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Healthy Crowd Pleasers to Impress Your Family With This Thanksgiving

With a few simple swaps in these delicious recipes, you can bring a healthy dish to the Thanksgiving Day table to help you and your loved ones enjoy the holiday and stay slim.

While Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays of the year, it’s no secret that the day is usually spent overindulging on heavy, high-calorie foods. However,with a few healthy ingredient swaps and some creativity, you can easily make-over a number of traditional family favorites, or whip a new dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie Dip

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)

1 1/4 cups plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cups fat-free whipped topping

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 packets zero-calorie sweetener, such as sucralose or stevia

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the whipped topping. Stir until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping. Serve with apple slices or whole-wheat crackers.

Nutrition Facts (per 3 Tablespoons): 40 calories, 1 gram fat, 6 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams sugar, 1.5 grams fiber, 2.5 grams protein

Cheesy Chicken Spinach Dip

1 13-ounce can chicken breast, drained and rinsed well

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well

3 cups fresh spinach

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (looked for those labeled “made with 2% milk”)

1 cup salsa verde

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well and place in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or heat in microwave (covered) for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir serve with baked tortilla chips or whole-grain pita chips.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/2 cup): 148 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 19 grams protein
Creamed Sweet Tater Soup

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3-4), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 shallots, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups low-sodium or no sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and shallots. Cook about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes more. Add in remaining ingredients (except almond milk) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for about 30 minutes. Add almond milk. Transfer mixture (in batches, if needed) to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Return mixture to pot, season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Nutrition Facts (per 1/6 of recipe): 124 calories, 5 grams fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein

Mashed Cauliflower

Using cauliflower instead of potatoes for your mash will slash calories and carbohydrates while also boosting the hunger-squelching fiber content. Roast cauliflower at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. In a blender, puree the mixture with a little milk or nonfat buttermilk, nonfat Greek yogurt, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. You can use a little butter but don’t go overboard. The calorie, fat, and carbohydrate content will vary based on what you add to the mash. To keep calories low, use skim milk or a nut-based milk and amp up the flavor with herbs, spices, and other flavorful toppings such as fresh chives, parsley, scallions or crumbled turkey bacon.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin is naturally a nutrient powerhouse. However, most pumpkin pies you’ll find at the dessert table on Thanksgiving Day are likely loaded with tons of extra fat and sugar. Prepare to pamper your friends and family with a pumpkin-based dessert that they won’t feel guilty digging into.

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree

1 12-ounce can evaporated nonfat milk

3/4 cup sucralose no calorie sweetener (such as Splenda), granulated

2 egg whites

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients well. Spray an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes, slice and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.
[Image via Getty]

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