Healthy Holiday Recipe Swaps
If you are anything like me, you LIVE for the holidays. The decorations, the music, the fellowship, and perhaps most importantly, the food! Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite day of the year because of the wonderful spread my parents have always put on the table. Now that I am an adult and responsible for my own food choices, I am ever grateful that the meal that they serve is filling and healthy, but I know that not all options are created equal. A more traditional meal consists of more sugar, fried food, and carbohydrates which can add up very quickly. For those of you that are looking for some healthier Thanksgiving Day meal options, I’m here to share with you some of our family favorites that might be healthier than the traditional fare.
- Turkey: opt for grilled turkey instead of deep-fried. The beauty is that there will be minimal clean-up as no pans are needed, and you will free up oven space for other items. This turkey will turn out tender and amazingly juicy.
- Stuffing: try trading the bread aspect of traditional stuffing for quinoa. There will be significantly fewer carbs and calories, but also higher protein with the flavor will remain!
- Potatoes: mashed potatoes can be swapped for mashed cauliflower if you so choose. Mix the cauliflower with a little cream and butter when whipping and you will hardly be able to notice the difference!
- Sweet potatoes: this is a Fargo family favorite! Instead of the classic marshmallow sweet potato casserole, we make a sweet potato and orange bake. Bake 4-5 sweet potatoes until fork tender. Remove the skins and slice them into half-inch medallions. Place in a single layer at the bottom of a casserole dish. Next, add a layer of sliced orange medallions and add a couple of chunks of butter. Repeat this in layers until the dish is full (usually 3 layers) and end with a layer of sweet potatoes. Top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar and bake until warmed through and the butter is melted. Trust me, this will be your new favorite!
- Green beans: green bean casserole is loaded with junk. Try mixing steamed green beans with some baked bacon. Mix these together and add a pad of butter to the top. This is the perfect mixture of flavors!
- Cranberries: get rid of the usual canned cranberry jelly and make yourself real cranberry sauce! The sugar will be lower and the actual health benefits of the cranberries will still be intact.
- Pie: please, just eat the pie! There is no good trade.
From my family to yours, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!