3 Healthy and Seasonal Thanksgiving Side Dishes
| 3 min read
Turkey with stuffing and gravy, creamy casseroles and sweet pumpkin pie for dessert – there are certain dishes that synonymous with Thanksgiving. Often, these staples have elements full of saturated fat and sugar. While it’s okay to enjoy these comfort foods, it’s great to offer healthy options to create balance at the table. Luckily, fiber-rich root vegetables and crucifers stretch their seasonality into November, making them favorites around the Thanksgiving table.
Sweet potatoes are a sweet and starchy root vegetable that thrives in cooler months. Their bright orange color point to their beta-carotene content, a nutrient that converts to vitamin A in the body and supports eye health. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, a nutrient known to support the immune system. If you’re a sweet potato lover, leaving the skin on can come with an extra set of benefits. A whole sweet potato with the peel has over 6 grams of fiber, helping with gut health and promoting healthy blood sugar levels.
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are delicious when shaved into a salad or roasted to crisp perfection and topped with balsamic glaze. Their dark green color point to their vitamin K content, a nutrient essential for coagulation and important for bone health. In fact, a half-cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides nearly all the vitamin K most people need in a day. Much like their cruciferous counterparts, Brussels sprouts also are rich in fiber and vitamin C.
Try one of these healthy and seasonal Thanksgiving side dishes featuring nutrient-packed autumn veggies:
These sweet potatoes are cubed, tossed in heart-healthy olive oil, herbs and spices, then roasted to perfection until golden and caramelized. Unlike many Thanksgiving dishes with sweet potatoes, this recipe leans on the natural sweetness of the fall crop by omitting excess added sugar. The lemon herb ranch drizzle adds an acidic element for balance. The nuts and chives add a nice crunch and flavor punch to these tender veggies.
The bitterness of the Brussels sprouts and the sweetness of the apple perfectly marry in this fall salad recipe. Simply shave and roast the Brussels sprouts, thinly slice the apples, then toss with your favorite vinaigrette alongside cranberries, pistachios and freshly grated parmesan. This recipe pairs well classic Thanksgiving main dishes like turkey and stuffing. Tossed in a vinaigrette, it’s a lighter salad dressing option featuring heart-healthy oil instead.
Whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish this Thanksgiving, consider making these savory and simple bites that serve up a flavorful punch of nutrients. Brushed with a maple syrup-and-herb mixture and roasted, these sweet potatoes develop complex flavors that pair excellent with their goat cheese and cranberry topping.