Healthy Side Swaps for a Wholesome Thanksgiving Feast
However, you can celebrate the season without compromising on health by making some simple yet impactful side dish swaps. Let's explore some delicious alternatives that will add a nutritious twist to your Thanksgiving table.
Swap out traditional mashed potatoes for a lighter, low-carb option by using cauliflower. Whip it up with garlic, Greek yogurt, and a touch of Parmesan for a creamy and satisfying alternative that won’t weigh you down.
Consider replacing heavy pasta dishes with spiralized vegetable noodles, such as zucchini or sweet potato. Toss them with your favorite sauce for a lighter, gluten-free option that’s packed with vitamins and fiber.
Upgrade your stuffing by opting for whole wheat bread and loading it with colorful, nutrient-dense vegetables. The added fiber and vitamins will contribute to a more wholesome side dish without sacrificing taste.
Move away from calorie-dense casseroles by preparing quinoa-stuffed acorn squash. Filled with a flavorful mixture of quinoa, herbs, and veggies, this dish offers a satisfying alternative that’s both nourishing and delicious.
Replace the classic green bean casserole with roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled with a balsamic glaze. This savory and slightly sweet side dish provides a wealth of nutrients without the heavy cream and fried onions.
Forgo the sugary marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes and instead opt for sliced and roasted sweet potato rounds. Seasoned with herbs and a touch of olive oil, these offer a naturally sweet and satisfying alternative.
Make your cranberry sauce from scratch using fresh cranberries, orange zest, and a touch of honey or maple syrup. This homemade version allows you to control the sweetness and avoid the high levels of added sugars found in many store-bought varieties.
Embrace the opportunity to make healthier choices without sacrificing the joy of a delicious meal. These simple side swaps will not only contribute to your well-being but also add a burst of flavor and color to your Thanksgiving spread. Here’s to a celebration that nourishes both body and soul!
– Krupa Patel, MPA, RD/LDN Registered Dietitian
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