Besides spending time with the family, we can all agree that Thanksgiving is a day to eat ’til you drop. Not only is it fun to hang out with your entire family, but there are also lots of delicious treats and dishes that are simply impossible to say no to. However, despite the fact that we all love to engage in Thanksgiving binge eating, that shouldn’t mean that we have to forget about our health. So, if you see the holiday as the time of the year to treat yourself, perhaps these treats will become your favorites thanks to their deliciousness and healthy characteristics that will show you that turkey isn’t everything.
Sweet Potato Crisps
Let’s start our Thanks-bingeing celebration off with a traditional ingredient that can’t be forgotten: yummy and healthy sweet potatoes. Instead of doing the traditional mash dish filled with butter or the classic casseroles, you can try this delicious and low-calorie appetizer. You just have to carefully peel the sweet potatoes leaving a bit of potato so that it isn’t too thin. Season the peel with your favorite spices (or just some salt and pepper) and bake them until they are about to get crunchy. Add some parmesan cheese and bake again until it melts.
We all deserve some sweetness in our lives, and even more so on Thanksgiving. For this sweet treat, you’ll only need to mix pumpkin purée, sugarless graham cracker crumbs, and natural honey to sweeten the mix. Refrigerate for an hour and make small balls. You can cover them in white chocolate, or if you want it to be completely healthy, you can cover them with dark, unsweetened chocolate. Definitely, a nice and sweet bite with all the flavors of the season.
For me, Thanksgiving (and fall in general) is the time to eat tons and tons of caramel. Of course, caramel isn’t as healthy as we all wish it were, but you can give in a little with the right combination. This one is super easy to make, you just have to get some caramel (or make it yourself), coat some green grapes with it to create an interesting, bittersweet flavor, and before it dries, add some pecan nuts.
Cranberry and Cheese Bites
If you love bittersweet flavors, you’ll also love this easy appetizer. Cranberry is one of the holiday’s main stars, but, as we saw in Friends, most people just ignore it. Well, with this idea, I assure you that cranberries will be the first to run out. You’ll just need your favorite bread (crackers and grilled bread can work perfectly as well), your favorite cranberry sauce (the less sweet the better), and brie cheese to make the perfect mix. Add your favorite spices, and you’ll have quite an interesting gourmet appetizer that will delight everybody.
Bacon and Pecan Cheese Balls
Presentation is highly important for these events, but the flavor is really everything. So, these treats are actually the best of both worlds. Bacon is a favorite for the vast majority, and combined with cheese, it’s as Marshall would say on How I Met Your Mother, “God speaking to us through food.” This one is also super easy, you’ll just need some cream cheese, crushed bacon, herbs, and cracker crumbs to keep the shape.
This one is for people who love having something thematic on the table. Besides, it’s fun and cute at the same time. It’s all about being a bit crafty and inventive to play with colors and textures to form the turkey. The healthiest option is putting your favorite veggies (you could make your own veggie chips and accompany them with your favorite dip) or fruit on display. Cheese and cold cuts are also a perfectly healthy option.
Crispy Apple Pie
Pies are also a must for the season, but sometimes this dish ends up having tons of sugar and fat. If you want to have the flavors without the guilt of eating all that sugar, you can go for this delicious option. You just need a layer of pastry, apple slices, and to put it in the oven. Afterwards, you can add some caramel or honey to sweeten it, or even other fruits. Also, if you want to be a bit extra, you can add unsweetened whipped cream and a bit of cinnamon to enhance the flavors.
Cornucopias, or the horn of plenty, are also a recurrent theme in Thanksgiving as symbols of abundance. You can make your own cornucopias with ice cream cones filled with seasonal fruits like berries, grapes, and apples. If you want to be a bit more playful, you can add some cheese to accompany the fruits.
Finally, we have a very easy and sweet treat to cleanse your post-turkey palate. You’ll just need fruits that aren’t too juicy, like apples, pears, or bananas. Each fruit will require a specific time in the oven, but the trick is to slice them really thin, so they are extra crunchy. You can accompany your fruit with some sweet dip made of cream cheese to make it creamy and not that sweet.
My mom always says that eating with guilt is the worst thing you can do and I agree. The idea here is knowing what to eat and how to balance all the amazing holiday food we’re consuming. These healthy Thanksgiving treats are really balanced ideas that won’t make you feel bloated and regretful the day after. Besides that, they’re also great to make throughout the year.
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