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Make a Healthy Thanksgiving Feast the Family Will Love

Everyone loves Thanksgiving dinner, but the foods on the menu are not always the most healthful options for people trying to watch what they eat. You can make a healthy Thanksgiving dinner without sacrificing taste. The key is learning the “swaps” to make your meal healthy while satisfying everyone’s tastes.

Roast, Don’t Fry
Deep-frying a turkey is popular, but it’s not the healthiest way to prepare it. Many food experts recommend roasting the bird instead. Several delicious recipes lend themselves to this method. Use herbs, low-fat maple glazes, or spices to flavor the turkey.

Slim Down the Gravy
Gravy is popular but calorie-laden. Try a lower-fat recipe to make your gravy. If you must use drippings, pour them into a separator and set aside. After a few minutes, skim the fat from the drippings and add it to your gravy for healthful flavoring.

Don’t Stuff the Stuffing
Keep the stuffing out of the turkey; bake it in a casserole dish instead. Stuffing cooked inside the turkey absorbs fat, adding calories. Use wild rice and grains instead of bread crumbs, and avoid bacon, sausage, or other fatty meats.

Have a Slice
You can still eat a slice of your favorite pie – with a few changes. Piecrusts are heavy on butter, so use a low-fat variety. Add a small dollop of whipped cream or none at all. Consider baking gluten-free or crust-free pies.

Avoid Butter and Cream
The carbs in side dishes like mashed potatoes pack on more calories than you may realize. To save calories, mash potatoes in the same water in which you boiled them. The potatoes will pick up the starch and become naturally creamy. For healthy flavoring, add garlic, onions, or shallots.