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Your Thanksgiving Feast: Substitutes for Gravy

While gravy is a traditional part of the Thanksgiving feast, it isn't necessarily the healthiest condiment that you can choose. For better results, consider buying the foods listed below. If you purchase these items, be sure to look for products that are low in added sodium. Your body and your palate will both thank you.

Why You Should Avoid Gravy

Before learning about the possible substitutes for gravy, it is important to understand why gravy may not be the best choice for you. Traditionally, gravy is made from high amounts of butter, white flour and salt, each of which have their own health risks. Butter is composed almost primarily from fat, and therefore can lead to significant weight gain and even possible obesity. White flour is rich in simple carbohydrates, which like butter, can lead to weight gain. In addition, high intake of simple carbohydrates can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes. Finally, the high sodium content of gravy can lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Instead of indulging in gravy this Thanksgiving season, consider the following options:

Corn Salsa

Corn salsa makes a great alternative to traditional Thanksgiving gravy. Corn salsa can be made by steaming or boiling corn (or by warming the frozen alternative) and combining it with chopped onions, basil, cilantro, and other herbs and spices. Corn salsa is not only practically free from fat, but also incorporates the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving with healthier ingredients. Corn salsa can be used as a condiment to mashed potatoes, on top of turkey, or even can serve as a side dish on its own. Your guests will be begging you for the recipe.

Pureed Squash

Pureed squash is another great alternative to gravy which, like corn salsa, is a great choice due to its high nutrient density as well as its familiar Thanksgiving flavors. To make pureed squash, start by using a sharp knife to cut a medium sized squash into uniformly sized pieces. Place the chopped squash into a pot of water which has been brought to a boil. Cook the vegetable until it is fork tender and strain. Finally, mash the squash with a handheld masher or food processor, and place it in a clean serving bowl. Serve over turkey or as a side dish.

Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce is a healthy, delicious alternative to gravy that can be used as a topping to mashed potatoes, turkey, corn or a number of other familiar Thanksgiving favorites. For best results, look for horseradish sauces that are as natural as possible. Ideally, these sauces should contain little added sodium. If you feel confident, you can choose to make the horseradish sauce yourself from scratch.

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