When we think of our Thanksgiving feasts, healthy may not be the first word that comes to mind. With all of the rolls, pies, and potatoes, we try to just indulge and forget about preparing healthy Thanksgiving recipes. It’s fun to put calories and carbs aside for the day, but there are actually dishes out there that really sound good and have the extra bonus of being good for us!
We will try to look at some of the main traditional Thanksgiving dishes in a different way – from a nutritional standpoint.
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes That Taste Good
At allrecipes.com, there are several suggestions for some of these dishes. For the turkey, they recommend buying a turkey breast rather than the whole turkey. If you do buy the whole bird, avoid the self-basting ones, as they contain extra fat. The deep fried turkeys are tasty, but roasted or smoked will go over good as well, and are so much better for us.
Regarding the gravy, it is one of the biggest calorie culprits. Use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings.
Another interesting tip is to not use butter and cream to mash potatoes. Instead, save the cooking water from the boiled potatoes. The starchy water actually gives the potatoes a creamier texture. Stir in some roasted garlic and herbs, and some fat-free sour cream.
Instead of stuffing, go the dressing route. Bake the dressing in a casserole rather than stuffing the bird.
They also suggest toning down the dessert type of candied sweet potatoes. Rather, try a cranberry relish for a healthier choice.
And we can’t forget the dessert! There’s even a pumpkin pie substitution given. They state that most of the fat comes from the crust. So, try a reduced fat graham cracker crust or crust-free pumpkin pie recipe. All of these still have the flavor you are looking for. On the big day and for all of the leftover days ahead, you will have saved yourself a few extra pounds!
Thanksgiving Recipes For Restricted Diets
You or your loved ones may be on restricted diets due to allergies, intolerances, or just trying to eat healthier all year round. Some healthy recipes for you to consider are found at the links below.
For gluten free pumpkin pie Terri Gruss at aboutfood.com gives us a really delicious sounding recipe.
Beth at tasty-yummies.com has not only gluten free recipes to try, but also includes those recipes for individuals that need vegetarian, dairy free, nut free, and sugar free!
Some of these dishes that sound really delicious and are all gluten free are:
- jalapeno cornbread muffins (vegetarian, dairy free, and nut free)
- butternut squash risotto (vegetarian, and optional nut free)
- roasted turkey with herbed butter, green bean casserole (vegetarian)
- cornbread dressing ( vegetarian)
- apple spice cake (vegetarian)
There are 99 Thanksgiving recipes at this site, emphasis being put on healthy and special food needs.
More Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Cooking Light gives us a list of mouth-watering recipes that can make your Thanksgiving meal a real hit without as many calories in the ingredients. They have divided the menus into categories such as:
- Southern Classics menu
- Vegetarian Flavor menu
- Louisiana Thanksgiving menu
- Farmhouse menu
- And many others…
Suggestions for your dinner include spice-rubbed smoked turkey with roasted pear stuffing and cranberry syrup, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and rosemary, maple sweet potatoes, and pumpkin maple pie.
Even our friends at the Mayo Clinic offer some wonderful recipes that sound tasty as well, but include less calories, fat, and sodium than the traditional equivalent. Pumpkin soup, roasted turkey with balsamic sauce, green beans with red pepper and garlic, and pumpkin cream cheese dip are just a few of these.
If you are like us, by now you can’t wait to whip up some of these wonderful sounding recipes. These websites prove to all of us that we can still keep to a healthy diet, even during the holidays, and not miss out on melt-in-the-mouth dishes! So, Happy Thanksgiving and happy healthy eating to all of you!
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