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A Feast of Fall Flavors: Healthy Thanksgiving Food Ideas

A Feast of Fall Flavors: Healthy Thanksgiving Food Ideas

Thanksgiving, a time for gratitude and gathering, often brings to mind hearty, indulgent feasts. While traditional dishes hold a special place on the table, incorporating healthy and seasonal options can add a fresh twist to your celebration. In this blog, we'll explore some delicious and nutritious Thanksgiving food ideas that are in-season this fall. 

Here Are Some Thanksgiving Food Ideas:

1. Roasted Root Vegetables

Fall is the season of root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips. Roasting these veggies with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of sea salt creates a mouthwatering, nutrient-packed side dish. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, offering a wholesome addition to your Thanksgiving spread.

If you're on a Herbal Magic Weight Loss Plan, remember that 1 tablespoon of olive oil equals 3 Fat allotments. 

2. Cranberry Relish

Cranberries are a quintessential fall fruit, and they add a burst of color and tartness to your meal. Skip the canned cranberry sauce, which can be loaded with sugar, and make a homemade cranberry relish.

For a zesty and healthy cranberry relish, bring 2 cups of fresh cranberries, 2 tablespoons of orange zest, 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to boil for 2 minutes. Then, remove from heat and place the relish in a serving dish. Once it's cooled and thickened, it'll be ready to serve! This recipe would serve approximately 10, and would equal 1 Extra allotment per teaspoon, if you're on one of our Weight Loss Plans. 

3. Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze

Brussels sprouts are at their peak during the fall season. These mini cabbages are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Roasting them until they're crispy and caramelized, then drizzling with a balsamic glaze, elevates them from ordinary to extraordinary. They provide a delightful balance of sweet and savory flavors.

For a 4 person serving, we'd recommend using 4 cups of brussel sprouts, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoons of olive oil, which would equal 2 Vegetable, ¾ Fat, & 1 Extra allotment per serving. 

4. Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash embodies the essence of fall with its sweet and nutty flavor. A velvety butternut squash soup, seasoned with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, is a comforting and nutrient-rich appetizer. It's a creamy alternative to calorie-heavy starters and perfect for a cozy Thanksgiving meal.

Here are a few Butternut Squash Soups to consider making this Thanksgiving! Be sure to double-check your allotments for your soup with your Personal Health Coach, as the results will vary based on the one you try. 

5. Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad

Add a contemporary touch to your Thanksgiving menu with a quinoa and pomegranate salad. Quinoa is a complete protein and a great source of fiber, making it an excellent choice for a healthy side dish.

For a simple version, mix 4 cups of quinoa with 2 cups of fresh pomegranate seeds, 1 cup of chopped herbs, and 2 tablespoons of lemon vinaigrette for a light, refreshing salad that bursts with flavors and textures. This basic recipe would serve 4, and would equal 2 Starch, 1 Fruit, & 1 Extra allotment per serving. 

6. Herb-Roasted Turkey

Of course, we can't forget the star of the show: the turkey. Opt for a leaner, skinless turkey breast or go for a smaller-sized bird to keep portions in check. Season it with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage, along with garlic and lemon, for a fragrant and flavorful roast.

Turkey is a lean protein, so as long as you chose the white meat, cooked with fresh herbs and lemon juice, the allotment will be all protein for this dish!

7. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving classic, and you can make it healthier by tweaking the crust and filling. Use whole wheat flour for the crust, which adds fiber and nutrients, and opt for less sugar in the filling. You can also substitute some of the cream with Greek yogurt to reduce calories while maintaining creaminess.

Here are 21 different pumpkin pie recipes for you to consider making! Confirm the allotments for the one you make with your coach. 

8. Apple Crisp

Fall wouldn't be complete without apples. Instead of traditional apple pie with a buttery crust, consider making an apple crisp because it retains all the apple-pie charm but with fewer calories and more fiber.

Try our Healthy Apple Crisp Recipe, which is our take on the original crisp recipe that was invented in Britain and first published in a cookbook in 1924 to give you a classic dessert this Thanksgiving that can also be used as a breakfast treat!

9. Herbal Infusions

Don't forget the beverages! Instead of sugary sodas or calorie-laden cocktails, offer herbal infusions. Warm, comforting teas like chamomile, cinnamon, or ginger can be served with a drizzle of honey and a slice of lemon. They'll provide a soothing and calorie-free option to keep your guests hydrated and content.

However, if you really want to get the party started this Thanksgiving, here are 41 cocktails "that'll really shake things up!"

This Thanksgiving, celebrate the flavors of fall with a spread that not only satisfies your taste buds and nourishes your body, but also keep you on track with your weight loss goal. Incorporating these healthy and in-season food ideas into your holiday meal can make it a memorable and wholesome occasion for you and your loved ones. So, embrace the season's bounty, savor every bite, and give thanks for the gift of good food and great company.

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