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Healthy Thanksgiving side dishes

Buttered up mashed potatoes, sugary cranberry sauce, and Thanksgiving pie after pie, makes Thanksgiving one of the heaviest holiday meals of the year. Instead of giving yourself the green light to go, quite literally, hog wild at the holiday feast, pair your turkey centerpiece with these three healthy Thanksgiving side dishes.

Vanilla maple roasted sweet potato recipe

Serves 8 

Sweet potato casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side that is usually heaving with butter and brown sugar. This tasty alternative pares down the fat, sugar and calories for a skinnier but just as satisfying holiday side dish.


  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into thick evenly-sized wedges
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with butter. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Lay potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, place syrup, water, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and simmer for 10 minutes, adjusting heat lower to keep mixture at a low simmer.
  4. Place potatoes on a serving platter. Remove vanilla bean from syrup and drizzle over potatoes. Dust with a bit of nutmeg and serve.

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Garlic rosemary Brussels sprouts recipe

Serves 8Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are low in calories and packed with health-promoting nutrients, making them an ideal side dish for waistline-conscious Thanksgiving guests. This healthy holiday recipe delectably caramelizes these mini crucifers with garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest.


  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, each halved
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, each peeled, left whole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Spread Brussels sprouts on baking sheet and drizzle with any liquid left in the bowl. Roast for 45 minutes, using a spatula to turn them occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are lightly browned and tender.

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Spiced cranberry chutney recipe

Serves 8cranberry chutney

Cranberry sauce from a can is not only far from appetizing, it is loaded with sugar and calories. This spiced cranberry chutney is far healthier and even more delicious. Make extra and try the leftovers poured over Neufchatel cheese as a yummy nibble with party toasts.


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped, dried apricots
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of cayenne


  1. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries have popped and become soft. Add a bit more water if mixture starts to get too thick. Remove from heat and cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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