There are a few ways to keep Thanksgiving from totally derailing your diet. A good trick is to make healthy swaps for ingredients you traditionally use in your Thanksgiving sides and desserts. Here are my top five healthy hacks for keeping your meal from going off the unhealthy deep end.

Swap Grain Stuffing for Bread Stuffing

Instead of chunks of bread and sausage, make yours with healthy grains like farro or quinoa, then add mushrooms or sweet potato to up the vegetable quota. 

Swap Greek Yogurt for Heavy Cream

Instead of serving heavy, cream-laden spinach dip, blend Greek yogurt with avocado and/or onion soup mix. And if mashed potatoes are a must for your Thanksgiving table, use Greek yogurt instead of cream to keep the creamy texture without the fat. Better yet, substitute mashed cauliflower for potatoes with this creamy recipe:

  • Cut one head of cauliflower into small chunks. Steam the cauliflower with one clove of garlic and a pinch of salt. Drain it in a colander, and put in a food processor. Blend with ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt. Add pepper and serve.

Swap Homemade Salad Dressing for Store-Bought

Salad dressings are typically oil-based, loaded with sugar and high in calories. Skip the hydrogenated oils, sugar, and preservatives — make your own with nut or seed butters as the base, flavored with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and honey!

Swap Pumpkin Muffins for Buttermilk Biscuits 

Pumpkin’s a seasonal ingredient that’s perfect for Thanksgiving and super beneficial to your health because it contains tons of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Replace biscuits and buttery croissants with gluten-free pumpkin muffins.

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