Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes with The Columbus Team

Courtney Weber, Columbus REALTOR Author - Courtney Weber

Discover delectable and healthy Thanksgiving recipes with The Columbus Team. Enjoy a nutritious feast this holiday season.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes with The Columbus Team - Roasted Root Vegetables

Thanksgiving in Columbus and elsewhere is a time to gather with friends and family to eat, visit, laugh, and be grateful for all our blessings. Many of us are trying to lose weight or manage health issues through eating healthy and making wise food choices. Can you do that and still have scrumptious comfort foods for Thanksgiving? YES! The Columbus Team wants to offer you wishes for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving, and a few healthy Thanksgiving recipes to help you make it happen!

Avoiding the sweet potato casserole this year? Don’t miss out on that sweet flavor of fall, without all the butter, cream, and sugary marshmallow topping!

Enjoy Sweet Potato Orange Cups Recipe

Try our Show-Stopping Sweet Potato Orange Cups for a delightful, healthier twist.

Ingredients (Serves 8):
4 large sweet potatoes, roughly similar in size
4 oranges
Small can of frozen orange concentrate
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp allspice or mace
1/2 tsp salt
2-3T bourbon (optional)

1 T white or brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon OR 8 mini marshmallows


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Wash, pierce, and bake the sweet potatoes for one hour or until they are cooked through and tender.
  2. While potatoes are baking, cut 4 oranges in half, juice them, and reserve the juice and save the rinds.
  3. Scoop out orange pulp to create 8 clean halves.
  4. Cut a small slice off of each rounded end, so that the cups sit up without rolling around.
  5. When potatoes are done, allow to cool until comfortable to handle, but still hot.
  6. Cut potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl, and discard skin.
  7. Mash with fork or pastry cutter while adding the fresh orange juice, until the potatoes are smooth and fluffy.
  8. Add salt and spices, and mix thoroughly. Add bourbon if you choose, and taste.
  9. If the mashed potatoes aren’t sweet enough for you, add a little of the frozen OJ concentrate to sweeten to taste, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  10. Spoon into orange rind cups, until slightly mounded above the rim.
  11. Mix cinnamon sugar, and sprinkle the tops lightly OR place a single marshmallow on each cup.
  12. Bake again until hot through and tops have browned just a bit, then serve!

Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes carry a whopping amount of calories, fat, and salt even BEFORE the gravy is ladled on… consider roasted potatoes and root vegetables instead! Great flavor, crispy, tender, and salty without the saturated fat and cholesterol of mashed.

Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe

Swap out calorie-laden creamy mashed potatoes for these Roasted Root Vegetables that offer great flavor, crispiness, tenderness, and a healthy twist.

Ingredients (Serves 6-8):
1 lb bag of fingerling potatoes
1 lb bag of baby carrots
3 parsnips
3 beets
1 large red onion
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder OR 1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 C olive OR canola oil
Large ziplock bag or bowl


  1. Cut fingerlings in half, or pierce if small.
  2. Peel parsnips, beets, and onion and cut them into chunks roughly the size of baby carrots and potatoes.
  3. Place the vegetables into a bag or bowl.
  4. Drizzle with oil and toss (or close the bag and shake) until they are well-coated.
  5. (You can toss the beets separately to prevent the other veggies from turning pink).
  6. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place the root vegetables on it (without adding excess oil).
  7. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic powder.
  8. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour until the vegetables are tender and slightly browned, tossing halfway through cooking.

Lighten Up Your Traditional Favorites

Trying to serve the traditional Thanksgiving treats with less saturated fat and salt? It’s easier than you might think! Here are a few tips:

  • Use skim or low-fat evaporated milk in your pumpkin or sweet potato pie.
  • Substitute yolk-free egg substitutes like Egg Beaters in pies and baked goods to reduce cholesterol and fat.
  • Consider using a mix of butter and canola or olive oil for your stuffing, sautéed with herbs to maintain flavor while reducing saturated fat.
  • Enhance your dishes with fresh herbs and reduce or eliminate salt for extra flavor.
  • When preparing casseroles, opt for low-sodium and low-fat condensed soups.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits to load up on nutrients and fiber.
  • Use jarred low-fat or fat-free gravy, but customize it with herbs, brandy, or caramelized onions for flavor without the excessive fat and salt found in traditional gravies.
  • Replace fried or creamed veggies with steamed or blanched options and add a sprinkle of Parmesan or a spritz of lemon for a tasty touch.

This Thanksgiving, savor a feast that’s both delicious and mindful of your health. The Columbus Team wishes you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

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