This Thanksgiving, swap out your traditional dishes for these healthier Thanksgiving side dishes.
The weather is cooling down and people are already starting to turn to those holiday comfort foods. This also has many people thinking about what they can do to enjoy the holidays, but still stay on track with eating healthy. Yes, you CAN enjoy those foods and not ruin your diet. Here are six smart Thanksgiving food alternatives that will keep you on track with your diet and still allow you some fun with food this year.
Healthier Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Let’s get this one out of the way, because any people will view it as a diet food only. Here is a healthy salad that compliments your Thanksgiving foods nicely, and the vegetables are cheap and easy to find. Rinse a can of black and a can of green olives, then dice them. Toss them in extra virgin olive oil until well-coated and add in diced cucumber, grape tomatoes, and diced onions. Toss all of thee until well coated in the oil. Place on a bed of lettuce, kale or spinach and spritz with lemon juice. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Garlic Green Beans
This year, avoid beans and other vegetables in heavy sauces. Instead, go for some fresh green beans. They are cheap and easy to make, not to mention delicious! Snap off the ends, break them in half, and steam them in a large pot. Drain, rinse and dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans, sea salt, and black pepper, Stir until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to serving dish. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Steam some skinless baby carrots, then toss them in a teaspoon of brown sugar, two teaspoons of melted butter, and 3 teaspoons of warmed honey. They are slightly sweet and super delicious, while remaining low in calories.
Roasted Red Potatoes
Avoid the mashed and loaded potatoes (which are loaded with calories) and do something healthier with your spuds this year. Quarter some baby red potatoes and wash them, place them on aluminum foil, then roll them in Italian herb seasoning, garlic salt, crushed black pepper, and sunflower oil. Wrap them in the foil and bake for 45 minutes at 425 degrees. These are at least half the calories of a loaded baked potato and so yummy!
Hummus, Rice and Stuffed Peppers
Boil some white rice, drain, then mix in black pepper, 5 tablespoons of your favorite hummus, and some fresh diced cucumbers (as many as you like). Hollow out four red or yellow pepper, fill them with the rice mix, then cover with their own top. Bake them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The mixture and the pepper can all be eaten at once!
Be smart about pie
Do you know what’s in your Thanksgiving pie? Lots of calories! Here is the breakdown of the most traditional pies served with Thanksgiving dinner. The healthiest choice is pretty clear.
Pecan pie- 676 calories per every 130 gram serving
Apple pie- 700 per slice (about 130 gram serving)
Sweet potato pie- 330 per slice (about 140 gram serving)
Pumpkin pie- 161 calories for the same serving size as the pies above
Whether you are hosting the Thanksgiving meal this year or asked to bring a side dish, try any of these healthier Thanksgiving side dishes to lighten up your feast.