Thanksgiving does not have to cause you to buy bigger jeans this holiday season. While the end of the year is always tempting, with families coming together to enjoy home-cooked meals (and desserts), it does not have to be totally unhealthy. Skip the candied sweet potatoes and biscuits and gravy and try these healthier food options instead.
Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic and Rosemary
Instead of potatoes, which are carb-laden, cauliflower is one of the vegetables that should be on your Thanksgiving menu. Aside from being a good source of vitamin C, it also protects against cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Cauliflower also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for normal metabolism, and vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone health. Try this recipe from Nom Eat Nom for Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic and Rosemary.
1 head cauliflower steamed, 2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic chopped, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, Sea salt, pinch of crushed red pepper, 3 full sprigs of fresh rosemary with stems removed.
Directions: Combine all the ingredients, except the rosemary, into a food processor until smooth.
Add rosemary and pulse several times until it is evenly distributed.
Cranberries are always popular during the fall season, as families use them to make cranberry sauce to add color and flavor to the Thanksgiving table. It is also a popular and nutritious juice. But have you ever eaten cranberries as is? Whole cranberries provide surprising benefits, as they add plenty of flavor and dietary fiber, with only 25 calories in a half-cup serving. Diet. Com offers the perfect food option for a healthy cranberry dish—Cranberry Bruschetta.
2 cups fresh or frozen Cranberries, 1/4 cup, sugar substitute, 3 tbsp, red wine vinegar, 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tbsp, minced fresh basil 1 tsp, oregano, 1 8 oz loaf whole grain French bread, 8 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Combine cranberries, sugar and red wine vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add onion and garlic, return to a boil and reduce heat.
Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until cranberries pop. Pour into a glass bowl. Stir in basil and oregano. Cool at room temperature.
Cut bread diagonally into 16 (3/4-inch) slices; brush both sides with oil. Broil each side for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Top each slice with cranberry mixture.
Smashed Baby Yams
Candied yams are a Thanksgiving favorite, due to their sweet taste, but the treat also packs a lot of calories. Instead of candied yams, reap the benefits of cooked yams without the added sugar. This common vegetable has complex carbohydrates, which are “good” carbs, as they break down slowly, delivering a steady supply of sugar to the bloodstream and can be burned for energy, helping stabilize our energy levels and moods. They also are a great source of fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer. Moreover, yams are a good source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure. Try this delicious recipe for Smashed Baby Yams by TheFitCook.
Ingredients: 4 baby yams, washed olive oil for drizzling 1 sprig fresh thyme
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the yams and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until they are just fork tender. Drain the yams, and place them in a paper towel to dry and cool.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When the yams are cooled, use the palm of your hand to gently smash them so that the skin tears and the meat just barely makes its way out. Transfer them to a baking sheet.
Lightly drizzle the yams with olive oil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the yams are crispy. To serve, garnish with fresh thyme.
“Skinny” Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple, and while the filling contains minimal fat, there is still a lot of sugar content. That mixed with the whipped cream usually paired with a slice, as well as the crust, and you are looking at a dieter’s worst nightmare! Fortunately, Diet. Com is offering their recipe for “skinny” pumpkin pie, so you can have your dessert and still maintain your waistline this Thanksgiving.
Filling: 16 ounces can pumpkin,4 egg whites or 1/2 C egg substitute, 12 ounces evaporated skim milk,1/2 cup sugar,1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon,1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,1/4 teaspoon ground cloves Crust: 1 cup gingersnaps (about 14),1 tablespoon sugar,1 tablespoon light margarine or spread, melted.
Preheat oven to 350. For crust: grind gingersnaps in a food processor and combine cookie crumbs with melted margarine and sugar.
Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray and press cookie mixture into the pie plate evenly.
Mix the filling ingredients in a medium size bowl and pour into the crust. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Allow to cool and slice into 8 pieces. Serve with a dollop of fat free whipped topping if desired.
Amethyst Tate graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology. During her time at IBT, her articles have been sourced by various...