Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes That Won’t Break Your Fitness Goals
Stuffing, pie, turkey…oh my! Thanksgiving is the one time of the year when wearing sweatpants for extra belly room is a necessity. While spending time with loved ones and indulging in an extra slice of pie is a pleasure, it can be easy to over-indulge and set your fitness goals backward. This Thanksgiving, however, we’ve made it easier for you to stay on track with these healthy and delicious Thanksgiving alternatives that will leave you feeling full, nourished and healthy.
While the protein-packed turkey is the heart of the meal, many friends and family members arrive early to the occasion for pre-feast appetizers. Satisfy your guests with this healthy avocado dip perfect for dipping with multi-seed crackers or fresh vegetables.
Avocado & Herb Hummus
- ½ large ripe avocado
- 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas – rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup tahini, well mixe
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove – finely grated
- ¾ teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
- 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Process avocado, chickpeas, tahini, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and 1 cup cilantro in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. With the motor running, stream in 2 Tbsp. oil, then continue to process until hummus is very light and creamy, about 1 minute longer. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
- Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl. Top with pepitas and cilantro and drizzle with more oil.
- Serve with warm, whole-wheat pita bread triangles or multi-grain/seed crackers.
Side dishes usually mean reaching for seconds. With this lightened up green bean casserole, you’ll feel confident you’re reaching for a nutritious side dish without the added heaviness.
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
- 1/2cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley — plus additional for garnish
- 4tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided
- 2 1/2pounds green beans — trimmed
- 1medium onion — very thinly sliced
- 8ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms — sliced (do not use plain white mushrooms, as they do not have much flavor)
- 3tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2cups 2% milk
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 7ounces 2% Greek yogurt
- Position a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to broil. Lightly coat a
2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together the Panko, Parmesan, parsley, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Blanch the green beans: Bring a very large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath and set out a large, clean kitchen towel. Place the beans in the water and cook just until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking, then drain and transfer to the towel. Lightly pat dry.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and golden and the mushrooms brown and have given up their liquid, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the flour over the top. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes more, until all of the flour turns golden and no white bits remain.
- Slowly add the milk a few splashes at a time, stirring between each addition to prevent lumps from forming. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook and stir, allowing the sauce to bubble, running a wooden spoon or spatula along the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce reduces and thickens to resemble a creamy gravy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.
- Transfer half the green beans to the prepared baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the green beans. Add the remaining green beans and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top.
- Broil, watching closely, until the casserole is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with additional fresh parsley.
From pies to cakes, Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to save extra room for dessert. With these keto friendly chocolate chip cranberry cookies, reaching for a third won’t break your belt or the scale!
Keto Friendly Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies
- 1 1/2cups blanched almond flour
- 3tbsp coconut flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1/4cup coconut oil– melted
- 1/4cup maple syrup
- 3tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4cup dried cranberries
- 1/4cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, combine coconut oil and syrup and heat until warm. Whisk together until combined.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combined. If the batter is crumbly, add extra applesauce (or a small amount of milk). Fold through your cranberries and chocolate chips.
- Using your hands, form 12 small balls of dough and place on the cookie sheet. Press into a cookie shape and top with extra cranberries and chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until just golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool before serving.