At Bodify, most of our clients live healthy and active lifestyles, and we love to help our clients look and feel their best, even during the holidays! We recently highlighted some of our top Tips For Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season, and thought it’d be fun to look at some healthy Thanksgiving recipes to try. Planning some lighter options in advance for Thanksgiving can help you make better choices, and trust us – none of these recipes are bland and boring! These recipes we’ve compiled are all inspired by Thanksgiving favorites, but they’re simply lighter, more nutritious, and much more delicious!
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Many tend to think of Thanksgiving as a time to “feast,” and it’s certainly easy to go overboard on comfort foods like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and pumpkin pie. Of course, it’s okay to indulge a little bit in some of your favorites, but being prepared and having lots of healthy options can help you minimize the damage so you can stay in tune with your goals.
Sweet Potato Casserole With Oat Topping
It’s a sweet and savory side dish that could pass for a dessert, and oh so yum. In this healthier version of the classic marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole, the natural flavor of sweet potato shines through with the pairing of an oat or pecan streusel (you can substitute chopped almonds or walnuts too!). Check out this recipe from Cooking Light.
- 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 8 cups)
- ½ cup 2% reduced-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅔ cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons almond meal
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water to 1 inch above potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Return potatoes to the saucepan. Add milk, 1 tablespoon butter, and vanilla; mash to desired consistency. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and egg. Spread potato mixture in the bottom of an 11- x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, oats, pecans, almond meal, and 2 tablespoons syrup in a bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and canola oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle oat mixture over potatoes. Bake at 375°F for 18 minutes or until the surface is golden. Remove pan from oven; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple and regularly tops the list as one of everyone’s favorite side dishes. But the traditional recipes call for cans of condensed soups and cheeses full of fat and calories that everyone can do without! We found this healthy alternative from A Sweet Pea Chef that’s both delicious and nutritious, complete with a homemade crispy onion topping!
- 2 lbs of fresh green beans, trimmed
For the Crispy Onion Topping:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the Mushroom Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8-10 medium cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chickpea flour
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, and grease a large casserole dish with olive oil and then set aside.
- Add the green beans to the boiling water and boil for 4-5 minutes, or until almost tender, but still slightly crisp. Drain the cooked green beans, then transfer to a bowl filled with ice water to stop them from cooking more.
- To make the crispy onion topping, start by heating olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the thinly sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until they are tender and starting to brown. Remove the onions and place into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan you used to cook the onions, add the almond meal. Cook, stirring very frequently, for 3-5 minutes, or until the almond meal starts to turn lightly golden. Careful not to burn.
- Remove from heat and transfer the toasted almond meal to the bowl with the onions. Stir in the 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese and sea salt, and then toss the mixture until combined. Set aside.
- In the same pan, heat a little more olive oil until hot and add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until they are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle the chickpea flour over the mushrooms, and stir to combine.
- Slowly add the low sodium chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth.
- Whisk in the almond milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened.
- Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, sea salt, and pepper until the cheese is melted.
- Transfer the cooked, chilled green beans into the pan with the mushroom sauce and toss until combined.
- Pour the green bean mixture into the prepared baking dish and then top with the crispy onion topping evenly over the top.
- Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Healthier Pumpkin Pie
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete until the pumpkin pie is served. Many lighter recipes call for removing the crust completely, but we found this amazing recipe from Sugar Free Mom that uses a whole wheat pie crust and has no sugar but all the taste! Each slice is under 200 calories and a whole lotta yum!
- 1 whole wheat pie crust
- 1 can pure pumpkin (15 ounces) or 2 cups fresh
- ½ cup 1% milk
- 4 beaten eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice or mix together nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia
- Prepare your crust from the recipe above, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lay aluminum foil over the pie crust and add pie weights or raw dry beans, about 2 pounds.
- Spread beans over the bottom of the pie on foil. Place pie plate onto a baking sheet and bake the crust for 10 minutes – remove the foil and beans and bake another 10 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients for pie filling in a bowl, pour filling mixture into the crust.
- Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour or until the center is set. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you try out any of these healthy Thanksgiving recipes, the team at Bodify would love to see! Tag us on Instagram with a picture on @bodify! Most importantly, please be safe and well this Thanksgiving, and know we are thankful for each of you and for the honor of being trusted to help you reach your goals!