Eat Healthier This Thanksgiving With These 7 Tips

Nov 13, 2012 -- 1:49pm

Chances are that you will eat more calories during Thanksgiving dinner than you will for any other dinner but you can cut back on those calories. Try using Miso instead of butter, cut out the fat in the gravy and make your sweet potato casserole as a side dish not a dessert. 

Here are 7 great tips to a healthier Thanksgiving dinner from Kitchendaily.com

  • 1. TURKEY Turkey doesn’t need butter or brining to be a success. The typical antidote to dry, boring turkey is to slather it with butter, which adds saturated fat, or to brine it, which starts several days in advance and is messy. Our simple solution this year is to use a rub made with miso to add a subtle, savory flavor to the turkey. Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans; it can be found near tofu at most supermarkets.

  • 2. GRAVY - Citrus brightens up gravy. There’s no need to add fat to a gravy. Just a squeeze of fragrant Meyer lemon makes this easy 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 the roasted-garlic-and-lemon-rubbed turkey. They’re in season starting in November; find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
  • 3. CREAMED ONIONS - Creamed onions don’t need cream. It’s easy to lighten up creamed onions by using less butter and opting for low-fat milk instead of cream. But the real magic in this recipe is that we roast the onions before adding them to the sauce. This step caramelizes the onions and intensifies the flavor, which you may find sadly lacking if you go back to a traditional version.

  • 4. SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE - Sweet potatoes need not taste like dessert. If you didn’t know better, it would be easy to mistake the classic marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole for a dessert instead of a sweet potato side dish. So we cut the butter and sugar and use evaporated milk for creaminess and crushed pineapple (with just 2 tablespoons of brown sugar) for a mellow touch of sweetness. Cut more than 400 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving!

  • 5. STUFFING - Stuffing is best made from scratch. Instead of prepackaged stuffing mix, start with good, wholesome ingredients. This sausage stuffing has about half the calories and 87% less saturated fat than traditional sausage stuffing because we use more apples and vegetables and less bread and sausage. Plus we go with whole-wheat bread for added fiber and turkey sausage because it has less fat than regular pork sausage.

  • 6. GREEN BEANS - Simple is better for vegetable sides. Sure, you can spend hours on fancy vegetable dishes, but we prefer to stick with quick preparations for green vegetables (there are plenty of other dishes to spend your time on). These steamed green beans are tossed with lemon and dill and take only 15 minutes to prepare. Their clean, fresh flavor is a welcome counterpoint to the rest of the menu.

  • 7. PIE - A slice of pie can be guilt-free. To add fiber and nutrients and keep the crust tender, we use a blend of whole-wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour. Plus we reduce saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with heart-healthy canola oil. We use low-fat sweetened condensed milk instead of full-fat for the pumpkin filling. You still get a great-tasting pie, but with 25 grams less fat and 203 fewer calories per serving.

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