With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be starting to pull out your family’s tried-and-true holiday recipes. Your great grandmother’s butter-basted turkey and candied yams are no doubt delicious, but they may set you back in terms of your health and weight loss goals at a critical time in the year—the start of the holiday season.
With a few substitutions, however, the holiday season doesn’t need such a bad rep. Want to watch your weight and enjoy your Thanksgiving feast? We’ve rounded up a few healthy alternatives to the holiday’s worst offenders. Try these recipes on for size:
Whether you’re serving guests who don’t eat meat or you’re simply looking for a low-fat alternative to this traditionally high-fat sauce, vegan gravy is an easy, savory alternative. There are plenty of recipes out there, ranging from an ultra-simple accompaniment flavored with miso paste and onion powder to versions made primarily with roasted veggies and spiced to perfection. Put those fatty meat juices aside this year without sacrificing flavor.
Sweet potatoes have excellent nutritional value and are packed with essential vitamins for a healthy, balanced diet. When they’re smothered in marshmallow? Not so much. Take advantage of this naturally sweet veggie with a recipe that won’t mask its natural flavor or raise your chances for diabetes. Try roasting your sweet potatoes and flavoring them with honey and cinnamon, or mashing them with orange rind and maple syrup for an all-natural, healthy alternative to processed sugars.
Instead of using pre-packaged stuffing or loading up on empty carbs from white bread, pull out a traditional recipe and use a healthy alternative like gluten-free or whole-wheat bread. You can also opt for a low-fat butter substitute to cut both fat content and carbs. With savory seasonings from spices and veggies, you’ll still enjoy all of your favorite flavors.
Start the holiday season off right with a few healthy substitutes for a new take on your favorite dishes, and you’ll have a head start on that New Year’s resolution.