Don’t Throw Healthy Eating to the Curb with These Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Ever take secret peeks at what other people have in their grocery carts? Especially this time of year? It’s as if we’re all preparing for a Category 5 hurricane – and it’s called the Holidays!

First up is Thanksgiving. Big, juicy turkeys are like a magnet for fabulously tasty, yet not always the healthiest, side dishes. No wonder the average Thanksgiving calorie count clocks in at a whopping 4,500 calories (according to Women’s Health Magazine) – hello! We just love our Thanksgiving sides so much!

It is possible to not throw your healthy living diet under the bus this time of year? Is it possible to ease the guilt-o-meter back into the normal range without taking all the fun out of this wonderful, traditional meal?

Yes, it is! And these 5 yummy sides and 1 sinfully tasty dessert prove it! 

Fresh Green Bean Casserole —

Panko and parmesan lighten the caloric load off this Thanksgiving staple. The addition of mushrooms up the health factor while lowering the guilt factor.

Get the recipe here

fresh green beans

Beet & Apple Salad — Food & Wine

If you’re not a beet fan before you try this salad, you will be after! We already love beets for their vein-healthy attributes, but this recipe had us for sure at “horseradish.”  

Get the recipe here

beet & apple salad

Southern Favorite — Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing — Eating Well 

This recipe keeps its southern charm without all the butter and cream — and a tasty surprise showing from a delectable Italian. You’ll see…

Get the recipe here

cornbread stuffing

Cranberry-Pear Sauce — Women’s Health Magazine

Cranberries are natural born weight loss managers and vein strength boosters. Let’s not muddy up their good reputation with a bunch of sugar. Not a sweet thing to do. This recipe adds sweet pear to punch up the tartness level we tend to like at Thanksgiving. 

Get the recipe here

cranberry sauce  

Carmelized Brussel Sprouts —

You will never want your brussel sprouts any other way again. The end. Game over.

Get the recipe here 

roasted brussel sprouts

Vanilla (yum) Bourbon (yummy fun) Pumpkin (yummy festive) Tart — Cooking Light

It’s spicy. It’s got bourbon. It’s got heavy cream — whaaa? Did we mention it’s got bourbon? Swear it’s better for you than the regular garden variety pumpkin pies!  

Get the recipe here

pumpkin pie

Good luck this holiday eating season! For more inspiration and willpower building to “just say no” to certain, tempting sides, check out this from the Huffington Post — “Can you guess how many calories are on your Thanksgiving plate?”