Candied Yams

While the turkey is definitely the focal point of Thanksgiving dinner, we all know it is the sides that really make the meal. Unfortunately, the most delicious sides are not always the healthiest, as many are crammed with excess fat and processed sugars to create a richer flavor.

So how can you have healthy Thanksgiving sides and please the crowd? Even though the thought of piling on the mashed potatoes, candied yams and green bean casserole makes your mouth water, the rest of your body may not benefit. To keep both the taste buds and the healthy lifestyle happy, try these alternative recipes to some of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes.

Healthy Candied Yams

Ingredients:

3 medium yams
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup pure maple syrup


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut yams into cubes and boil until tender (but not mushy).
Combine salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice and maple syrup in a separate bowl.
Place sliced yams in glass casserole dish (or greased baking pan) and pour juice mixture over yams.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

2 pounds green beans, sliced
2 cups nonfat milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
  

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat oil on low heat in large skillet. Cook onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add mushrooms to pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add flour, salt and pepper and continue to cook for another minute while stirring.
Slowly add milk while continuing to stir. Increase heat to medium and cook until the sauce thickens, and then remove from heat.
Put green beans in a casserole dish. Pour sauce over green beans.
Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the beans.
Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until casserole is just brown on top.

 

Healthy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

5 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
3 pounds of potatoes, cut in half
2/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper


Directions:

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat then lower heat and simmer until tender (approximately 20-25 minutes). 
While potatoes are boiling, cover garlic with water in a small pan and simmer about 15 minutes, or until tender.
Drain water from potatoes and put back in pot. Drain water from garlic pan and put softened garlic in pot with potatoes.
Mash potatoes and softened garlic with a potato masher or an electric mixer on low speed. Add sour cream, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Beat or mix until blended well and potatoes are fluffy.