As the holiday season begins, the health conscious among us feel a bit apprehensive about various Thanksgiving recipes that are loaded with fat and salt. As tasty as the food is, it seems like everything is off-limits. Fortunately, it is possible to have a delicious Thanksgiving meal without destroying diets, increasing the waistline, or having the heart take a hit. Here are five popular heart-healthy recipes to help you enjoy your Turkey Day.
Carve That Turkey!
The turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table. If you’re trying to eat better, you probably shouldn’t deep-fry that turkey. Instead, look for a heart-healthy recipe like roasted turkey with balsamic brown sugar sauce for the perfect answer to your turkey dilemma.
This delicious recipe has only 247 calories per serving, 6 grams of fat, 79 milligrams of cholesterol, and 78 milligrams of sodium. To prepare the dish, begin with a full turkey of approximately 15 pounds. You will also need olive oil, fresh rosemary, garlic, and water to roast the actual turkey, which will take between 3 and 3 1/2 hours. For the sauce to cover the meat when serving, combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and defatted pan drippings. This turkey offers warm and gently seasoned flavor with a slightly sweet sauce that those sitting at the Thanksgiving table will surely appreciate.
Yummy Side Dishes for Everyone
Although the turkey is certainly the star of the table, no meal is complete without plentiful side dishes incorporating a range of traditional fall flavors. Many people appreciate side dishes made with fall vegetables like squash, pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and sweet potatoes. Here are two dishes that will use these adored flavors while also being healthy.
Green bean casserole is a popular choice for many Thanksgiving tables, but with the canned soups, the dish often adds considerable and unnecessary levels of fat and salt. This version uses mushrooms, onion, flour, milk, fresh green beans, reduced fat sour cream, and buttermilk powder to create a creamy casserole that avoids many of the unwanted features of the traditional recipe. Each serving has approximately 212 calories, 10 grams of fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, and 533 milligrams of sodium. As an added nutritional bonus, this dish also adds considerable calcium and potassium to the table.
This dish is an excellent replacement for the traditional canned sweet potatoes adorned with mini marshmallows. Cooks should instead take brown sugar, honey, and about two pounds of cubed sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes should be laid out in a single layer on a baking dish while the other ingredients are combined into a sauce that is poured over the potatoes. The entire dish is then baked until the glaze is set. Turn the potatoes regularly while cooking to make sure they are all coated. The final product will have about 146 calories per serving along with 2 grams of fat, no cholesterol, and 42 milligrams of sodium.
It’s Dessert Time!
Once the main meal is over, Thanksgiving tradition mandates that you find room in your stomachs for some delicious dessert. Here are two options that allow for a bit of indulgence without added concern about heart health.
This tart calls for pumpkin puree, coconut milk, dark rum, and a variety of delicious spices. Those interested in dressing up the final tart can also use dried coconut flakes for an extra garnish. It is also worth noting that this recipe calls for the baker to make their own crust, and taking care of this step a few days before making the rest of the tart can make the baking process smoother. This popular recipe has even been declared to be even better than traditional pumpkin pies by many. Each serving has 260 calories, 12 grams of fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, and 168 milligrams of sodium, while also adding bonuses of vitamin A and iron.
Apple pie is another staple at many Thanksgiving Day tables. This apple pie offers all the deliciousness without becoming unhealthy. Cooks need rolled oats, flour, almonds, brown sugar, water, and canola oil to make the crust, and apples, apple juice concentrate, tapioca, and cinnamon for the filling. The final product boasts just 215 calories per serving, 9 grams of fat, no cholesterol, and 16 milligrams of sodium.
Thanksgiving Day may be known as a time of over-indulgence, but that does not mean that the entire meal has to be bad for the heart. Those who are taking care of their bodies can find a variety of recipes to support their hearts while still tasting delicious. The above recipes should get anyone started on their quest to find heart-healthy recipes that everyone can enjoy.