Navigating the holidays with symptoms of an overactive bladder (OAB) is difficult enough. The last thing you want to do is eat foods that irritate your bladder during holiday get-togethers or family gatherings. You can take back some control of holiday events by offering to bring a few dishes – or host the event so that you can manage the whole menu.
These bladder-friendly holiday recipes are also healthier than traditional alternatives in many other ways. Guests will love them so much, they won’t realize they are enjoying a bountiful harvest that’s actually good for them. Plus, these make-ahead dishes can easily feed a crowd.
Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Grilled Chicken
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1.5 cups almond milk
- 1.5 cups full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1 handful each fresh parsley and basil or 1 T each dried parsley and basil
- 1 cup
- 2 pounds thinly sliced chicken cutlets
- 1 spaghetti squash
Tomato sauce is not a good idea for those with overactive bladder. Unfortunately, many holiday dishes revolve around pasta with sauce. This recipe trades out traditionally pasta for heart healthy spaghetti squash, plus adds grilled chicken for protein, topped with a “no-cheese” Alfredo sauce sure to please a crowd. You can also make it with penne or fettuccine or your favorite style of pasta.
Spaghetti squash looks complicated but it’s surprisingly simple to prepare. For this recipe, one 5 lb. squash will feed about eight people as a main course and more if it’s part of a larger meal.
To prepare spaghetti squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Add a little salt or sea salt. Place the squash face down on a baking sheet, sometimes called a sheet pan, and roast for one hour, 400 degrees. (Oven times may vary based on your oven.)
To prepare the chicken, either purchase chicken cutlets, sliced thin, or buy whole breasts and filet them yourself. The easiest way to grill chicken is to place it in a baking pan and grill at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
Now, for the sauce, which really sets this dish apart. While your spaghetti squash and chicken are cooking, begin by making a roux using the olive oil and flour. Heat the oil, and add the minced garlic. Sauté until the garlic is hot. Then, add the flour and whisk until the flour absorbs all the oil.
Next, whisk in the chicken broth. It should begin to thicken. Finally, add the almond milk and coconut milk, continuing to whisk all ingredients. Finally, add your salt and spices to taste, and sprinkle in the nutritional yeast to give the texture of fresh parmesan you find in dairy-based Alfredo sauce.
Once your squash is done, scrape the strands of squash out of the shell. Toss the chicken and squash with the sauce and serve. (If you’re making pasta instead, you would do the same!)
Dairy Free, No Sugar Pumpkin Pie
Apple pie or pumpkin spice may be the debate of the season. If you suffer from OAB, you’ll want to steer clear of tart apples. But how about switching up the traditional holiday favorites with this no-sugar pumpkin pie recipe.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners tend to irritate the bladder. But this creamy pumpkin pie sweetened with all-natural monk fruit will hit the spot. Those suffering from OAB should rely on all natural sweeteners such as Stevia leaf extract, erythritol, or monk fruit to satisfy their sweet tooth.
You can make a pie crust from scratch or you can pick one up from the store. Just pay attention to the ingredients list and be sure to steer clear of any bladder irritants. Making a good crust is an art but you can always save time with a store bought crust.
- 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup powdered erythritol or ¼ cup powdered monk fruit sweetener
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or you can make your own blend by combining cinnamon and ground ginger, nutmeg, and allspice)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
This pie couldn’t be easier to make. Simply beat all the ingredients together with a mixer at medium low speed, being careful not to over-mix. Some people choose to mix all the dry ingredients first and then add them to the pumpkin, coconut, egg, and vanilla mixture, but there’s no need.
Add the mixture to the pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes. The pie should be almost set, but still custard-like in the very middle. If the edges start to brown too quickly or the crust starts to burn but the pie isn’t set, cover the edges with aluminum foil and continue baking until the pie is done.
The secret to pumpkin pie with no cracks? Do not overcook it. Let the pie cool on the counter or a cooling rack and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before enjoying.
Traditional Turkey and Stuffing
There’s even more good news when it comes to holiday recipes for overactive bladder. A traditional roast turkey with stuffing should be fine for a holiday main course, as are roasted potatoes and green beans.
Avoid mashed potatoes if they are made with dairy. One way to make roasted potatoes flavorful is to use baby potatoes and slice in half. Toss the potatoes in olive oil, garlic seasoning or garlic powder, thyme, basil, and rosemary. Roast at 425 degrees until done – usually about 30 minutes. You can test by poking a fork into a potato.
Go for the less fatty, white meat on the turkey, and leave the skin for those in your party following a keto meal plan or not otherwise watching their fat intake.
As you track your meals you should discover the foods that irritate your bladder. The recipes above omit common ingredients known to aggravate OAB symptoms in many people.