Don’t get us wrong—we LOVE the holidays. Specifically, the food. But if there is an opportunity to cut back on a few meal calories here and there so we can indulge in more pumpkin pie or peppermint bark (or Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pancakes!), we are totally game. After brainstorming some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes with Lauren, we sat down and put together this awesome list of 10 classic Thanksgiving recipes that have been updated with healthier alternatives! Check them out, give them a try, and see if anyone notices the difference…
- Can You Say Fauxtatoes? This is one of Lauren’s favorites. This is a simple way to reduce the carb coma that Thanksgiving dinner typically induces. Try this Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe by I Breathe I’m Hungry. Your guests probably won’t even notice they are eating mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes!
- Forgo the Canned Cranberry. Instead of using overly processed canned cranberry sauce, make your own using fresh cranberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cranberry juice. We gave this Cranberry Sauce recipe from none other than The Pioneer Woman a try last year and loved it. Easy peasy too!
- Try Skinny Stuffing. Skip the excess fat and sodium by giving this Pear, Prosciutto & Hazelnut Stuffing recipe from Better Eats a try. We cannot wait to test it out this year.
- De-candy Your Yams. Instead of lining your sweet potatoes or yams with marshmallows and drowning them in maple syrup, try this delicious Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe from Prevention. Tell us that photo doesn’t make you drool…
- Rule Rolls Out. Let’s be honest here. Between potatoes and stuffing and more potatoes—do you really need more carbs, like rolls? When slathered with butter, it’s not a pretty mix for your hips. Instead, offer up a basket of crisp Rosemary Flatbread that doesn’t require a buttery spread.
- Upgrade Your Gravy. A standard serving of homemade gravy can add an unexpected 200 to 300 calories to your already overcrowded Thanksgiving dish. So while gravy is great and all, we’d rather save those sneaky calories for pumpkin pie. Cut the fat in half by giving this Basic Gravy recipe from Real Simple a go. Or if you can bear the thought, skip the gravy all together!
- Cut the Casserole. Traditional green bean casseroles are a breeding ground for love handles. Lots of fat and carbs. No thanks! Instead, get your greens casserole fix with this this deliciously thick but healthy alternative that’s made with low-fat Greek yogurt: Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms & Shallots by Whole Living. You will get the taste without the tipped scale. Yes please!
- Tune Up Your Turkey. We found this Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey recipe on Eating Well and thought it sounded like the perfect centerpiece for a healthful Thanksgiving dinner. Eat up! (If you are really watching your weight, skip the skin.)
- Get Punchy! This Pilgrim Punch cocktail can be made with or without alcohol. It’s low-sugar and super delicious. Drink up!
- Try Pumpkin Pie—bite sized! Okay so we are totally in support of indulging in I-don’t-even-want-to-know-how-bad-this-is-for-me desserts on Thanksgiving (you’ve got to treat yourselves ladies), but if you want to get your sweet tooth on while minding your cals and carbs, give this Pumpkin Pie Bites recipe a try. It’s so SO so good. SO GOOD!
And there you have it… The healthy gals guide to a bountiful, beautiful, and nutritious Thanksgiving!
Are you making thanksgiving dinner? What’s your favorite dish to indulge in? (To be honest, we’re suckers for stuffing and pie!)
Lauren usually makes Thanksgiving dinner for her family. Check out Lauren’s tips on tackling Turkey Day like a pro. If it’s your first time hosting, this is a must-read!