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Recipe for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Published by , on Nov 10, 2014

pumpkinWhile many traditional Thanksgiving dishes feature nutritious ingredients, holiday recipes are often loaded with sugar and fat. Dietitians from CHoR suggest the recipes below for a lighter (but still tasty!) twist that maximizes the healthful benefits of three holiday favorites – sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and fried turkey. Treat your family to a healthier meal this Thanksgiving Day and be sure to keep these options in mind for a nutritious dinner or dessert any of day of the year.

Smooshed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A and vitamin C among other nutrients. Consider smooshed sweet potatoes as an alternative to traditional mashed potatoes:

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp butter
1/8 tsp kosher salt
A pinch of ground pepper
A pinch of ground ginger

Add the sweet potatoes to a saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook the sweet potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Drain and let cool. Scrape off the skins, then place the potatoes back in the saucepan and mash with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Season with additional salt, pepper and ginger to taste.

Recipe adapted from mealmakeovermoms.com.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Pumpkin is packed with nutrients such as vitamin A and fiber. However, pumpkin pie can be high in sugar and the pie crust is often high in fat. For a lighter twist, try pumpkin pie pudding:

12 ounces of light vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp of cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients listed above. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator then serve in individual bowls with a gingersnap to garnish.

Turkey Nuggets
Turkey is always the star of the show and unless it is deep fried, it can be a very healthy, lean protein. Leftovers can be used in a variety of ways, including these tasty turkey nuggets:

5-6 thick slices of leftover turkey
2 Tbsp milk
4 Tbsp honey
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Cut out small medallions of turkey using a small round cookie cutter. Mix milk and honey in a small bowl and put bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip turkey into the milk and honey mixture, then coat in crumbs and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. (Note: Children can help cut out turkey rounds and dip the rounds in breading.) Broil on low for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and slightly browned. Serve with a small amount of dipping sauce.

Recipe adapted from parenting.com.

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