Fall’s here. And that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes a whopping 4,500 calories and an astounding 229 grams of fat each Thanksgiving.

But you don’t have to splurge on calories and fat to have an incredible Turkey Day.

These five recipes of Thanksgiving classics are so good, you won’t even notice that they’re great for your figure!

1. Mashed Potatoes

 Mashed Potatoes

Prep time: 15 min

Total time: 40 min

Traditional mashed potatoes are filled with fat and calories — up to 400 calories per serving. But they don’t have to be. You’d never know these mashed potatoes are on the lighter side. This guilt-free version of mashed potatoes only has 140 calories and two grams of fat per serving.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups peeled and quartered potatoes
  • 5 ounces fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

Directions

Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, and boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Then, in a large bowl, mash the potatoes and add all remaining ingredients. Mix together and sprinkle with paprika.

2. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep time: 20 min

Total time: 90 min

Traditional sweet potato casserole is one decadent side dish that’s topped with marshmallows and lots of butter. One serving contains anywhere between 400 and 500 calories and 15 to 16 grams of fat. This lighter version, however, has only 242 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving. It tastes so good, you won’t even notice it’s lower in fat!

Ingredients

Casserole

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes, place them into a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 8 inch–square baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, oil, and honey together in a bowl. Then add the mashed sweet potatoes, mixing well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture in the baking dish.

To make the topping, mix together the flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a bowl. Blend with your fingers until crumbly and add the pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole, and bake for 45 minutes.

3. Stuffing

Stuffing

Prep time: 30 min

Total time: 50 min

We all know Thanksgiving isn’t complete without stuffing. But traditional stuffing has anywhere from 350 to 450 calories and 16 grams of fat per one cup serving. Luckily, we’ve got a healthy stuffing recipe that’ll blow your socks off. It uses wild rice, cranberries, and pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sliced leeks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped turnip
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried sweet cranberries
  • 2 sliced green onions

Directions

Heat two tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, thyme and salt, sautéing for eight minutes. Add three cups water, vegetable broth, and wild rice. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for half hour. Then stir in the brown rice, and simmer for another half hour. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In another large skillet, add two tablespoons of butter, followed by turnips, celery, carrots, and salt. Sauté for one minute, and cook for four minutes on reduced heat. Combine the rice mixture, turnip mixture, pecans, cranberries, and onions in a large bowl. Spoon the stuffing into a glass baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

4. Gravy

Gravy

Prep time: 15 min

Total time: 50 min

Traditional gravy is high in calories and fat. In fact, a quarter cup of gravy has little nutrients and a whopping 18 grams of fat, most of which is saturated. Rather than making traditional gravy from turkey drippings, we suggest making a low-calorie vegetarian one from mushrooms. You won’t even be able to tell the difference!

Ingredients

  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 4 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon Marsala wine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

Directions

Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Place stems and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Then strain and set aside. Finely chop the mushrooms. Place three tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for five minutes. Then add the mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms are soft and browned. Add the wine and cook. Place the remaining tablespoon butter and four in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the stock, bring to a boil, whisking until thickened. Add the mushrooms and thyme and stir to combine.

5. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Traditional pumpkin pie usually has 200 calories and 14 grams of fat per slice. But our lighter version has only 124 calories and 2 grams of fat! Serve with low-fat vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 two egg whites
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup baking mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 can fat-free evaporated milk

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the egg, egg whites, pumpkin, sugar substitute, baking mix, vanilla and spices until smooth. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Indulge without the bulge? It's possible

Healthy fare for Thanksgiving — or any holiday — will have you truly giving thanks this year.

References

  1. "13 Great Thanksgiving Meals," Cooking Light, October 5, 2002.
  2. "24 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Actually Delicious," BuzzFeed, November 18, 2014.
  3. "32 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes You Have No Idea Were Good for You," Redbook, November 20, 2016.
  4. "Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes," Food Network, August 19, 2015.

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