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Secrets For A Healthier Thanksgiving Feast (Without Sacrificing Taste)

Originally Posted: November 22, 2011

Elissa Brenner

Try a few tips that are lighter on the waistline but not on taste. (Courtesy Photo: silvernutrition.com)

Southampton - Here are some tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast without sacrificing taste or denying yourself those special treats:

Hold The Rolls
It's easy to mindlessly eat from the breadbasket and pack on those calories, so start off the meal with a big, delicious salad, instead. Lose the croutons, instead toast pumpkin seeds for seasonal crunch.

Don't Baste In Butter
Don't baste your turkey in globs of butter. You're simply adding fat and empty calories. Instead, rub with herbs and a little olive oil and you'll still end up with a delicious turkey that's crispy outside and juicy inside.

Go Wild, Not Stuffed
Stuffing is a calorie monster, so stuff the actual bird itself with lemons, onions and fresh herbs, and bake a stuffing alternative of wild rice or quinoa, mushrooms and nuts instead, using turkey broth to tie the casserole to a more traditional taste. You won't even miss the bread, and you'll be adding in whole grains and superfoods galore.

Try A New Mash
Try a pureed cauliflower and parsnip mash instead of the usual buttery mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is amazingly tasty, and soaks up flavors almost as wonderfully as potatoes and is far better for you.

Thin The Gravy
Create a light turkey broth for topping your turkey and fixings instead of heavy creamy (fatty) gravy, by boiling up the neck and giblets in water or stock, fresh sage and thyme, then strain and whisk in a little plain yogurt for a hint of creamy texture. If you must have thick gravy, start a roux with olive oil instead of butter, and whisk in the broth, then skim milk and gluten-free flour to add creaminess without too many of the bad calories.

Ditch The Marshmallows
As an alternative to syrupy yams and marshmallows, roast and whip up some sweet potatoes for some great nutrients, topping with nuts and raisins, and (optionally) a dash of maple sugar for sweetness.

Go Fresh (Not Canned)
Instead of that canned sugary cranberry sauce from a can, mix up your own healthier alternative incorporating whole cranberries, nuts and raisins, and mixing in apples or apple sauce as a great natural sweetener. If you want more sweetness, add a dash of honey, and spice it up with cinnamon and lemon or orange zest.

Make A Crisp Instead Of A Pie
Serve a healthy apple crisp instead of fat-filled apple pie, baking up some sliced apples and raisins with a little lemon juice, cinnamon and honey, and using a crumble of oats, nuts and maple syrup for the crispy topping.

Use even a few of these easy substitutions, and you'll be able to serve up a fabulous feast that's lighter on the waistline but not on taste. Your heart (and health) will thank you for it!

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