It’s the time of year when diets fly out the window in the name of family feasts. But if you’ve been hard-at-work dieting and exercising, don’t let all your effort go down the drain. This year, substitute the healthy recipes below for your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. They’re still finger-lickin’ good — just a little easier on the waist.
Light Creamed Corn
How can anything with the word “cream” in it be light, you ask? According to this New York Times recipe, the dairy cream is not needed because of corn’s natural creamy milk. Amazingly, this recipe only calls for two ingredients and lists shallots and seasonings as optional to let the sweetness of the corn speak for itself.
Skinny Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes can be healthy, assuming you don’t load them up with cream, butter, and cheese. Eat Yourself Skinny shared a delicious recipe for skinny mashed potatoes that are not full of fat and sodium. With red potatoes, turnips (a superfood!), onion, skim milk, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and seasonings, this recipe is not only tasty, but it contains no butter!
Slim Marshmallow Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are naturally a delicious and healthy staple, so why fatten them up with lots of butter and sugar? This marshmallow whipped sweet potatoes recipe reduces the amount of butter and marshmallows used. Orange juice, surprisingly, is added to make up for the butter.
Did you know that boxed stuffing contains between 400 and 700 calories per cup? Yikes! Save your calories for something more important, and instead make Createlive’s healthy holiday stuffing recipe. This recipe uses low-calorie bread and low-sodium chicken broth to create a stuffing that will only cost you around 150 calories.
Trim Green Bean Casserole
Always the favorite at my family’s Thanksgiving, I have a hard time compromising when it comes to green bean casserole. However, traditional recipes call for a heavy cream sauce, fried onions, and sometimes cheese — hello, saturated fat! This healthier recipe from eatingwell.com has me considering changing up my green bean casserole recipe.
Low-Fat Pumpkin Pie
Mmm, pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, this Thanksgiving staple is typically loaded with sugar and fat. This year, opt for a healthier version with this recipe from bodybuilding.com, which calls for solid pack pumpkin, fat-free sweetened condensed milk, egg substitute, and seasoning. Plus, did you know that pumpkin is chock-full of Beta-carotene? It’s a treat for your taste buds and your eyes, skin, and immune system!
Extra tips for a healthy Thanksgiving:
- Buy a natural or organic turkey. Conventional birds are pumped full of sodium solution.
- Use turkey or chicken stock in lieu of butter.
- Cut back on salting your dishes and let your guests add as much or as little salt as they want.
- Watch what you drink. Sodas, alcohol, eggnog, and punch will all contribute to holiday weight gain. Instead, make some homemade flavored water for your guests to sip on.
- Don’t be a couch potato! Get outside and take a morning jog or a post-turkey walk.
- Watch the appetizers. Lots of families graze all day and enjoy appetizers before the big meal. Cut down on the snacks and take a healthier approach with a crudité platter and low-fat dip.