Serve up a nutritious feast that will make it easy to give thanks.

Healthy Thanksgiving recipes are easy with this low-calorie meal plan.

Gingery Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup | Photo credit: Healthy Nibbles

While ‘healthy’ may not immediately come to mind when you think of Thanksgiving, you can incorporate the idea into your upcoming holiday menu – without sacrificing the traditional flavors you look forward to all year long. This nutritious five-course feast includes healthy Thanksgiving recipes featuring all your favorite seasonal flavors, while also doing your body good.

  • First course: Gingery Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
  • Main course: Herb-Roasted Turkey
  • Side 1: Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans
  • Side 2: Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Herbs
  • Dessert: Walnut-Dusted Oven-Baked Apples and Pears

Learn more about these nutritious recipes and their health benefits below.

First course: Gingery Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

What’s better than a warm, flavorful bowl of soup on a chilly November day? This recipe is quick and easy to make, and delivers a beautiful first impression on your Thanksgiving table. The texture is smooth and creamy even without any cream and has all the traditional flavors of fall. The ginger adds a healthy spice that might also help aid digestion after a big meal. The pureed carrots and sweet potatoes that take center stage in this soup are chock-full of health benefits as well.

Main course: Herb-Roasted Turkey

This low-calorie and easy-to-make turkey stays moist and juicy, even without basting. Wedges of apples, lemons or oranges, and plenty of water keep your bird tender and delicious without adding fat and calories. Healthy aromatic herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, and sage, pack plenty of flavor in this delicious and nutritious lean meat source. Loaded with protein that helps maintain muscle mass and keep insulin levels stable after eating, turkey also contains other healthy nutrients, including B-6 and niacin, which help your body produce energy. To further limit your calorie intake in the main course, consider skipping the skin and opting for white meat instead of dark.

Side 1: Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Instead of stuffing, pile on a scoop of this tasty pilaf with a natural nutty taste that complements any turkey dinner. The addition of cranberries and pecans make it a perfect Thanksgiving substitute, and since it’s a complex carbohydrate, it will help your digestion and stave off that post-meal energy crash. Wild rice is high in protein, rich in antioxidants, and contains valuable vitamins and minerals, among a myriad of other health benefits.

Side 2: Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Herbs

Roasting vegetables is unquestionably one of the most delicious ways to eat them, especially in the fall and winter. Enjoy the health benefits of roasted brussels sprouts, yellow squash, cauliflower, and your other favorite vegetables for a nutrient-packed side dish. Drizzling a small amount of olive oil adds heart-healthy fat with inflammation-reducing properties. Using fresh herbs to top it off kicks the taste up a notch, but dried is fine in a pinch!

Discover the piquant perks of eating the rainbow in this article on the health benefits of vegetables.

Dessert: Walnut-Dusted Oven-Baked Apples and Pears

Finally, we’ve arrived at dessert – for some, the most anticipated part of the day of thanks. While you can certainly still enjoy a sliver of pumpkin pie, this dish of spiced baked fruits will satisfy your sweet tooth with its natural sugars. Lemon juice, honey, and vanilla come together to form a tantalizing sauce that absorbs into the apples and pears, leaving them tender and flavorful. And don’t forget to sprinkle on walnuts, which can help support brain function and lower blood pressure, among other health benefits.

With these healthy Thanksgiving recipes, you’ll satisfy even the most insatiable appetites, while giving your body the nutrients it craves. Now, that’s something to be thankful for. Read more healthy living tips on our blog today.

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