Healthy Thanksgiving Sides


By MotivHealth

It’s not typical to count calories over the holidays, but why eat sugar-filled Thanksgiving sides when there are healthier alternatives that taste just as great? If you’d rather not stray too far from your diet this Thanksgiving, check out the recipes below.

Sweet Potato Casserole (With No Marshmallows)

By Olena Osipov

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp salt

Pecan Topping:

  • ½ cup pecans roughly chopped
  • ½ cup almond flour or meal
  • 1 tbsp sugar (can be replaced with maple syrup or honey)
  • 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add sweet potatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and enough cold water to cover. Place lid on top, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the meanwhile, prepare pecan topping. In a medium shallow bowl, add pecans, almond flour, and sugar. Stir well to mix. Add butter or coconut oil in pieces and using a fork incorporate into the topping. Set aside.
  3. Drain sweet potatoes very well. Add butter and mash until smooth.
  4. Add milk, egg, honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt. Using same masher or spatula stir well to mix.
  5. Transfer sweet potato mixture to square 8 x 8 baking dish, level with spatula and sprinkle pecan topping on top. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Transfer sweet potato mixture to square 8 x 8 baking dish, level with spatula and sprinkle pecan topping on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

By Olena Osipov

Ingredients:

  • 5 – 3 lbs. medium cauliflower head
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp butter (salted or olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Separate cauliflower into florets and cut in smaller chunks.
  2. In a medium pot, combine cauliflower, garlic and enough cold water to cover the vegetables.
  3. Place a lid on top and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Drain.
  4. Add butter or olive oil, salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Using a food processor, process until very smooth or desired consistency.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

By Lisa Bryan

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth for vegan
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk, cashew milk, or other dairy-free milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 4-5 shallots, thinly sliced into rings

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Then, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the green beans. Blanch the green beans for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly tender but still crisp.
  2. Immediately transfer the green beans to an ice water bath, drain, and set aside.
  3. Then, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat in a large pan. Add the diced onion and sliced mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Stir in the tamari soy sauce, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Then add the chicken broth and milk, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Make a slurry by stirring the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Turn off the stove, pour the slurry into the pan, and stir until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Transfer about 1/3 of the mushroom sauce to a baking pan, add the green beans on top, then top with the remaining sauce. I put the sauce down the middle for presentation, but you could spread it evenly across the top. Then bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
  7. While the green beans are baking, add the sliced shallots to a pan with 1/4 cup or so of olive oil. Heat on medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring the shallots, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on the shallots after 7-8 minutes, as they go from golden to burnt very quickly.
  8. Once the shallots are lightly golden, remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
  9. Remove the green bean casserole from the oven, top with the crispy shallots and serve.

Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

By Lisa Bryan

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F/220C.
  2. Cut the end off the Brussels sprouts, then slice them into quarters. Some leaves may come loose and that’s okay.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts and any loose leaves to a sheet pan. Toss with oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  5. While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, slice the bacon into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Add the bacon to a pan on medium heat and cook until the bacon become crispy, stirring frequently. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel.
  6. At the same time you’re cooking the bacon, add the balsamic vinegar to a small pot. Simmer this on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or until it’s reduced by a third to a half. When it’s done, you should have about 3 tablespoons remaining in the pot. Then turn off the heat.
  7. Drain off most of the bacon grease (you can render and save the bacon grease for future use!) but keep one tablespoon left in the pan.
  8. Add the diced onion to the pan and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until it becomes translucent. Add the crispy bacon back to the pan, give it a stir and turn off the heat.

When your Brussels sprouts are done, remove them from the oven. Add the onions and bacon and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Stir everything together and serve.

Keto Pumpkin Pie

By Maya Krampf

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe almond flour pie crust (or your favorite pie crust recipe)
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream for dairy-free/paleo)
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup Besti Powdered Erythritol
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp Blackstrap molasses (optional)

Directions:

  1. Make the sweet almond flour pie crust according to the directions here.
  2. Meanwhile, beat together all remaining ingredients at medium-low speed, until smooth. (Don’t overmix.)
  3. When the pie crust is done baking, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C). Cool the crust on the counter for at least 10 minutes, longer if you have time.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust. Gently tap on the counter to release air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the pie is almost set but still slightly jiggly in the center. (Check on it occasionally, and if you see the crust start to brown, cover the crust edge with foil and return to the oven until the filling is done. It should still jiggle a bit in the center, like a custard before it sets.)
  6. Cool completely on the counter, then refrigerate at least an hour before slicing. Pie can be refrigerated overnight.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving sides? Comment below!

Sources:

“Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts”
Lisa Bryan

“Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes”
Olena Osipov

“Easy Keto Low Carb Pumpkin Pie Recipe (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free)”
Maya Krampf

“Healthy Green Bean Casserole”
Lisa Bryan

“Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole”
Olena Osipov

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