Healthy Alternatives for Thanksgiving this Year


Are you tired of the same Thanksgiving food year after year? While I always look forward to sharing canned cranberries with my mom in honor of my Grandma Carolie, I absolutely love bringing new recipes to holiday gatherings for friends and family to try. So while everyone can still enjoy their Thanksgiving favorites, there are also some healthy options available.

This year, I again look forward to experimenting with new recipes that will hopefully get you excited about giving your Thanksgiving a makeover too. From hosting brunch to bringing dessert, you’ll be covered with recipes that taste—and look—good. Best yet, they should feel indulgent in the right way, leaving you and your loved ones feeling totally satisfied this season.

So grab a friend, your sweetie, or just enjoy some solo time in the kitchen whipping up some dishes you can feel really good about enjoying and sharing this Thanksgiving.

BRUNCH WITH YOUR BESTIES

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Nothing boring here—this warming dish is packed with nutrients and tons of flavor. Best yet, it scales easily depending on the size of your group because you simply make one per person. Serve with a refreshing side of sparkling rosé but instead of filling glasses up all the way, mix with equal parts seltzer and add a fresh sprig of thyme or lemon to keep things light yet festive. Pair this hearty dish with a naturally sweet treat of fresh berries and a coconut whipped cream you can make in minutes.

THE DESSERT EVERYONE WILL LOVE

Salted Caramel Truffles

There’s nothing more guilt-free than something bite-sized, right? These truffles are the perfect salty-sweet treat that everyone will love. They’re vegan too so simple ingredients are likely to please a lot of palettes. Whether making the day-of or ahead of time, these truffles will travel well to any Thanksgiving party.

A DIP YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO EAT

Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Dip

Finally, a dip that tastes AND looks good! This dip is packed with fiber and protein and a little kick to keep friends or family satisfied during those lazy afternoons—whether you’re just hanging out, playing games or watching one. There are so many healthy chip alternatives these days too. I’m personally loving kinds made with cassava flour, made from a root vegetable. You could also serve this dip with roasted veggies for a delicious upgrade to raw ones.

Not your average salad

Crunchy Thai Peanut and Quinoa Salad

This salad is a great make-ahead meal that holds up pretty well for a few days, making it ideal for Thanksgiving. While it may not be a traditional holiday recipe, it certainly has all the right tastes and flavors—sweet, salty, crunchy. So if you’re hosting friends or family in town for a few days, this salad is a great go-to.

Better than pie?

Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bars (Gluten Free)

I make these bars every Thanksgiving and they always end up on the pie plate. Not only do they taste great, they are super simple to whip up and entirely raw (no baking required for once!), which is a nice contrast to a lot of processed dessert options that might be staring you in the face this holiday season. I make mine in a pie pan versus a square dish to make them feel like they truly belong at the Thanksgiving table.

Images via: 12 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6


Brooke Rymer is a health & wellness writer in Minneapolis. She’s passionate about finding simple ways to live a healthier life and is likely whipping up a new recipe or DIY beauty fix right now. She shares her adventures in healthy living on her own blog  BrookeRymer.com.