Low-carb, Low-cal Copycat Holiday Recipes

Most of us love Thanksgiving, the food, company, football and watching a favorite holiday movie for the first time of the season. However, that delicious food comes at a price. If you have blood sugar concerns the huge meal can cause blood sugar spikes. Today, we’re taking a look at some healthier fall feast recipes. These might come in handy over the winter holidays!

We found a lot of recipes for things like turkey spring rolls and tofu stuffing. But we are interested in delicious, simple and more traditional fare. The number one trick for Thanksgiving is to not cover your turkey with butter and but instead use lemon and herbs. Moving away from the bird, we looked at the side dishes to find the best lower-carb versions of everyone’s favorites.

We all know that the big day’s big meal is calorific. But, until you begin researching carbs and sugar, you might not know that one serving of traditional green bean casserole has 227 calories, 15.4 grams of fat, 624 milligrams of salt and 19.5 grams of carbohydrates. If you make the recipe with Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup, you’re still looking at 215 calories, 13.8 grams of fat, 575 milligrams of salt and the exact same 19.5 grams of carbs. That’s not much of a difference.

One option is, of course, to skip the worst offenders at the buffet, another is to have a smaller portion or you can swap them out for a healthier version. It’s never healthy to gorge yourself on food, obviously, and portion control is important 365 days a year. But, these recipes will allow you to have a tasty and satisfying meal while shaving off some of the carbs and calories.

Green Beans

Image: Left to right: Minted Beans from BHG, Roasted Beans from BHG and Green Beans with Shallots from Catholic Health


The best thing about this Minted French Green Beans might not be that each one cup serving has only 80 calories and 10 grams of carbs. The best thing, we believe, is that it takes 15 minutes to prepare, only two minutes to cook and is then chilled and served as a cold salad! Oven space is always in high demand on Thanksgiving, having a dish so quick and easy is a bonus. If you’re looking for something fancy with showstopping colors, try the Roasted Green Beans with Beets, Feta and Walnuts. With 199 calories a cup and 16 grams of carbs, it’s not as much of a steal and closer to traditional green bean casserole, but it sounds delicious. Finally, if you want something crispy and tasty, this recipe for Green Beans with Shallots might be perfect for your meal. With 150 calories and 16 carbs, these traditional flavors would be great with any meal!

Stuffing

Image: Keto Stuffing from howtothisandthat.com, Savory Butternut Squash Dressing from BHG, Paleo Stuffing from mariamindbodyhealth.com

Call it stuffing or dressing — cooked in the turkey or in a pan — Thanksgiving isn’t complete without this side. The USDA says homemade stuffing is around 360-390 calories with 38-44 grams of carbs. It’s possible that the rise of diets like keto and paleo, and the resurgence of interest in Atkins, is one of the best things to happen for the diets of people watching their blood sugar. This Keto Stuffing recipe calls for the low carb bread of your choice, it takes twenty minutes in all and each serving has 128 calories and just over eight grams of carbs! If you are more interested in a stuffing that’s closer to bread pudding, this Butternut Squash Dressing fits the bill. With 149 calories and 21 grams of carbs, it’s not quite as light but it is delicious! Finally, some families would revolt without cornbread stuffing. If that sounds like your gang, this Paleo Stuffing using coconut flour-based cornbread should grace your table! With 278 calories, this is the heaviest but it only has 4.4 grams of carbs.

Mashed Vegetables

Image: Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes from asweetpeachef.com, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash from ibreatheimhungry.com, Mashed Sweet Potatoes from nourishedsimply.com

Say “mashed” and follow it with any vegetable and people start drooling. For Thanksgiving, it’s potatoes and yams that we mash. Unfortunately, once they are filled with butter or covered in marshmallows, they can become one of the most calorific and carb dense food on the plate. The Glucocil team loves sweet potatoes for their relatively low GI and their taste. This recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes will make you happy you passed on the candied yams! The recipe has 56 calories and 12.5 grams of carbs per half cup. With three ingredients, it might just be the easiest thing you make! If you want something closer to mashed potatoes and lower in carbs, cauliflower is a great alternative. This recipe for Bacon & Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash is amazingly decedent but only has 141 calories and three grams of carbs per half cup! If you want sweet potatoes but like them more savory than sweet, this recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes is for you. The potatoes are baked and mixed with a hand mixer for creaminess. Each half-cup holds 78 calories and 13 grams of carbs.

With these swaps, you will enjoy the day spent with friends and family. We all love the meal but the best part of Thanksgiving is the traditions. Watching the parade on TV or the football game may beat out the turkey for many people. Finally, if you are celebrating by yourself this year, or your family is together but hates cooking, restaurants are open! Many offer healthier sides, like steamed vegetables. A turkey breast meal at Boston Market is 440-470 calories without cornbread. Find the option that best fits you!

Do you have traditions or a favorite recipe? Send it to: socialmedia@neulivenhealth.com.

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