Let's Talk Turkey

November 22, 2016

Mmmm, Thanksgiving dinner! There’s really something almost magical about sitting down to a dinner of delicious food, surrounded by family and friends.

There’s only one problem. That feeling you get, post-dinner. You know the one I’m talking about, where you feel like you might just have to literally roll off the couch and to your room when it’s bedtime.

If you feel like you could do without that part this year, we’ve compiled a list of a few lighter versions of traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

  • If you’ve got a smaller gathering, buy a turkey breast rather than a whole bird, as breast meat is lower in calories. If you do go the whole-bird route, avoid “self-basting” turkeys, which often contain added fat.
  • Swap turkey drippings for vegetable oil in this year’s gravy. Oil is lower in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free. Or, if you use turkey drippings, pour the gravy into a separator—after a few minutes, some of the fat will rise and you will be able to skim it off. You can also make a gravy based off low-fat broth.
  • When making mashed potatoes, save the cooking water from boiling the potatoes and substitute it for butter and cream—the starchy water will give the potatoes a creamier texture. You can also throw in pureed cooked cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips for an extra health-kick.
  • Bake your stuffing in a casserole dish instead of in the turkey, where it will absorb fat from the turkey as it bakes. Look for recipes that use wild rice and grains instead of bread.
  • Make your own cranberry sauce with fruit juices or apple sauce to cut down on the amount of sugar.
  • Use reduced-fat graham crackers to make a crust for your pumpkin pie instead of traditional puff pastry.

Not sold? Can’t imagine cheating on your great-aunt’s pumpkin pie recipe? This website has plenty of fun ideas for extra, healthier Thanksgiving traditions that allow you to keep the classics intact.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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