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9 Guilt-Free Recipes for Thanksgiving

November 20, 2020

9 Guilt-Free Recipes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an annual event where loved ones come together from all over the place to spend a night of warmth, good food, and great company. While there's no denying the positive aspects of socializing and bonding, you can't exactly say the same when it comes to eating too much turkey or mashed potatoes. Especially now, in 2020, where being healthy is of utmost importance.

So, how exactly do you combine Thanksgiving and healthy eating? Is there even such a thing? As it turns out, it's totally possible to have a really healthy Thanksgiving dinner, and it's all about healthier alternatives.

To help you (and your loved ones) have a healthier Thanksgiving, we gathered 9 healthy alternatives to old Thanksgiving favorites.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

To make casserole healthy, you have to forego the usual cream of mushroom soup and go for a much lighter sauce using milk. This recipe also ditches fried onions for the sauteed version.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

FOR ONION TOPPING

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. Panko

FOR CASSEROLE

  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. (4 tbsp.) butter
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. skim or 2% milk
  • 1 c. low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Thanksgiving Cauliflower

Cauliflowers on their own are really healthy. In fact, they're kind of like broccoli, except they're not as popular for their health benefits. But really, cauliflower can do some of the things broccoli can like help with weight management and help improve gut health, among other things.

So, imagine making an entire recipe around cauliflower for Thanksgiving? That's exactly what this healthy recipe did. And don't worry; there's gravy, so it will still taste like Thanksgiving.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole cloves garlic (skin-on)
  • 4 leaves fresh sage
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

For the gravy

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped sage
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 4 c. low-sodium vegetable broth

Instructions

Best-Ever Cauliflower Stuffing

We have to double down on cauliflower. Too many people sleep on this amazing vegetable, so we decided to list a cauliflower recipe that turned it into stuffing. Many people are already skipping bread, so you can now offer them a healthier alternative.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 c. (8-oz.) package baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)
  • 1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Instructions

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean pumpkins are out. And of course, it's not a real Thanksgiving without the Pumpkin Pie. So, why not give this vegan alternative a try. Just a bit of caution: You might not go back to the "real" thing after tasting this.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. pecans
  • 2/3 c. old fashioned oats
  • 3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted and cooled

FOR THE FILLING

  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 1 (13.5-oz.) can full-fat coconut cream, refrigerated overnight (Taste Of Thai works best)
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt

Instructions

Vegan Cheesecake

Pumpkin Pie may be in, but cheesecake never goes out of style. If you're a fan of cashews, then you'll love this.

Prep Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 c. almonds
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. almond butter
  • 3/4 c. coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 c. cashews (soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed)
  • 1/2 c. refined coconut oil, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-oz.) container vegan cream cheese
  • 3 c. fresh or frozen raspberries, divided

 

 

Instructions

Gluten-free Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes and Thanksgiving just mash together, you know? And for that reason, we searched for a healthier version of an all-time potato recipe.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. potatoes (about 4 large, combo of russets and Yukon Golds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Gluten-free Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and are incredibly filling. They can be cooked and eaten in many ways, but by far, baking them has to be the simplest and perhaps the most versatile in terms of what you can do with baked sweet potatoes.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Gluten-free Gravy

Going gluten-free doesn't have to mean you can't eat gravy anymore. This recipe relies on good butter, pan drippings, and of course, the herbs and spices. This gravy recipe could just make the folks at KFC make a run for their money.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. gluten-free flour (such as Cup4Cup)
  • 1 c. turkey pan drippings
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh sage leaves

Instructions

Vegan Honey Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Last but certainly not least on our healthy Thanksgiving recipe list is everyone's favorite Brussel's Sprouts. Their golden and caramelized look, plus the fact that they're just easy to pair with other meals, will make it hard for anyone to resist these tiny rounds of healthy goodness.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Eating healthy on during this holiday is possible. In fact, it is easier than you think. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!



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