You have your turkey all set for Thanksgiving. Also, you have all of your desserts planned, and some may be ready now. But, what about the side dishes?
It's time to think healthy to help with the more decadent foods.
Here are a few ideas for healthy sides. Not that I endorse these, but they are healthier than most side dishes that many people prepare.
I'll be honest here; these are not my favorite veggie. I won't eat them at all, but I will cook them if asked.
They are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, and their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties have been touted by many researchers.
There are a ton of ways to prepare Brussel sprouts without making them unhealthy, like sauteéing them in olive oil and garlic with a ton of salt added.
Air frying is the best option, but for those without an air fryer, here's a recipe that might work.
Roast the sprouts in the oven along with a bit of olive oil, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Add a little lemon pepper to taste and enjoy.
Or sauteé then in Avacado oil with a bit of garlic, a pinch of salt, lemon pepper, thyme, basil, and Italian seasoning and enjoy.
If you're worried about getting as many vitamins as possible with your meal, then butternut squash is the ticket for you.
These guys are chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and E, along with calcium, magnesium, and zinc and are great just roasted with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt and lemon pepper to taste.
They are bursting with flavor even without all of the added little touches, as well as full of nutrients that boost the immune system without healthy add-ons.
Want a soup to go with your turkey for a healthy side dish on Thanksgiving. Butternut squash fits the bill and will delight your guests.
Cranberry sauce is most likely my favorite side dish on Thanksgiving. It isn't just about eating it on Thanksgiving; it's also great the next day and the day after that in a turkey and stuffing sandwich with the cranberry sauce as a topper. I look forward to that every year.
Not only has research found cranberries to be rich in vitamin C, but they also aid in urinary tract health and reduce inflammation.
They are a great source of antioxidants that help repair cell damage and help to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol in patients with heart disease.
No wonder I love cranberries so much.
Besides Turkey, the gravy is probably the costar of the day. But how do we make a gravy healthy but still full of flavor?
To start, use a lighter fat when making the roux to thicken the turkey drippings in the bottom of the pan.
Swap out all meat drippings with veggies and sauteé them in the drippings with some added olive or avocado oil if needed. Pour some veggie stock in the mix, some basil, rosemary, thyme, and simmer till ready, and voila, you have a healthy gravy that your guests will continue to talk about for years.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Next to cranberries, this is my other all-time favorite side dish that, to be honest, isn't healthy the way we make it, but I have some ideas for you to think about.
Sweet potatoes are known for their sources of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B, and C, and more. But we tend to defeat all of those nutritional facts by adding butter and sugar to the roasting potatoes.
One option is to roast the sweet potatoes in avocado oil with maple syrup, basil, and thyme. You could also sprinkle in some lemon pepper to taste and add more of the herbs if needed.
You could also roast the sweet potatoes with cinnamon, which has been shown to help in reducing inflammation, increasing sensitivity in insulin use, and lowering blood sugar levels.
I know all of these healthy alternatives take away the marshmallows and brown sugar you usually add, but the health benefits of this side dish are something to consider.
Other Side Dishes To Make Healthy
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni And Cheese
Whatever you decide to make as side dishes, maybe it's time to consider a healthier way to prepare them, but who am I to say. I'm thinking about healthy side dishes as I prepare dinner rolls with roasted garlic (my NewsBreak video) and herb butter with shredded parmesan cheese. Oh Boy!