Healthy Thanksgiving?






Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? It’s a big responsibility, but it’s even bigger when you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet. You know, one that won’t end with you gaining five pounds from this one meal? What makes it so difficult is that people are so used to overindulging on this holiday. They almost expect slabs of butter snuck into every dish. And although it may add flavor, if you’re trying to stay slim, butter is not your friend. Seriously; step away from the butter.

So, your challenge is clear: Make a healthy meal that lives up to everyone’s flavor expectations. Is that even possible?

Fortunately, a healthy (or healthier) and tasty Thanksgiving meal is possible. Here are some tips for making it happen:

The Turkey: Instead of butter, let’s use olive oil. Mix about 3 tablespoons of oil along with a little salt, pepper and other seasonings (fresh sage and rosemary work well), and brush the mixture over the outside and inside of the turkey. Place your bird in a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for up to one day before roasting.

The Drinks: Try mixing pomegranate juice with sparkling apple cider and just a bit of sugar for a non-alcoholic punch that your guests will love.

The Potatoes: Have you ever thought of mashing something other than potatoes? Have fun with your root veggies and add celery root and rutabaga along with your Yukon Golds. Go ahead and slather on the garlic and add some buttermilk, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Just go easy on the butter and avoid temptation to add cheese and bacon. This side dish doesn’t need the extras.

The Stuffing: Your stuffing doesn’t need sausage or butter. That’s right. You can add a little vegetable broth for moisture and lots of veggies along with seasonal spices for flavor.

The Pumpkin Pie: Instead of making your own crust with tons of butter, head to the store and pick up a reduced-fat graham cracker crust. It’s much healthier and it’s yummy too. For the filling, instead of two eggs, use four egg whites or ½ cup of egg substitute, and use non-fat condensed evaporated milk instead of the full-fat version. No one will know the difference, and the result will have less fat and cholesterol than the traditional recipe.

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