Eating healthy on Thanksgiving shouldn't mean passing up on your favorite dishes! There are plenty of simple and easy substitutions that will make your dishes healthier without sacrificing any flavor.
Here is a list of some of our favorite healthy twists on Thanksgiving classics.
Check the label of most store-bought stuffing boxes and you will likely see high fructose corn syrup, salt, and vegetable oil listed as some of the top ingredients. Now put that box down and walk away! You can make your own stuffing at home with some of these much healthier ideas.
Replace part (or all) of the bread in your stuffing with whole grains like quinoa, barley, or farro. You can even try riced cauliflower!
Add plenty of other vegetables like celery and mushrooms for added nutrients.
One our my personal favorites! Nothing compliments turkey like a smooth and creamy mashed potato side dish. However, when prepared traditionally with tons of butter, whole milk, and salt, the calories and sodium definitely add up.
Don't peel the potatoes. The potato skin contains most of the fiber and nutrients in potatoes; just be sure to scrub the potatoes well.
Sub the milk. Use low-fat milk or a non-dairy milk like unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
Swap the fats. Replace some of the butter and oil with parsnips! Parsnips can provide a creamy texture without the added calories.
Add vegetables, garlic, herbs, and spices. This will add flavor and help cut down on the amount of salt needed.
Try alternatives to potatoes, such as cauliflower, turnips, sweet potatoes, celery root, broccoli, carrots, eggplants, and rutabaga.
Green Bean Casserole
This Thanksgiving staple is a great way to add some veggies to the menu. However, most recipes call for processed foods like canned cream of mushroom and fried onions, that are loaded with extra fat and sodium.
Use fresh green beans and don't overcook them! They should still have a crisp texture, and a vibrant, bright green color.
Instead of frying onions, toast almond meal and mix it with sautéed onions and parmesan.
Make your own mushroom sauce with mushrooms, garlic, chickpea flour and unsweetened almond milk.
A 1/4 cup serving of canned cranberry sauce can contain 22 grams of sugar, most of which comes from high fructose corn syrup. Even traditional homemade recipes ask for plenty more sugar than is necessary.
Cut the sugar back in recipes by 1/3 of the amount.
Replace processed sugar with honey, which contains more vitamins and antioxidants than table sugar.
Fruits like apples and oranges pair perfectly with cranberries and can help add sweetness to the sauce.
Choose low-sodium and fat-free broth.
Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
Remove the skin on your turkey before eating. The skin can add up to 50 calories and is high in Omega 6 fatty acids!
Replace sour cream with nonfat plain Greek yogurt in creamy dips and casseroles.
For more tips to stay on track during the holiday season, check out our Holiday Guide, available in the Members Only section of our website!
What's your favorite healthy thanksgiving recipe?
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