It’s almost officially the month of thanks! Thanksgiving is a time to come together with loved ones and express gratitude while enjoying a delicious meal. If you’re looking to maintain a healthier lifestyle while still savoring the flavors of the season, consider these 10 healthy Thanksgiving recipe swaps.
1. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes: Traditional mashed potatoes can be high in fat due to the addition of butter and cream. A delicious alternative is cauliflower mashed potatoes or my favorite – a mixed mash of potatoes, cauliflower and parsnips. Boil your veggies until tender and blend it with a bit of low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (for protein as well), garlic, and chives.
2. Whole Wheat Stuffing: Swap out white bread for whole wheat bread in your stuffing recipe. Whole wheat is higher in fiber, providing more nutrients and a satisfying, heart-healthy option.
3. Lean Turkey: Opt for a leaner turkey by choosing turkey breast meat or a smaller bird. You’ll save on calories and saturated fat while still enjoying the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal.
4. Veggie Gravy: Replace traditional gravy made from turkey drippings with a vegetable-based gravy. Use vegetable broth, onions, mushrooms, and fresh herbs for a flavorful, lower-fat option.
5. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans: Instead of the sugar-laden sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, make a healthier version using a drizzle of maple syrup and a topping of toasted pecans. Sweet potatoes are already naturally sweet, so you won’t need as much added sugar.
6. Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash: Consider swapping out traditional stuffing with a quinoa and vegetable-stuffed acorn squash. It’s a nutrient-rich, gluten-free alternative that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious.
7. Green Bean Almondine: Skip the green bean casserole with its creamy mushroom soup and fried onions. Opt for a classic green bean almondine, where green beans are sautéed with a touch of olive oil and tossed with toasted almonds for crunch.
8. Orange Juice-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce: Make your cranberry sauce using less refined sugar or 100% orange juice for natural sweetness. Fresh cranberries are tart and delicious on their own, and you can add orange zest or cinnamon for natural sweetness and flavor.
9. Whole Wheat Rolls: Serve whole wheat rolls as a healthier alternative to white dinner rolls. Whole wheat provides more fiber, helping you feel fuller and more satisfied with smaller portions.
10. Lighter Pumpkin Pie: To finish your Thanksgiving meal, consider making a lighter version of pumpkin pie. Use a graham cracker crust, cut back on the sugar, and use Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream for a creamy texture with less fat.