Trying to make your diet and Thanksgiving get along is sometimes a bit like trying to make the in-laws get along. Turkey, gravy, green bean casseroles, and pumpkin flavored everything are Thanksgiving Day staples - if only those foods could be as good for our bodies as they are for our taste buds!
This year, you won’t have to pick between staying healthy or enjoying Thanksgiving classics. Get the best of both worlds with delicious, healthy versions of Thanksgiving favorites or tasty alternatives when you read the recipes below.
Start your Thanksgiving meal with this delectable Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette from Taste of Home. Filled with healthy foods like apples, salad greens, and nuts, you’ll savor the fall flavors while starting your Thanksgiving dinner the healthy way.The Main Course
You can’t have Thanksgiving without turkey. Rich in protein, niacin, vitamin B6, and more, turkey is, in some ways, even better for you than chicken because it has less fat and calories. There’s tons and tons of healthy turkey recipes out there, but we personally liked this Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey and White-Wine Gravy option from EatingWell.com.
It’s not Thanksgiving without stuffing and, thankfully, making a healthy version of this holiday favorite is super easy - just stuff your turkey with healthy foods! Cooking Light has a particularly delicious recipe - Classic Herb Stuffing. This recipe is loaded with healthy foods including whole grain bread, carrots, parsley, sage, canola oil, and more!
The Side Dish
It’s Thanksgiving, so you’ll probably have more than one side dish. We personally think this Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices from Food & Wine should be one of them. The main ingredient is, obviously, squash which has a seemingly unending list of health benefits including immune system support, cardiovascular health, and improving vision. But the healthy benefits of this recipe don’t stop there - it also calls for turmeric among other healthy spices making it a tasty and healthy Thanksgiving choice.
Even your Thanksgiving dessert can be healthy. These Pumpkin Dream Bars from Delish are a great alternative to over-sugared options thanks to using pumpkin as its main ingredient. This recipe is gluten-free and is healthier for you than the standard Thanksgiving dessert.
The Day After
Feeling some post-Thanksgiving food hangover? Taking digestive enzymes during and after the big turkey-day can help you process all that amazing food much easier and get the most out of it.
Eating healthy shouldn’t be a chore; it just means eating smart. These recipes prove you can have an amazing Thanksgiving dinner and still stay healthy.