Thanksgiving is a special day of the year when we gather together with family and close friends to celebrate each other and all that we are thankful for. It’s our family traditions that make this time of year so nostalgic and memorable. Grandma making her entrance with pecan pie in hand, Mom in the kitchen putting together her infamous creamy and buttery mashed potatoes, the nephews and nieces gathered around the table decorating Aunt Peggy’s sugar cookies. These are just a few of the family traditions that I look forward to each year that bring joy to my heart. The unfortunate part is that most of these also make my belly too full to enjoy the rest of the evening. I feel like a stuffed turkey myself!
So for this Thanksgiving, we were looking to trim the fat but not the fun. Hoping to skip the unpleasant evening of indigestion, we thought we would try adding a healthy twist to our favorite recipes. Our goal was to look for dishes that opt for healthier ingredients and go lighter on the bad stuff, BUT most importantly, will still please a crowd and keep alive the traditions that make this day one we look forward to each year.
For an appetizer we thought something quick and basic would make everyone happy and hold them over until the main event. These roasted root veggie chips served with a creamy spinach dip will keep everyone deliciously occupied. Add some sliced veggies for additional color and dippers.
We love our greens and brussels sprouts are one of our favorites! Brussels sprouts get a bad wrap, but if done right, i.e. roasted, they are so tasty. Try combining them with almonds and sweet dates for a festive twist. Elise from Kale and Chocolate shares her deliciously healthy recipe of brussels sprouts, slivered almonds & dates.
If you haven’t learned the secret of mixing cauliflower with your mashed potatoes, you have been missing out on a healthy calorie cutting secret. Seriously! Pamela Salzman shares her recipe that cuts the carbs with the same creamy taste.
We stumbled upon this festive lil’ side by Jessie Monds that takes all the fun fall foods and bundles it all up in one potato! It’s called Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Apples, and Dried Cranberries.
We won’t mess with the Turkey so let’s skip right to the dessert! It’s hard to find a healthy AND tasty dessert, but this Baked Pear recipe nailed it. Add a scoop of pecan pie ice cream to this warm, amazingness and your Thanksgiving meal will truly be complete.
This Thanksgiving, we hope you continue the traditions that make your holidays special, but we dare you to mix it up a bit while keeping your health in mind. That way you will wake up the next morning feeling encouraged and energized to eat smart throughout the rest of the holiday season rather than fall in to the sugary and fatty rut we are all guilty of.
Michelle & Sarah