20 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes Your Family Will Rave About

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Thanksgiving isn't a holiday known for moderation. To the contrary, research from the Calorie Control Council shows that the average American could consume in excess of 4,500 calories and a staggering 229 grams of fat over the course of the food-filled day. Before you jump on the bandwagon and join the artery-clogging madness, consider trying some lighter, healthier versions of classic Thanksgiving fare. After all, a calorie saved is a calorie you don’t have to worry about tomorrow.
 
These dishes allow you to indulge your fall cravings without sending calorie counts through the roof, and will have you giving thanks when it’s time to put on those New Year’s jeans.
  1. Healthy Roasted Turkey: Cut the calories, not the tradition. The herb mixture creates a mouth-watering medley of flavors.
  1. Baked Chicken Breasts: When you want to include an alternative to turkey, these brined chicken breasts serve as a savory stand-in.

Image via Gimme Some Oven
  1. Grilled Veggie Salad: This seasonal medley is just as stunning to behold as it is scrumptious to eat.

Image via Simply Sissom
  1. Homemade Cranberry Sauce: You'll never even want to look at the canned version again after tasting this healthier homemade sauce.
  1. Green Beans with Shallots and Pine Nuts: This vegan, gluten-free side dish gets plenty of flavor from garlic, pine nuts and shallots.

Image via Avocado Pesto
  1. Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup: Sprinkled with toasted almonds and fresh rosemary, this simple, yet satisfying soup is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Image via Avocado Pesto
  1. Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash: This savory, gluten-free side dish serves as a delicious alternative to traditional stuffing.

Image via Fannetastic Food
  1. Hummus Mashed Potatoes: No need to feel guilty about enjoying this classic, creamy Thanksgiving staple because, well, HUMMUS.

Image via Gimme Some Oven
  1. Cinnamon Brûléed Sweet Potato Purée: Looking for an alternative to traditional mashed potatoes? This smooth, creamy dish tastes and looks much more complex than it is to prepare.

Image via Foraged Dish
  1. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn: Free up a spot on the stovetop and prepare this delicious veggie side dish in your slow cooker. It's as easy as tossing in a few ingredients and letting it simmer.

Image via Gimme Some Oven
  1. Whole-Grain Skillet Cornbread: This whole-food recipe is sweetened with coconut sugar and honey, with no oils or refined sugar in sight.

Image via Simply Sissom
  1. Pork, Butternut and Mushroom Stuffing: You won't believe this hearty, flavorful stuffing is both gluten- and grain-free.          

Image via Foraged Dish
  1. Maple-Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Two bites in, they'll forget they ever had anything but love for sprouts.

Image via Simply Sissom
  1. Whole Food Apple Sausage Stuffing: This healthy stuffing swaps out traditional breads for wheat varieties and incorporates Italian chicken sausage and Granny Smith apples. You're welcome!

Image via Simply Sissom
  1. Healthy Mashed Carrots: Who says potatoes get to have all the fun? This creamy alternative to mashed spuds is full of flavor and low in calories.

Image via Tastes Lovely
  1. Roasted Yams with Honey Walnuts and Raisins: If they weren't packed with vitamins and sweetened with all things natural and wholesome, these succulent yams would seem downright sinful.

Image via Roasted Root
  1. Clean Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte: Relax after the big dinner with this wholesome, homemade version of your favorite coffee-shop indulgence.
  1. Easy Apple Crisp: It doesn't get much more comforting than this cinnamon-spiced appetizer/snack/dessert.

Image via Gimme Some Oven
  1. Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles: These delicious, guilt-free pumpkin and cinnamon cookies are far healthier than they taste.
  1. Paleo Pumpkin Pie: It's true: Even pumpkin pie can be healthy! This gluten-free, dairy-free version is packed with all of the good stuff and none of the bad.

Image via The Roasted Root
 
Hopefully these options have taken a little of the anxiety out of your pre-holiday prep. What are your favorite healthy Thanksgiving recipes?

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Comments

ALILDUCKLING
Since my husband is low carb, we use Thanksgiving to make Pumpkin pie (his favorite) either crustless or with alternative crust, using whipping cream, etc. We also have found an alternative stuffing that we really like - a lot of work, but good. This is a fun time to experiment. Report
MICHAEL2191
All are mouth watering dishes which you mentioned here. thanks for sharing. we would love to try some of these in coming thanksgiving day.
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/ Report
I'll have to try out that grilled veg recipe this weekend. Yum. Report
Your comment on the Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread "This whole-food recipe is sweetened with coconut sugar and honey, with no oils or refined sugar in sight." is misleading.

There may be no oils, but the recipe does call for 1/4 C butter, plus two additional tablespoons to coat the pan.

There may be no "refined sugars," but coconut sugar has 4 grams of carbohydrates and 15 calories, compared to granulated sugar's 4.2 grams of carbohydrates and 16 calories. Honey has 64 calories and 17.2 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon compared to granulated sugar's 48 calories and 12.6 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. While honey has trace minerals, the amount in one tablespoon represent less than 1% of the RDA for each.
Report
There is nothing healthy about gluten free unless you are celiac, studies have proven that damage in small bowel absorption occur when healthy people elimate gluten in as little as 3 months. Report
PRUSSIANETTE
Thanks for all the ideas! Report