A Healthier All-American Thanksgiving Dinner
Here are 8 simple ideas to help you make your Thanksgiving dinner classics healthier (and easier):
1. Use organic turkey (free of hormones, pesticidies and other toxic additives.) If you can not find organic, at least use natural. The taste of organic and natural can not compare with commercially produced turkeys.
2. For a juicier turkey, (no need for butter or messy brines) we LOVE cooking in Reynold's Oven Bags. Very simple, no mess, very juicy and quick. We line the bottom of the bag with root veggies (carrots, celery and onions) then place the turkey on top of the veggies. Close bag, make 6 small incisions in the bag, place in a roasting pan and then into the oven until you are ready to take out (no basting needed.)
Follow cooking times on the Oven Bag box (for stuffed or unstuffed turkeys.)
3. For a healthier, delicious gravy, there is no need to add fat, just squeeze a fragrant Meyer lemon that will make your pan gravy extraordinary. Meyer lemons taste like a cross between a regular lemon and an orange. They add perky citrus flavor to both the gravy and your turkey.
4. Make delicious, heart-healthy, flavorful creamed onions without using cream. Substitute the cream with low fat milk. The secret to delicious, intensified flavor is in carmelizing the onions first.
5. For a much healthier alternative to the traditional sweet potato casserole, we cut the butter and sugar and use organic evaporated milk for creaminess and crushed pineapple (with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar) for a mellow touch of sweetness. Furthermore, skip the marshmellows and top with meringue. The results: cut more than 400 calories and 15 gms of fat per serving!
6. Stuffing is best made from scratch. Instead of processed, unhealthy, flavorless, pre-packaged stuffing mix ~ start with good, wholesome ingredients (like veggies and fruit) and less bread and sausage. Use whole-wheat bread for added fiber and turkey sausage because it has less fat than pork sausage.
7. Keep your vegetable sides fresh and simple. There is no need for labor intensive fancy veggie dishes. Instead, steaming or stir frying green beans with lemon and dill takes only 15 minutes and adds freshness to the table.
8. Homemade pumpkin pie can be delicious and guilt-free! By substituting and replacing all purpose flour and butter with whole wheat flour and heart-healthy canola, using low-fat sweetened condensed milk instead of full fat milk we reduce the fat by 25 grams and the calories per serving by 203cals.
Click here for our healthier, All-American Thanksgiving Dinner recipes.