With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s important to start planning your strategy for countering unhealthy holiday temptations. Sticking to your healthy eating lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your favorite seasonal flavors so long as you’re being mindful of how you prepare them. Just like any other time throughout the year, it’s important to be aware of what’s in the food you’re eating and serving. Consider a few of these simple cooking hacks for a healthier take on this year’s tastiest holiday!
Top five healthy holiday alternatives for Thanksgiving this year:
- Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt. An equal amount of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt can easily make any Thanksgiving dish healthier when used instead of sour cream. It tastes the same and adds an additional protein boost to your favorite sides.
- Bake sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole. Keep the same delicious flavors from your go-to Thanksgiving dish, but try preparing them in a healthier way. Serving baked sweet potatoes cuts out the unhealthy sugary toppings from traditional casseroles, and you can still sweeten them with a dash of extra virgin coconut oil, maple syrup, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. These ingredients add more calcium and iron while helping with digestion, which your body will thank you for on Black Friday!
- Use whole grains instead of white bread for stuffing. It’s easy to upgrade traditional holiday favorites with a slightly healthier twist, and stuffing is the perfect side to experiment with this season. Avoid refined carbohydrates that can raise your blood sugar levels by using a sprouted, whole-grain loaf in your stuffing this year. It’s easier to digest and significantly higher in zinc, calcium, and iron than white bread.
- Be mindful of dessert by serving pudding instead of pie. Enjoying holiday sweets in moderation is completely normal, but that doesn’t mean you should have a “go big or go home” mentality. Consider serving pumpkin pudding (or crustless pie) instead of your typical pies this year to enjoy familiar seasonal flavors without filling up on buttery crust. Pumpkin pudding is lower in calories and entirely gluten-free.
- Introduce new simple favorites to replace unhealthy holiday go-tos. Consider serving cauliflower mash this year instead of traditional buttery potatoes. You can also take advantage of delicious in-season fall flavors by preparing a side of holiday roasted vegetables. These are fun to make and can be served in a variety of ways, which will quickly make them new favorites among the family!
However you decide to kick off the holiday season this year, remember to always make your health a priority and share your healthy lifestyle with your friends and family to encourage them on the same path! If you’d like to catch more tips and advice for healthy eating and cooking like a chef, be sure to follow me on Instagram at OfficialChefT, check out SimpleEatsTV on YouTube, and find my podcast, Simple Eats w/ Chef T, on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Pocket Cast, and Radio Public.
Always remember to Eat with a Purpose!