Tips for Making Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and show gratitude and to count our blessings. It also means a lot of family and friend festivities and with that comes a lot of FOOD! Lots of food usually means there are a good variety of choices and most of them fall on the unhealthy end of the spectrum. I wanted to put together a list that provides healthy substitutes for ingredients and I will include a little image for a “cheat sheet.” This way you can still prepare an old favorite and keep the tradition and at the same time keep your health and fitness goals in check. Most of these are small substitutions rather than a whole new recipe.
Coconut Oil- Coconut oil can be used in place of vegetable oil, canola oil, and even in some cases olive oil. Using the correct amount will not alter the flavor of the dish, but often times will enhance it.
Grass-Fed Butter- The go-to choice in our house is Kerry Gold brand. (I choose the unsalted version) Grass-fed butter is so much healthier for you than the alternatives. The fat contained in this butter is considered “good-fat” which is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle. Use this instead of other butters or margarine.
Sea Salt- We all know that sodium can be an issue to your health. Choosing sea- salt over table salt will still season your dish, but won’t shoot your blood pressure through the roof.
Whole Wheat Flour- (Or Almond Flour) The flour you use can make a big difference in the “healthiness” of the dish. A healthier flour alternative over All-Purpose Flour is the key. Click here to check out this article that breaks down the different types of flours.
Stevia or Coconut Sugar– Sugar!! Ahh, a key ingredient to the deliciousness of desserts! As we are learning more and more about sugar, we are understanding the long term effects that too much has on our general health. Stevia is a great all-natural substitute for sugar. Coconut sugar is a great swap for the traditional brown sugar. Make your desserts healthier without compromising the taste!
Cinnamon and Coconut Sugar– Try dressing up your yam and sweet potato dishes with cinnamon and coconut sugar rather than marshmallows. Even the kids will still love it!
Whole Grain Bread- Use whole-grain bread for your stuffing rather than white bread. Click here to learn more about the negative effects of white bread on your health.
Fresh Veggies– Obviously fresh veggies are the best choice when it comes to preparing your side dishes, but if that is not possible then choose frozen. Canned veggies contain so many preservatives and a lot of sodium.
Making small changes to your recipes can have lasting effects on your overall health. It may seem like a small, insignificant change, but it can go a very long way. Enjoy the Holiday with loved ones and make smart healthy choices!