and I might even enjoy it… key word *might*… happy weekend friend! Hope it’s a good one without too many textbook dates

  13. I can’t believe some of your friends don’t even celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving – that’s crazy talk! I look forward to it each and every year. We always do a big Thanksgiving dinner and it usually involves spending the afternoon at the Norfolk County Fair before we do our dinner!

    This pear compote sounds really good. And I love your ideas for lightening up Thanksgiving. In my family we have the “go big or go home” kind of attitude towards holidays, so there isn’t anything light about our dishes haha. But I figure it’s only one weekend… and I’ll make sure to have a few salads next week. :P

    1. That sounds like a lot of fun! Hey, nothing wrong with going big. And I think compensating with salads next week is a great idea. Happy Thanksgiving friend!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Just came across your blog; I always love to find other Canadians bloggers to follow!
    It’s weird being in Australia for Thanksgiving when it’s 30°C outside! We are going to a party tomorrow that is themed, “Thanksgiving Inspired BBQ Food”. Should be interesting ;)

  15. “Thanks more than Spanx” — I love it! You gave some great suggestions. I’m not a big turkey fan, either — last year I actually brought a little container of chickpeas with me and had those + the yummy veggie side dishes instead of The Bird. I’ve tried to get better at not eating things just because they’re there, or because tradition says I’m supposed to.

  16. Aw I wish I could invite you over to have another American Thanksgiving this year. Although I am actually not sure if I will have any big plans this year. :-( Enjoy your holiday! And I am with you on the turkey, I am not a big fan and the last time I ate it was last holiday season.

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