Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite holidays, and I know that it can be a stressful holiday for many of us, especially to all of us moms trying to follow a healthy diet. Our families look forward to indulging in an abundance of turkey, sweet potato casseroles and pies, which makes it hard to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, I’ve found a few healthy alternatives to those Thanksgiving staples!
I also found a few tips to make traditional Thanksgiving foods a bit healthier. This year, use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey. Did you know Fat-Free Chicken Broth contains 33% less Sodium and has zero calories from fat (link)? Similarly, try reducing oil and butter to any of your entrees by using fruit puree instead of oil for your baked goods. The same goes for the ingredients in your mashed potatoes. Avoid using sour cream in your mashed potatoes or dips and instead try adding Greek yogurt, as it consists of only 61mg of Sodium and has .7 grams of total fat. What’s important to remember this Thanksgiving is that it’s all about portion control, so practice healthy tips that best fit your dietary needs. You definitely don’t have to give everything up!
You could also start the meal with one of my favorites, a Kale and Quinoa Salad. I make this salad often and you can find the Green Plate Foods recipe for it, here. Keeping with the protein-rich quinoa theme, a Quinoa-Pumpkin Seed Granola with Green Plate Foods Nubblers is a great appetizer. Find that recipe and more fall treats, here.
And no matter where you decide to spend your Thanksgiving this year, bring the family in the kitchen and initiate new recipes and traditions. There’s certainly nothing better than spending the holidays surrounded by great food and those we love the most. Below I’ve included a couple easy to make recipes, that the whole family can help with.
Crave Healthy Friends!
For all the stuffing lovers out there, steer away from ordinary stuffing and instead make Quinoa Stuffing With Apple, Sweet Potato & Hazelnuts.
1 cup dry Quinoa, cook according to package directions
2 Sweet Potatoes, cut into wedges
2 large Apples
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Maple Syrup, divided portion in ½ fine Sea Salt
2 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme leaves
1 cup Hazelnuts, chopped
Rinse quinoa. Combine with 2 cups water and a add pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then
reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and
remove from the heat. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat apples with lemon juice, then toss sweet
potatoes & apples with 1/4 cup of maple syrup, coconut oil and a few pinches cinnamon, ginger
and salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until tender and fragrant. Combine the quinoa with the
roasted mixture and the remainder of the maple syrup (1/4 cup) in a large bowl. Fold in thyme
Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole. This is a great recipe from the Ellie Krieger that only has 160 calories and is low on Sodium and Carbohydrates.
3.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/3 finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish. Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes
Posted on 11/25/2014 at 11:45:00 PM