Thanksgiving is but a mere week away! Say waahhh? Seriously where has the time gone?
So this week I’ve been pouring over recipes, Pinterest and taste-testing up a frenzy in my kitchen to ensure you guys, as well as your friends and family have some healthy options at the table this year.
I’m talking side dishes that will not only look and taste great, but leave you feeling surprisingly buoyant, vibrant and amazing after eating too!
Because let’s face it — while eating delicious, indulgent meals is enjoyable, being so bloated you can’t fit into your cute holiday faux leather leggings afterwards is not, amiright?!
If you think about it, Thanksgiving side dishes are traditionally vegetable/fruit based (green been and sweet potato casseroles, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, etc. ) however through the years we’ve loaded them up with so much dairy, trans-fats, sugar and processed ingredients that they’ve become total gut bombs (how very American to turn a healthy dish into an unhealthy one!)
However you can easily tweak these recipes by simply stripping away some of the ingredients that do absolutely nothing for your beauty, energy, digestion or health and adding in some superfood ingredients that add tons of flavor and nutrients, making them healthy, delicious and modern.
AND by filling up your plate with more veggies and good-for-you-ingredients I guarantee you’ll be more fulfilled and have less room to indulge in as much of the not-so good for you dishes, helping to balance out your digestion and saving you from the uncomfortable effects of a food coma.
Below are some of my very favorite Thanksgiving sides that will be sure to impress everyone at the table (meat-loving and all) while sneakily crowding out the “traditional” sides that aren’t doing anybody any favors.
These guys… you really can’t go wrong with them. They’ll make a brussel sprout lovin’ fool out of just about anybody.
Simple and stunning, this is a great dish to make if you need something that’s easy and not time consuming. Plus hello acorn squash!!!
Every holiday party needs apps to keep blood sugar levels in check and hanger at bay. Doctor up the ole cheese and crackers with heart-healthy olives, crunchy veggies, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, and protein-rich dips.
Speaking of protein-rich dips….this one should do the trick and is totally festive while sneaking in an extra serving of veggies! Plus I’ve never met a person that didn’t love hummus amiright?!
This healthier version of a classic swaps coconut milk for cream, earth balance for butter and a pinch of pure grade b maple syrup for sugar. It’s creamy and slightly sweet plus pairs well with just about anything.
C’mon, every holiday gathering needs at least one salad, but rest assured this salad is as un-salady as it gets. The flavor combo of fig + carrot + pistachio is a winner.
This soup is nicknamed the best soup ever for a reason. It’s also seriously smart to kick off a big meal with a small cup or bowl of healthy, fiber-rich soup which will fill your belly with nutrients and leave less room for all the other junk. PS- don’t judge a book by it’s cover aka my photo skills from 4 years ago do not do this soup justice.
My favorite holiday dish- hands down. I love that this version is completely dairy and grain free, making it a clean dish most people with dietary restrictions can enjoy.
I’ve made this dish several times when having guests over and even for a 10-person dinner party. It’s easy to make in large batches and a mega crowd pleaser (again don’t let these old-school pics discourage you!)
A healthier version of the cream + cheese-laden OG- this looks like an impressive addition to your holiday menu minus the work.
Okay seriously, nobody’s forgetting about dessert over here. What I love about these bars is that they can be easily portioned out, helping you keep a one and done mentality vs. cutting yourself a huge piece of pie that probably equals three pieces (trust I’ve been there).
This is one of my favorite hearty, healthy desserts ever and also doubles as a fiber-filled breakfast the next day. Just swap the maple coconut cream for a bit of almond milk or coconut yogurt to make it a little less decadent, or keep the coconut cream if your little heart desires.
If you’re craving a post- dinner seasonal drink this hot chocolate should hit the spot and take care of all those sweet cravings in one fell swoop. Just leave out the espresso in this recipe and spike with Bailey’s if you’re looking to spice it up.