What are some healthy Thanksgiving side dishes?

What are some healthy Thanksgiving side dishes? May, 7 2023

A Colorful and Nutritious Spin on Traditional Stuffing

When we think of Thanksgiving, one of the first side dishes that come to mind is stuffing. However, traditional stuffing can sometimes be heavy and not as healthy as we'd like. That's why I'm suggesting a colorful and nutritious spin on this classic dish. I love using whole grain bread, a variety of veggies like bell peppers, celery, and carrots, and even adding some dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness. Not only does this version look appealing with its vibrant colors, but it also packs a punch in terms of nutrients and fiber.

Another way to make this stuffing healthier is to use vegetable broth instead of the usual chicken broth. This not only makes it vegetarian-friendly but also cuts down on the sodium level. Furthermore, you can substitute butter with olive oil, which is a heart-healthy option. To add an extra layer of flavor, consider tossing in some fresh herbs like parsley, sage, or thyme. With these simple swaps and additions, you can serve up a delicious and healthy stuffing that your guests will never forget!

Savory and Satisfying Sweet Potato Casserole

Another Thanksgiving staple is the sweet potato casserole. While the traditional version can be loaded with sugar and marshmallows, I've got a savory and satisfying alternative that's just as delicious. In this version, you'll still use sweet potatoes, but instead of adding sugar, you'll season them with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little kick. This creates a flavorful and aromatic dish that's not overly sweet.

For the topping, instead of marshmallows, try a mixture of chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts mixed with some whole grain breadcrumbs and a touch of olive oil. This creates a crunchy and satisfying topping that complements the smooth and creamy sweet potatoes. Not only is this dish a healthier option, but it's also a great conversation starter as your guests will appreciate the unique twist on a classic Thanksgiving side.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze

Brussels sprouts have become quite popular in recent years, and for a good reason – they're delicious and nutritious! Roasting them is a simple and easy way to bring out their natural flavors, and adding a balsamic glaze takes them to the next level. Simply toss the Brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they're tender and caramelized. Afterward, drizzle them with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and a touch of honey or maple syrup.

This side dish is not only healthy but also incredibly flavorful. The sweet and tangy balsamic glaze pairs perfectly with the earthy taste of the Brussels sprouts. Plus, the roasting process gives them a crispy and slightly charred exterior that's simply irresistible. Trust me, even those who claim not to like Brussels sprouts will be asking for seconds!

Green Beans with Almonds and Lemon

Green beans are a classic Thanksgiving side dish, and this version is both healthy and delicious. Instead of the traditional green bean casserole, try sautéing your green beans with some sliced almonds and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The almonds add a delightful crunch, while the lemon juice provides a bright and zesty flavor.

Not only is this dish lighter than its casserole counterpart, but it's also incredibly easy to prepare. Just steam the green beans until they're tender, and then sauté them in a bit of olive oil with the almonds and lemon juice. Finish it off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and you've got a tasty and nutritious side dish that's ready in no time!

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad

If you're looking for a healthy side dish that's also filling and satisfying, look no further than this quinoa and roasted vegetable salad. Quinoa is a fantastic source of protein, and when combined with a variety of roasted veggies like butternut squash, red onion, and bell peppers, it makes for a colorful and delicious dish.

To prepare this salad, simply cook the quinoa according to the package instructions and set it aside. Next, roast your choice of vegetables in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper until they're tender and slightly caramelized. Finally, toss the cooked quinoa and roasted veggies together with your favorite vinaigrette or dressing. This dish can be served warm, room temperature, or even chilled, making it a versatile and healthy addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Fresh and Zesty Citrus and Pomegranate Salad

For a lighter, more refreshing side dish, consider adding a citrus and pomegranate salad to your Thanksgiving menu. This dish is a beautiful combination of sweet and tangy flavors, and it's packed with antioxidants and vitamins. To prepare this salad, simply peel and slice your choice of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, or tangerines, and arrange them on a platter. Next, sprinkle the citrus slices with pomegranate seeds, which add a burst of color and a delightful crunch.

For the dressing, whisk together some olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit, and then garnish the salad with fresh mint leaves for an extra pop of flavor. This dish is not only a healthy and delicious side option, but it's also a visually stunning addition to your Thanksgiving table!

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