Keeping Thanksgiving Healthy

It is the holiday season, which for many people is a time for family and friends, as well as eating high fat and high sugar foods together. However, there are many scrumptious recipes that can change the meals to be less in fat and sugar, which is especially important for those who have diabetes. Here are some Thanksgiving traditional side dish recipes, to go along with the turkey, that will decrease the fat and sugar content, but keep the good taste!


Candied yams




  • 6 medium yams
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar substitute
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup of low-calorie margarine
  • 1 cup of cold water


  • Boil the yams for about 20-30 minutes or until the skin is tender
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Let the yams cool
  • Once cooled, peel and slice the yams lengthwise
  • Put the sliced yams into an oven-safe dish
  • Sprinkle the raisins onto the yams
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients
  • After mixing the dry ingredients, cover the yams with the dry ingredients
  • Add margarine and the cold water
  • Cover the oven-safe dish and bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove the cover and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes

Green beans with citrus mustard


  • 3/4 pound of stemmed and halved green beans
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of thin cut mint strips
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of minced shallot
  • A pinch of salt and ground black pepper


  1. Steam green beans for 5 minutes or until tender but still crisp.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl combine the mustard, lime juice and salt
  3. Mix until creamy
  4. Mix the mint, lemon zest and shallots into the bowl
  5. Drain the cooked green beans
  6. Add the green beans to the same mixing bowl
  7. Mix until the green beans are evenly covered
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Serve at room temperature

Fresh cranberry and wild rice stuffing


  • 1/2 cup of uncooked wild rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 5 chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of celery
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of orange rind-grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme


  1. Combine the wild rice, water, and raisins into a saucepan
  2. Cook over the stove at medium heat for 1 hour, or until the rice is tender.
  3. Drain the saucepan
  4. Sauté the onions and celery in the canola oil until tender
  5. In a serving dish, combine the cranberries, orange rind, thyme, rice, water, and raisins


Spicy pumpkin pie


  • 1-9 inch pastry shell
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cup of canned pumpkin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of liquid calorie-free sweetener
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • Light vanilla ice cream


  1. Put the pastry shell into a 9 inch pan
  2. Bake the pastry shell at 450 degrees for 8 minutes
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the canned pumpkin, eggs, milk, sweetener, sugar and seasonings
  4. Then pour the bowl’s contents into the partially baked pastry shell.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until center is almost set
  6. Let the pie cool slightly
  7. Refrigerate the pie
  8. Add the light vanilla ice cream on top of each slice

Hopefully, some of these delicious low fat and low sugar foods can be incorporated into the Thanksgiving feast! Happy Thanksgiving and healthy eating!!!



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