Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are grateful for in life. Thanksgiving dinner, however, is often a time for overindulgence and a serious intake of calories. If you are on a calorie controlled diet, there are plenty of healthy ways you can make a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Your other diners won’t miss their unhealthy dinner predecessors and you can feel good when you get back in the gym.
Turkey meat is very lean and a fantastic source of protein. To cut down on calories and fat, skip on the skin. Fill up on plenty of meat to stay satisfied long after your plates have been cleared away. Flavor your turkey with pepper, thyme and roasted garlic and you won’t need high sodium gravy for flavoring.
Brussels sprouts are a traditional side dish, and they are very nutritious. They are high in fibre, vitamin C and K. Chop them and pan fry with crushed garlic with a few tablespoons of water. For added fibre and natural fats, sprinkle pine nuts across when serving.
Mashed potatoes are a delicious accompaniment to turkey. However, preparing them with cream, butter and salt can really send it into the unhealthy zone. Mix in sweet potatoes to add extra creaminess and flavor. Garlic, nutmeg, thyme and black pepper also help to create a great taste without adding extra calories.
There’s nothing like yellow corn to brighten up your plate. Creamed corn skyrockets the calorie content, as does covering it with butter. Grill your corn cobs to sweeten them even more, and add a delicious texture. For an extra kick, add a dressing of lemon, chilli flakes and coconut oil.
Cranberries are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. They are especially good in the colder months as they help to ward off illness and colds. Stew them with fresh orange, stevia rather than sugar for a lower calorie option to reduce the bitter taste.
Green bean casserole is filled with cream and saturated fat. However, steamed green beans can be just as tasty. Plus, they’re a source of protein as well as vitamins A and K. Additionally, it’s a source of calcium, so you won’t miss any nutrients from the cream. Drizzle lemon juice, garlic and black pepper over for a zingy flavor.
Extra tip: This also works with steamed carrots. Steam the two together to add plenty of colour to your dishes. You’ll also be getting a dose of beta carotene and extra fibre. You’ll also be boosting your antioxidant intake as well as adding a dose of magnets and potassium.
Apple pie is a staple on Thanksgiving tables. Pie filling or crumble mix is high in sugar, not to mention high fat accompaniments. To make a tasty but healthy alternative, bake sliced apples in a dish with cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger for that classic holiday smell. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the top for extra protein and a crunchy topping. Serve with fromage frais and a drizzle of honey.