Did you ever want to do Thanksgiving your way? Tired of the marshmallow-topped potatoes and green beans disguised with fried onions? Are you on bad carb overload with potatoes, stuffing and baked biscuits? Traditional Thanksgiving meals throw caution to the wind, and use the tricks of any good restaurant: load on the butter for flavor. If your definition of lighter fare, means fewer empty calories, more nutrition in each bite, or less fat try, some of these healthy Thanksgiving recipes.
Mashed Turnips and Carrots
Why do we have mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving? The sleep button wasn’t already triggered by the Tryptophan in the turkey and adding heaps of buttery potatoes only compounds that post-meal drowsy feeling. Substitute mashed turnips and carrots for the potatoes. If you can’t go all the way with carrots and turnips, substitute at least half of your usual potatoes for turnips to make mashed potatoes with fewer carbs. According to Nutrition database, boiled and mashed potatoes have 29 grams of carbohydrates with three grams of fiber compared to 7 grams of carbohydrates and five grams of fiber in the boiled and mashed turnips.
Use the same amount of turnips and carrots. Peel, slice and boil until tender. Drain the water out and mash. Add broth and spices.
1/4 cup fat-free and low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth for moisture and flavor
Lite salt and pepper to taste
Light Wheat Bread With Flax Seeds
Fresh, warm bread is a staple on Thanksgiving. Skip the store-bought hockey puck biscuits and dust off the bread maker. Place these ingredients in the bread maker in the order listed. Use precise measurements or your bread won’t be right. Choose the 2 pound whole wheat setting and you will have delicious bread in about three hours and 40 minutes. This bread travels well, if you want to share it with family or friends.
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 Tbspn butter
2 Tbspn molasses
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of unbleached white flour
1/2 cup flax seeds (optional)
1 1/2 tspn salt
1 1/2 tspn bread machine yeast
Flavor in Season: Granny Smith Apples and Sweet Potatoes
Wash the apples and potatoes, removing any soft spots or blemishes. Keep the peels on for extra fiber. Chop up the apples and sweet potatoes into cubes of the same size. Toss with Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, 1/3 cup pure Vermont Maple Syrup and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Optional: sprinkle with chopped pecans, which are a good source of unsaturated fat. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamins A and C, beta carotene, fiber and potassium according to Harvard Health Publications.
Cranberry and Wild Rice Salad
Skip the stuffing and make your own cranberry and wild rice salad. Make your favorite wild rice following the directions on the package. You can also use brown rice. Place clean and rinsed cranberries into a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and cool the cranberries. Toss the baby spinach and greens with the rice, cranberries, chopped walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette.
Chocolate Go Lightly
Make sugar-free chocolate pudding with low-fat milk. When it’s time to serve dessert, place two soft ladyfingers in a small dessert cup. Spoon on some pudding. Top with low-fat or fat-free whipped cream and one ladyfinger sticking out of the top. Decorate with shaved dark chocolate. You will satisfy a chocolate craving with the pudding. The ladyfingers are fluffy and light and lower in fat than your typical chocolate cream pie crust. Optional: add fresh strawberries or raspberries if you like fruit with your chocolate.
Harvard Health Publications,