During Thanksgiving week, Americans spend around $90 million on pies! And most folks eat around 30 grams of added sugar (far beyond what you should have in a day) in their Thanksgiving dinner — before they even get to dessert!
But you don’t have to give up your favorite Turkey Day ingredients to eat healthfully. The trick is to prepare them so they deliver maximum flavor and nutrition with minimum damage to you! Pumpkin and cranberries are two favorites that usually come with a sugarcane field mixed in. Here are some alternative ideas.
Pumpkin: Chock full of nutrients, a half cup delivers 245% of the Reference Daily Intake of vitamin A, as well as a good amount of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and iron. If using canned, go for 100% pumpkin — not pie filling.
Your take: Consider baking hollowed-out mini-pumpkins filled with quinoa, nuts, raisins or dried cranberries and fresh herbs and scallions. For dessert? Blend pumpkin puree, yogurt (coconut is OK, if no sugar added), vanilla extract, a dash of salt and a drizzle of maple syrup (add the least amount needed). Top with chopped nuts.
Cranberries: Tart, tart, tart — cranberries are a classic sugar dump. Still, you want to get all the fiber, magnesium and potassium, B vitamins (1, 2, 3 and 6) and vitamins K, E and C they contain.
Your take: Cook them whole in fresh-squeezed OJ; season with ginger; add chopped walnuts and blueberries; and spice ‘em up with cayenne or jalapenos. If you must, drizzle with maple syrup.