All About Turkey

Easy tips to make the most of this ZeroPoint food.
Published January 10, 2018

Forget everything you think you know about turkey, today’s turkey recipes are extra moist and full of savoury flavour. This new addition of skinless turkey breast to our WeightWatchers® Freestyle program contains an impressive 26 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving which practically guarantees you’ll feel satisfied every time turkey breast is a part of your meal plan. Don’t worry about having to buy an entire bird, turkey breasts and 98% lean ground turkey are readily available in grocery stores and butcher shops across Canada. Turkey breasts are much larger than chicken breasts and can usually serve 4-6 adults. If you find yourself with extra meat, you can easily portion it out and freeze cooked or uncooked turkey for later use.

Wet brining

If you’re at all concerned about the possibility of overcooked and dried out turkey breast (and many of us have good reason to be!) wet brining is a simple yet effective way to ensure a moist bird without adding any extra fat. Not only does the turkey soak in the brine and absorb water, the brine also helps the turkey retain moisture as it cooks. To make the brine you’ll need to make a brine solution that is at least 5 per cent salt (or about a little less than 1 tablespoons of salt per cup (250 ml) of water). You can do a simple brine with just the salt water or you can add in other flavours such as:

  • Black, red, or white peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Carrots and celery
  • Onions (quartered and with skins left on)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Sliced citrus (lemon, limes, and oranges)
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, and parsley)

Brine the turkey in a lidded container or small bucket for 12-24 hours, storing in the fridge and stirring once or twice throughout. When you’re ready to prepare the turkey, remove from the brine and pat dry before roasting, grilling, or searing.

Turkey tacos

Lighten up your taco Tuesdays by subbing in ground turkey for beef, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your family gobbles these up! Brown ground 98% lean turkey in a small amount of oil with cumin, chili powder, and taco sauce and add to hard or soft taco shells along with all your favourite toppings. Stay with traditional shredded cheese, salsa, and guacamole or try something different such as:

  • Red onions and radishes, thinly sliced and pickled in lime juice
  • Homemade pico de gallo (made from chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, garlic and lime juice)
  • Salsa verde
  • Avocado crema
  • Cotija or queso fresco cheese
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Pan-roasted corn
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers
  • Homemade refried beans

Moroccan-inspired turkey meatballs

Take a break from traditional Italian meatballs and try this lightened up ode to Moroccan spices. Use a light hand when shaping turkey meatballs, adding an egg and a small handful of bread crumbs to the mixture to prevent the meatballs from drying out as they cook. Cumin, cinnamon, white pepper, and turmeric are deliciously warming spices that will add exotic appeal to any recipe. Serve the meatballs over couscous with your favourite Moroccan-inspired sauce, green olives, dried apricots and plenty of fresh parsley.

Your questions about ZeroPoint turkey breast answered

When is turkey a ZeroPoint food and when is it not?

The following ARE ZeroPoint foods...

  • Turkey breast, skinless, boneless, whole, ground or deli-sliced, raw, cooked, or smoked in 0 SmartPoints®-value sauces or spices.
  • Ground turkey must be labeled “breast” or “extra lean” or at least 98% fat free / 2% fat.
  • Deli meat should be specifically skinless turkey breast.

If the product contains less than 2% of non-ZeroPoint ingredients (sugar, oil, food starch), it is still considered a ZeroPoint food.

The following are NOT ZeroPoint foods...

  • Processed, unspecified products such as “deli turkey” which often contain sugar or dark meat—ingredients that are not ZeroPoint foods.

If I remove the skin from roasted turkey breast, is it a ZeroPoint food?

As long as you're eating the breast meat, removing the skin will keep it 0 SmartPoints value.

If turkey breast is used to make jerky, will that be ZeroPoint?

No. Jerky is a dried form of meats and has higher calories per ounce, so it won’t be a ZeroPoint food on the new program. It’s also more of a snack food, so it’s easier to overeat. That’s why we ask members to track it.

How will l I know if my turkey is actually skinless breast or another part of the bird?

Turkey breast is white meat, so if you’re eating a product that is visibly white meat compared to darker meat and is skinless, it will be a ZeroPoint food. The values in your My Day Tracker will be the most up-to-date. If values are not what you expected, it’s likely that food is not actually a ZeroPoint food.

If I use the Barcode Scanner in the WW app on a packaged meal, like an egg and turkey bacon breakfast sandwich, will it automatically remove the ZeroPoint ingredients?

If the packaged food is in our database, the SmartPoints value shown will have the zero Points ingredients removed,  assuming they are actually 0. (For example, deli turkey is not a ZeroPoint food.)

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