Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole…MMM there’s a lot to love about Thanksgiving. However if you’re not careful from Thanksgiving to Christmas, you can easily gain 8 to 10 pounds. Sure, you can hit the gym to shed the weight, but we all know how difficult that can be during the hectic holiday season. Instead, start at the root of the issue, with the food that you eat.
To help, we’ve compiled our favorite healthy substitutions for traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Don’t roll your eyes. We’re not suggesting that you have to get rid of ALL of your favorites! Simply make as many substitutions as possible to spare additional calories. Your waistline will thank you and we promise that your taste buds will enjoy the fresher, healthier and still delicious Thanksgiving dinner!
Healthy Alternatives to Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Chickpeas and couscous combine to give this colorful low-calorie dish a high protein score.
Wild Rice Pilaf
Substantial and full of flavor, this dish is quite easy to prepare. The combination of flavors blends beautifully, and the variety of ingredients makes this a highly nutritious dish.
A tasty, healthful vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a side dish that is as versatile as it is delicious.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Skip the sugar-loaded, straight from the can cranberry sauce and replace with these fresh and delicious sauces. “Smooth” and “chunky” recipes included so you can make it just like your family likes.
Green Bean Casserole
Forgo the traditional version made with sodium and fat-filled canned soup for this recipe which includes panko flakes and pumpkin seeds – a nutritionally powerful “SuperFood.”
Mashed Roots with Buttermilk & Chives
Plain mashed potatoes may seem a bit tame after you’ve tried this flavorful version, full of celery root, rutabaga and Yukon Gold potatoes and mashed with sweet garlic and tangy buttermilk.
Twice-Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This recipe can be made up to a day ahead of time and uses a half-and-half combination of butter and oil to maintain the rich flavor while cutting back on saturated fat.
Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables
This medley of roasted root vegetables features yellow onions, potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, garlic, and sweet potatoes.
Stuffing and Gravy
This link also includes a delicious recipe for a Parmesan-Sage Roast Turkey that was featured in Cooking Light magazine.
That about does it for the list. Our taste buds are already watering and we’re ready to give Thanksgiving a test run! If you have any tried and true healthy alternatives, please share below!
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