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Healthy Versions of Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes

By HERWriter
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Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

From turkey with all the trimmings to pie with all the fillings, America’s eating fest is Thanksgiving.

“The average holiday dinner alone can carry a load of 3,000 calories. And many nibble through another 1,500 calories, downing appetizers and drinks before and after the big meal,” according to CalorieControl.org.

A little brie on some mashed parsnips goes a long way instead of buttery potatoes, and skip the crust for a healthier Thanksgiving pumpkin dessert.

Another way to save calories is to swap out your buttery, carb-laden stuffing for a butternut squash stuffing.

“Butternut squash compose of many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. As in other Cucurbitaceae members, butternut too has very low calories; 100 g provides just 45 calories. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients,” according to Nutrition and You.

Here are some of my healthier versions of the above-mentioned Thanksgiving recipes:


• 12 pieces of sprouted bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
• 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½” cubes (about 6 cups)
• 1/2 lb. turkey bacon, diced
• ½ cup of finely chopped onion
• 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
• 4 medium granny smith apples, diced
• 6 tbsp. organic coconut oil
• ½ tsp. of sea salt
• 1 tbsp. cinnamon
• 2 tsp. nutmeg
• 2 tsp. raw brown sugar
• 2 ½ cups of low-sodium chicken broth
• 3 large eggs
• 4 oz. smoked gouda

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a cookie sheet, bake the sprouted bread cubes at 450 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, until toasted and crisp.

Toss the butternut squash with 1 tbsp. coconut oil, ½ tsp salt cinnamon and nutmeg. Roast at 450 degrees for approximately 15 minutes until soft and browned.

Cook bacon over medium heat, then add onion and garlic. Cook until bacon is crispy and onions and garlic are soft.

Add the apple and brown sugar to the onions and bacon, cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onions are caramelized, about 10-12 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the bread, squash, onions and apples together.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Mmm... Thank you. Sounds tasty

December 9, 2014 - 7:06am

These are some great "tweaks" that we can make to reduce the calories in our diets not just during the holidays but all the time. I like how the recipes also include coconut oil and coconut milk which is also proven to have significant health benefits.

November 26, 2014 - 2:43pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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