When you think of Thanksgiving, you might think of huge meals and indulging in food that you wouldn’t normally. While it may be tradition to indulge, you don’t need to stick with it. You can still enjoy your Thanksgiving while preparing healthier options for you and your family.
Thanksgiving comes with lots of wonderful side dishes, but turkey is without a doubt the star of the meal. You don’t want to alter this dish too much, but you can find ways to make it healthier. One way to do so is by grilling your turkey rather than roasting it and basting it in juices. This helps to reduce the calories in the dish. When you serve your turkey, you might also want to refrain from the gravy which is also high in calories. Instead, you can dress your turkey with a homemade cranberry sauce which is a healthy option that’s full of flavor.
Many families will include green bean casserole with their Thanksgiving dinner. While this dish does include some vegetables, it’s not the healthiest option. Pre-cooked green beans will already have fewer nutrients than fresh green beans. Additionally, you’re adding in several highly processed and high-caloric ingredients that aren’t very beneficial to you. This Thanksgiving, consider switching to brussels sprouts. These vegetables are packed with nutrients and provide you with a healthy autumn-veggie alternative. You can simply cook up some fresh brussels sprouts with some butter which will leave you feeling more refreshed during your dinner.
Mashed potatoes are a staple at any Thanksgiving dinner, but they aren’t the healthiest option. Mashed potatoes are loaded with butter and milk which are high in fat content. Additionally, you’re smothering your potatoes in gravy. Typically, gravy is made with the fat and drippings from your turkey which only adds to the calories. Instead, you should switch out your mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower. This alternative is lower in both carbs and calories. You can also still make it taste just as good as regular mashed potatoes.
While there is a large variety of stuffing recipes out there, generally it is a high calories dish. Filling your plate with stuffing leads you to overeat and take in way more calories than you need to. This year, it’s time to use some portion control. Instead of letting everyone have a free for all, make some stuffing muffins. These allow everyone to enjoy the delicious dish at a smaller volume. It’s easier for you to pay attention to how much you’re eating.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Another classic Thanksgiving dish is the sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows or candied nuts. This dish is definitely a favorite since it’s sweet and packed full of flavor. However, it’s also packed with sugar. Sweet potatoes are already sweet and don’t need to be drowned in marshmallows and brown sugar. Instead, you can make some roasted sweet potatoes. This helps maintain the integrity of the nutrients in sweet potatoes while still giving you plenty of flavor.
Choosing healthier options–even on holidays–can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It truly is possible, even if everyone else is eating less healthy choices. Poor eating habits are often one of the causes of chronic health conditions like obesity, heart problems, and diabetes. And your health always matters–no matter the day or cause for celebration.