Thanksgiving shouldn’t have you saying “No thanks” when dishes are passed to you. Here are five superfood Thanksgiving dishes that will spare your figure.

1. Cranberry sauce

Packed with antioxidants, cranberries also help to fight urinary tract infections. Ditch the canned cranberry sauces; they’re loaded with sugar. Make your own healthy version instead from fresh cranberries.

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Directions

  • Place cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce, and water in a saucepan
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce to medium heat
  • Stir constantly until the cranberries begin to split
  • Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes
  • Remove from heat
  • Let cool completely
  • Refrigerate overnight

2. Sweet potato

Especially rich in beta carotene and vitamins A and C, a sweet potato contains high amounts of antioxidants as well. They are also an excellent source of fiber and potassium. Say goodbye to your traditional sweet potato casserole that is loaded with sugar and fat and try these maple-roasted sweet potatoes instead.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 1/3 maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Arrange sweet potatoes in one layer in a glass baking dish
  • Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl
  • Pour mixture over the sweet potatoes
  • Toss sweet potatoes until coated
  • Cover sweet potatoes and bake for 50 minutes
  • Stir every 15 minutes until tender

3. Pumpkin

Like sweet potato, pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. Opt for making a healthy pumpkin soup rather than high-fat pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 cups canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

  • Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium heat
  • Add the onion and garlic
  • Sauté onion and garlic until golden
  • Add canned pumpkin, broth, sugar, allspice, and red pepper
  • Bring mixture to a boil
  • Reduce heat
  • Cover
  • Simmer 1/2 hour
  • Purée soup in a blender until smooth
  • Return soup to the pot
  • Bring soup to a simmer
  • Add coconut milk
  • Simmer soup until desired consistency is reached
  • Season with salt and pepper

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4. Apples

The marquée fall fruit, apples are rich in fiber. They also contain ursolic acid, which has been linked to maintaining a healthy weight. Although apple pies are delicious, they’re high in fat and sugar. Try baked apples instead.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium apples
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup hot water

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Core apples
  • Mix brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl
  • Pack each apple firmly in mixture
  • Arrange apples in a baking dish
  • Top each apple with butter
  • Pour water in the bottom of dish
  • Cover dish with aluminum foil
  • Bake apples 20 minutes, removing the foil after the time is up
  • Continue baking apples uncovered for 30 minutes (until the apples are soft)
  • Serve with crème fraîche

5. Brussels sprouts

One of the healthiest foods you can eat, Brussels sprouts are in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. This means they’re loaded with fiber and vitamin C. Enjoy them roasted with some maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Trim stems of Brussels sprouts and remove any wilted leaves
  • Cut sprouts in half
  • Toss Brussels sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl
  • Place mixture on a large baking sheet
  • Roast mixture 15 minutes
  • Flip Brussels sprouts
  • Roast Brussels sprouts another 10 minutes
  • Drizzle maple syrup over them
  • Roast for a final 10 minutes

You’ll give thanks for these light holiday dishes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For many Americans, this holiday is an excuse to overindulge. The typical Thanksgiving meal contains up to 4,500 calories. But many signature Thanksgiving foods are actually super healthy. Instead of cooking up traditional dishes, such as pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole, opt for healthier versions that are lower in fat, calories, and sugar.

References

  1. "Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes," Food Network, August 19, 2015.
  2. "Lightened-Up Thanksgiving Dinner Menu," The Spruce, August 31, 2017.
  3. "Light Thanksgiving Menu," Better Homes & Gardens, February 19, 2016.
  4. "Staff-Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes," Cooking Light, October 15, 2015.

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