Healthy Alternatives To Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes
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Healthy Alternatives To Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes

Enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites this year and still stay healthy with these nutritious alternatives.

Healthy Alternatives To Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes
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It's almost that time of year! Since part of celebrating Thanksgiving is having dinner with your family, and you've got to start mentally preparing yourself for all of the amazing food you're going to be eating. With all of the stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, make sure to pace yourself so you don't get too stuffed too soon; there's too much food to get full off of one meal! And while you should let yourself indulge in these traditional dishes (I mean hey, Thanksgiving only happens once a year!), you also don't want to go overboard with the food and throw off your wholesome diet. So stay healthy this Thanksgiving with some nutritious alternatives to your favorite holiday dishes!

1. Instead of candied yams, make roasted sweet potatoes

Brush these little potatoes with some canola oil for a healthy Thanksgiving sweet-tooth meal. Roasted sweet potatoes have over 100 less calories than candied yams, are loaded in vitamins, and a great source of potassium. The whole family will love them, and you can feel better knowing you are providing them with a nutritious meal.

Get the recipe here:

2. Instead of regular fruit dip, make yogurt fruit dip

Veggies are an essential part of the human diet, but most fruit dips are heavy and definitely not healthy. It’s always better to eat these beauties raw but if you must pair them with a dip, try dunking them into a nonfat Greek yogurt dip. You can feel better about the food you’re putting into your body and you’ll be saving yourself the extra calories for your amazing dinner and desserts later on.

Get the recipe here:

3. Instead of boxed cornbread muffins, make honey pumpkin cornbread muffins

Every Thanksgiving meal should always be paired with cornbread, right? Making them from a box can sometimes result in dry, crumbly bread, plus they’ll often have ingredients you’ve never heard of before. This holiday season, make honey pumpkin cornbread muffins for a healthier, more natural dish, where you can pronounce every ingredient that goes into it. The pumpkin gives this traditional side dish a twist that is naturally sweetened with a hint of honey.

Get the recipe here:

4. Instead of green bean casserole, make fresh green beans

Casseroles are loaded with unnecessary carbs and calories. Instead of the cream-based mushroom soup and French-fried onions, steam some fresh green beans and sprinkle them with some dried cranberries, fresh mushrooms, or silvered almonds for a healthy, low-calorie veggie to pair with your meal.

Get the recipe here:

5. Instead of bread stuffing, make wild rice or quinoa stuffing

Using wild rice or quinoa instead of breadcrumbs keeps the carbs, but will make your stuffing more nutritious with the extra protein, fiber, magnesium, and less fat. Skipping the bread will also keep you from getting as bloated so that you won’t feel so weighed down after eating this traditional Thanksgiving dish.

Get the recipe here:

6. Instead of canned cranberry sauce, make cranberry-orange sauce with thyme

While cranberries are known for being a good source of antioxidants, store-bought cranberry sauce generally has a ton of sugar, which is also the main source of its calories. Rather than buying it in a can, make your own cranberry-orange sauce with thyme at home for a healthy replacement. The normal sugar is substituted with honey, orange juice, and zest for a more natural sweetness that won’t destroy your teeth.

Get the recipe here:

7. Instead of mashed potatoes, make apple-parsnip mash

Mashed potatoes are probably one of the many favorite Thanksgiving foods every year, but they can be pretty heavy in your stomach. To make this dish a little lighter, try using apples instead! It’ll still have that smooth texture like mashed potatoes but won’t weigh you down as much. The apples give it a touch of sweetness that is then spiced up with some fresh parsnip. This dish is definitely a must-try this holiday season!

Get the recipe here:

8. Instead of roasted potatoes, make roasted rosemary beets

Just like with mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes are loaded with carbs and leave you feeling tired and five pounds heavier than before you ate them. For a healthier option, try roasted rosemary beets as an alternative. There’s only four ingredients, so the prep time is very short. The beets still have the firm yet soft texture like roasted potatoes, plus you’ll be able save room for the other amazing meals at your Thanksgiving this season.

Get the recipe here:

9. Instead of apple crisp, make fruit salad with lemon-lavender syrup

Not only is this dessert light and healthy, but with only five ingredients, anyone could make it! Mainly composed of stone fruits such as nectarines, plums, apricots, peaches, and cherries, it has a natural sweetness that is then topped off with a lemon-lavender syrup to bring it all together. Chances are no one at your Thanksgiving dinner this year will have brought anything like it, and everyone will be coming back for seconds.

Get the recipe here:

10. Instead of pumpkin pie, make crustless sweet potato pie

Pumpkin pie is one of the most popular and traditional desserts at Thanksgiving every year. But if you’re going for a healthier after-dinner alternative, change it up by substituting the pumpkin with sweet potato. As the name implies, sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, so there’s no need for the heaps of sugar like in pumpkin pie. All the more reason to try this healthy alternative, this root vegetable also has an orange color to it, so who knows, the kids might not even notice the difference!

Get the recipe here:

Have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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