Thanksgiving is all about abundance—or, often, overabundance. Everyone wants to bring their favorite dish, or needs to have both pumpkin and apple pie (with whipped cream on top, please). With all the rich, heavy choices, there’s a distinct chance that Thanksgiving will turn out to be about overindulgence. You’ll be staggering away from the table, barely able to move. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With reasonable portion sizes and healthier dishes that don’t sacrifice flavor, Thanksgiving dinner can still be joyful, delicious and healthy. Look to EatingWell for traditional roast turkeys with gravy,tasty stuffings, quick sides plus plenty of delicious options for vegetarians. Luscious desserts prove that you can have a healthy dessert—and enjoy it too!
1. Add flavor, not fat.
Many recipes suggest rubbing the bird with butter before roasting. If you roast a turkey without overcooking, it won’t dry out—there’s no need to rub it with butter beforehand. Skip it and avoid adding extra saturated fat. Try chopped fresh herbs and garlic mixed with a little heart-healthy olive oil instead.
2. Avoid added salt.
We’ve found that conventional turkeys (with added salt solution) do stay moister but if you’re watching your sodium intake, avoid them.
3. Skip the skin
4. Broth is better.
Many traditional stuffing recipes call for butter. Use a bit of chicken broth instead to keep it moist without the added fat or calories.
5. Hold the sugar.
Sweet potatoes are already sweet, so why load them up with brown sugar and marshmallows when just a touch of maple syrup or honey accentuates their great flavor?
6. Forgo the butter.
The key to tasty gravy is using all the drippings from the roasting pan (with the fat skimmed off). This gives plenty of flavor without the added fat or calories. Forgo added butter, which really bumps up the calories and fat.