New ideas, recipes, and traditions to add to your Thanksgiving feast this holiday season!
Thanksgiving without a doubt is one of the most decadent holidays of the season. It is a day fully dedicated to eating and enjoying delicious dishes and desserts made by yourself and by loved ones. Healthful routines and mindsets can be lost in the mix during this day. However, with some quick and easy tips and tricks, you can still enjoy the holiday without steering too far off from your wellness goals.
Below we have listed our 6 best tips for tackling this food-lovers holiday. We have also included some of our favorite recipes for you to try not only this Thanksgiving but also this holiday season. So try adding some new side dishes or desserts to your table, or maybe take a break from eating to be active and play some football or go for a walk. Your new Thanksgiving traditions start now!
1. Don’t skip out on breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when it comes to holidays. Starting out with a mindful and filling breakfast full of fiber and protein can actually help control your appetite rather than starving yourself all day to save room for that big afternoon feast. Try spreading this jam on whole wheat toast, or have a slice of pumpkin bread along with some eggs if you are already craving something sweet.
Mulberry Chia Jam
|3 Ingredients – 15 Minutes – 8 Servings|
|2 cups Mulberries|
|1 tbsp Raw Honey|
|2 tbsp Chia Seeds|
- Add the mulberries, honey, and chia seeds to a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the jam begins to thicken. Crush the mulberries with a spatula or fork.
- Remove from heat and pour into a jar. Enjoy!
|12 Ingredients – 1 Hour – 12 Servings|
|3/4 cup Sunflower Seed Butter|
|1/3 cup Maple Syrup|
|1/2 cup Pureed Pumpkin|
|3 tbsps Coconut Oil|
|1/2 Lemon (juiced)|
|1/4 cup Coconut Flour|
|2 tbsps Cinnamon|
|1 tsp Nutmeg|
|1/3 tsp Baking Powder|
|1 1/2 tsp Ginger (grated)|
|1/4 tsp Sea Salt|
- Preheat oven to 350oF (177oC). Lightly grease a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, combine your eggs, sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, ginger, and sea salt. Blend again until smooth.
- Transfer the batter to the loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean it is done.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool entirely before slicing. Enjoy!
2. Try a creative twist on a traditional recipe.
Thanksgiving is all about tradition, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t add a new-age twist. Simple thanksgiving recipes and ingredients can be swapped for healthier choices such as replacing the cheese sauce in this casserole with a more plant-based approach.
Cheesy Cauliflower & Broccoli Casserole
|10 Ingredients – 1 hour – 4 servings|
|2 cups Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed)|
|1 Yellow Onion (medium, diced)|
|2 Garlic Cloves (minced)|
|1/2 cup Water|
|1 head Cauliflower (medium, chopped into florets)|
|4 cups Broccoli (chopped into florets)|
|1/2 cup Cashews|
|1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast|
|1/2 cup Sea Salt|
|1/4 tsp Paprika|
- Preheat oven to 375oF (191oC).
- In a small saucepan, combine the butternut squash, onion, garlic, and water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat for about 5 minutes or until everything is soft. Remove from heat when done.
- While the squash is cooking, place cauliflower and broccoli in a steamer. Steam for minutes or until tender.
- To make the “cheese” sauce, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and paprika to your blender. Pour in the softened butternut squash, onion, garlic, and water. Blend on high for about 1 minute or until smooth. (Note: If you do not have a high-powered blender, you might need to add a little extra water to get it going. Add 1 tbsp at a time.)
- Place the steamed cauliflower and broccoli into a baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the veggies and stir gently to mix.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
3. Have fun with vegetable sides.
With the main focus of the meal being the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, side dishes can be afterthoughts on the Thanksgiving table. Change this up by trying new and fun recipes that add different vegetables and nutrients to your holiday meal. Maybe add this apple cranberry slaw for a lighter dish alongside the classics.
Apple Cranberry Slaw
|8 Ingredients – 15 Minutes – 3 Servings|
|1 Apple (medium, diced)|
|1/4 cup Red Onion (diced)|
|1/2 cup Dried Unsweetened Cranberries|
|1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds|
|1/2 tsp Celery Salt|
|3 cups Napa Cabbage (finely sliced)|
|2 tbsp Avocado Oil|
|1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar|
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well combined. Divide onto plates and enjoy!
4. Stay hydrated.
Hydration can also often be overlooked on a busy holiday. However, in between all that prepping, cooking, and socializing with guests, remember to take a minute to sip some water and stay hydrated. Holidays can also be filled with not only delicious food but delicious drinks. Try adding in a mocktail such as this iced tea below, to take some of the focus away from the alcohol. It may also help to stop you from grazing when that alcohol hits your system.
Ginger Orange Iced Tea
|7 Ingredients – 5 Minutes – 1 Serving|
|2/3 cup Earl Grey Tea (brewed, cold)|
|1/4 cup Orange Juice|
|1 tbsp Lemon Juice|
|1 tbsp Honey|
|1 1/2 tsp Ginger (fresh, minced)|
|5 Ice Cubes|
|1/8 Navel Orange (thinly sliced, for garnish)|
- Add all the ingredients except for ice cubes and orange slice(s) to a cocktail shaker. Shake well for one minute or until everything is mixed together.
- Place the orange slice(s) in a glass if using. Add ice and pour the mixture into the glass. Enjoy!
5. Don’t stress about dessert.
Save enough room for dessert? As much as turkey and potatoes are the star of the Thanksgiving table, so are the pies that are served at the end of the meal. Instead of going from a rich pie as an ending to your dense meal, try a dessert that is more fruit-based, such as these roasted apples and blueberries, or cranberry oat crisp. You can serve them with coconut cream or greek yogurt for a lighter “a la mode” effect.
Roasted Apples & Blueberries
|4 Ingredients – 35 Minutes – 2 Servings|
|2 Apples (peeled and sliced)|
|1 cup Frozen Blueberries|
|2 tbsp Coconut Sugar|
|2 tbsp Coconut Cream (optional, for garnish)|
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
- In a baking dish, combine the apple slices, blueberries, and coconut sugar. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the apples are fork-tender. Serve with coconut cream, if using, and enjoy!
Cranberry Apple Oat Crisp
|8 Ingredients – 50 Minutes – 8 Servings|
|1/3 cup Coconut Oil|
|3 Apples (large, cored, chopped)|
|2 cups Frozen Cranberries|
|1/2 cup Maple Syrup|
|3/4 cup All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (divided)|
|1 1/2 cups Oats|
|1/4 cup Coconut Sugar|
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°F). Use a little bit of coconut oil to grease the baking dish.
- Add the apples, cranberries, maple syrup, and 1/3 of the flour to the baking dish. Gently toss until well combined.
- In a bowl, stir together the remaining flour, oats, and coconut sugar. Add the remaining coconut oil and use your hands to combine until the mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the fruits and press gently. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and the fruits have softened. Let cool down and enjoy!
6. Put the leftovers away.
It can be hard to get up from the table on Thanksgiving and many of us may feel like we want to take a nap right away. However, it is important to make sure you end the meal and put your leftovers away, not leaving them out for you and your guests to continue to graze for the rest of the evening. This way you will have more leftovers to make fun recipes the next day such as this leftover turkey rice pilaf.
Leftover Turkey Pilaf
|8 Ingredients – 35 Minutes – 5 Servings|
|2 cups Grated Carrot|
|1/2 cups Red Onion (sliced finely)|
|4 cups Chicken Broth (divided)|
|2 cups Basmati Rice (uncooked)|
|1/3 cup Dried Apricots (chopped)|
|1 tsp Garam Masala|
|1 lb Turkey Breast, Cooked (shredded)|
|1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped, plus extra for garnish)|
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, soften the carrots and the onions in 1/4 of the broth for about five minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat.
- Add the remaining broth, apricots, and garam masala. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat. Top the rice with the turkey. Cover and let stand for five minutes. Gently stir in the cilantro. Divide evenly between plates and enjoy!