How to Prepare a Healthy Thanksgiving Feast

For someone concerned with health, Thanksgiving parties can be pretty daunting.  How can you resist the turkey and gravy, those sides and stuffing?

You don’t want to be a Holiday Grinch and say no to all that.  Well, you don’t really have to because with just a little bit of planning, you can still enjoy a Thanksgiving feast without having to worry about gaining weight after.

On the other hand, if you will be hosting this year, here are some tips on how you can prepare a Thanksgiving feast that is healthy and light but guaranteed delicious.

Select a healthy turkey.

When buying the star of the night, make sure that you are picking a healthy turkey.  How do you know that your poultry is healthy?  Look for “vegetarian-fed” which means that they are free from animal by-products, “certified organic” by the USDA which means that they have not been treated with antibiotics or growth hormones or “free range” which means that they were not confined in a cage and are given the freedom outdoors.

Add whole grains.

Swap your traditional starchy sides and stuffing with healthier grains.  You can choose quinoa, whole wheat bread or brown rice.

Veg it out.

Serve a lot of low calorie veggies and go for lighter dressings for your salads.  For your stuffing, opt for less bread and more onions, celery… etc.  In season vegetables such as squash and green beans are perfect side dishes because it adds color to your meals and has fewer calories.  If you are looking for an alternative for your mashed potatoes or other starchy recipes, you can go for cauliflower instead.  Did you know that you can make a lot of recipes from cauliflower like pizza crust, tortilla and mac n’ cheese?  Well, yes you can!

Say bye to greasy gravy.

You can cut the amount of fat in your gravy by using a fat separator or by refrigerating the pan juices and skimming the fat off before you start whipping up the gravy.

Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkins for sides or dessert.

Both are healthier options for sides and desserts.  Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, potassium, Vitamins A and C.  Pumpkins are low in fat, low in calories and rich in potassium, Vitamins A & C.

Ditch the canned cranberry sauce.

Cranberries are Thanksgiving staples too.  Pick up fresh cranberries instead of canned ones because this variety is packed with sugar and calories that you don’t actually need.  According the USDA data, processed canned cranberries contain 100 grams of sugar and even more depending on the brand while raw cranberries only contain 4 grams of sugar per cup.

Go easy on the sugar.

No feast is complete with dessert.  But when preparing your dessert recipes, go easy on the sugar or go for pumpkin-based desserts.  Pumpkins are low in fat and calories but are still yummy desserts.  Fruits are healthier dessert options too so make sure to serve a lot of them like baked apples or poached pears.

About Toni Marie

Toni is a regular contributing author on Guest Diet Blog. In addition to writing about the nutrition & exercise, she also likes to write about relationships and health.
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