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5 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes That Don't Sacrifice Fall Flavor

5 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes That Don't Sacrifice Fall Flavor

As the holiday season approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate the joy of Thanksgiving gatherings and feasting on delicious dishes. While traditional Thanksgiving fare often leans towards indulgence and calorie-laden options, it's entirely possible to enjoy a wholesome and nutritious holiday meal without sacrificing taste. 

In this blog, we'll explore five delectable Thanksgiving recipes that not only celebrate the flavors of the season but also offer a healthier twist on classic favorites. These recipes will not only please your taste buds but also support your commitment to a well-balanced, health-conscious lifestyle during this festive time of year.

Mushroom Gravy

What's Thanksgiving dinner without gravy? This healthy (and vegetarian) spin on a Thanksgiving classic packs in B vitamins, vitamin D, and potassium without taking away from the creamy gravy texture and rich taste. 

You'll need...

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sliced mushrooms (white button or baby bella)
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion or shallot
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped thyme leaves 
  • 2 tbsp. salted butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 3 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the mushrooms. Spread them in an even layer and let cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme, and stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes more. 

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter to the skillet. Once melted, sprinkle the flour evenly over top of the mushrooms. Stir until the flour mixture is lightly toasted, about 1 minute. 

Add the vegetable stock and soy sauce. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove all the brown bits and stir until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high to return to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and let the gravy simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Enjoy! 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes 

Mashed potatoes are a must at Thanksgiving. Try switching it up with fiber and antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes for a flavorful and nourishing twist!

You'll need...

  • 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. half-and-half or milk
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Thyme leaves, for serving

Place potatoes in a large pot. Cover with at least 2" water; generously season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Mash potatoes with a potato masher. Add half-and-half, butter, and maple syrup and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Top with thyme leaves. Enjoy! 

Holiday Roasted Vegetables 

Add some color to the table with a roasted vegetable spread full of in-season root veggies! This dish is packed with a multitude of essential nutrients and may help assist your digestion and regularity.

You'll need...

  • 3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2” pieces
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. toasted pecans
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400°. Scatter vegetables on a large baking sheet. Toss with oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, shaking the pan halfway through.

Before serving, toss roasted vegetables with pecans and cranberries. Enjoy!

Caramelized Spiced Pears 

Try these spiced pears for a delicious and healthier option for dessert. There's nothing better than cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar in the fall, and you'll get a nice serving of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C!

You'll need...

  • 3 ripe but firm pears (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated or light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

Toss pears with lemon juice in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat; stir in the pears. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring once halfway through, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a small bowl. After 10 minutes, stir the sugar mixture into the pears. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the pears are tender and glazed, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the type and firmness of the pears. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

This lower-calorie pumpkin pie option satiates the pallet perfectly! You can even serve it over granola for an extra crunch and fiber. 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • ⅓ cup sugar or sugar substitute (see Tips)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed (see Tips)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup evaporated fat-free milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, honey, and pie spice. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat lightly just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into prepared pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until center appears set when gently shaken. Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover with foil and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.

To serve, loosen pie from sides of pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Remove sides of pan. Cut pie into wedges to serve. Enjoy!

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