Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes for Everyone to Enjoy
Thanksgiving. A time to show gratitude and appreciation and pile around with friends and family and share food and laughs with those we love. Unfortunately, it’s often a time to pile on the excess calories. We tend to stuff ourselves as much as we do the turkey.
Usually, by the end of the night, everyone’s lounging on the couch, tired and sick from how much turkey, rolls, and pumpkin pie they ate. It doesn’t have to be that way though. It’s possible to wake up, run a Turkey Trot 5K, eat a healthy Thanksgiving meal, and still feel well enough for a game of football in the backyard before it gets dark out. Here are some dishes you can make this year so that you’re not down for the count by 3:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Looking for a way to reduce your carb intake so you don’t feel as stuffed this Thanksgiving? Try opting for cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes. A head of cauliflower has almost half as many calories as a potato, and the texture of both is very similar, so it really comes down to the other ingredients you use in the dish. Butter, salt, parmesan, and some chives will make the two taste almost identical, without the added calories.
Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are full of nutrients and can help curb your sweet tooth. Loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber, you can eat your sweet potato casserole and be confident that you’re getting in some vital nutrients. This recipe also calls for pecans or walnuts and coconut oil, all of which provide your body with healthy fats and beneficial micronutrients. Instead of feeling weighed down, this recipe will keep you energized throughout the night.
Traditional gravy is full of starches and fat, but that’s why so many people love it. Instead of slathering traditional gravy over your Thanksgiving plate, try opting for mushroom gravy instead. This dish mimics traditional gravy without the unhealthy ingredients. Created with vegetable stock, mushrooms, onions, flour, rosemary, thyme, sage, and salt, you won’t even miss your regular gravy.
Grandma’s pumpkin pie is the quintessential dessert for Thanksgiving, but it’s definitely not the healthiest option at the dining table. With many pumpkin pies packing in upwards of 300 calories and the daily recommended amount of sugar in one slice, opting for something healthier will reduce that sluggish after-Thanksgiving feeling.
Instead of pumpkin pie, you could create pumpkin pie smoothies for everyone as a dessert. This healthy option packs in the protein and combines pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, Greek yogurt, bananas, cinnamon, milk, and ice to create a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie.
Whether you decide to stick with your family’s tried and true recipes, or opt for more healthy Thanksgiving dishes, what’s important is that you’re spending time with loved ones. If you decide to snag that last piece of pumpkin pie, don’t feel too guilty about it! You have all year to get your nutrition in check.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Cause and Effects team!