Our Favorite Healthy Thanksgiving Sides & Desserts

Eating healthy, delicious meals shouldn’t feel overwhelming, especially around the holidays! Whether you are hosting family and friends this year or bringing a dish to share, these simple sides are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Make sure to use all organic ingredients!

EASY CRANBERRY RECIPE

What You’ll Need: 

  • 2 packages 10 ounce frozen cranberries or fresh
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 apple diced
  • Walnuts – love this brand
  • Currants or raisins
  • pinch salt

Directions: 

  • Add all except walnuts to saucepan
  • Bring to boil 
  • Simmer for 10 minutes to an hour, but don’t let it burn
  • Let cool. It will gel.  
  • Add roasted walnuts and currants or raisins if desired
  • Good with a little maple syrup, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt – simmer 10 minutes.

KIMBERLY’S SWEET POTATOES

 What You’ll Need: 

  • 5 large sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 T. ghee – optional
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook sweet potatoes in water until soft
  • Drain to cool
  • Add all ingredients to a blender or processor. Pulse to combine.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until done

GREEN PEA SALAD

What You’ll Need: 

  • Two bags petite green peas
  • Approximately 6 oz of Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi

Directions:

  • Mix wasabi as directed on package
  • Add all to bowl and mix             

GREEN Bean Casserole

By Heights of Health

What You’ll Need: 

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped (cremini or baby bella) 
  • 6 oz pastured turkey bacon
  • ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup organic almond meal 
  • ½ cup organic unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 tsp himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ tbsp arrowroot powder (optional) 

What You’ll Need for the Crispy Onions: 

  • 2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup arrowroot powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • Dash of black pepper 
  • Avocado oil 

Directions for the Crispy Onions:

  • Toss onions with flour, salt and pepper. Heat on skillet on medium low, add avocado oil. Add onions, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry until a light golden brown. Do not overcook. Remove with a slotted spoon, and let onions drain on a towel. Repeat with remaining onions. This process will take a while, so it’s a good step to start early. 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil
  • When the water starts boiling, add the chopped green beans. Boil the green beans for 5 minutes, drain and blanche in ice water.
  • Heat a large saute pan to medium, and add chopped bacon. Lightly crisp bacon (careful not to burn), then add the chopped shallots. Once the shallots are opaque, add the minced garlic. After a few minutes, add the chopped mushrooms and continue to stir on medium heat. When the mushrooms have cooked down and have a golden color (5-6 min), remove the entire mixture and put aside in a separate bowl. 
  • With the heat in the saute pan on medium low, add 1 tsp EVOO and half the almond milk. Whisk thoroughly. Add half of the almond meal and whisk until it dissolves. Add the rest of the almond milk and almond meal, and whisk over a medium simmer. 
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Whisk until the gravy thickens and resembles the texture of heavy cream
  • If your gravy is not thickening, slowly sprinkle in 1 tbsp of arrowroot powder
  • Drain excess liquid from the bacon and mushroom mixture 
  • Reduce the heat on the gravy, and add the bacon/mushroom mixture 
  • In a large casserole or baking dish with cover pour in the green beans, then pour over the gravy mixture and stir to combine 
  • Cover  and bake at 350F for 30 minutes 
  • Remove the cover and sprinkle the crispy onions on top
  • Place back in oven for 5 minutes at 350 uncovered 

Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes Recipe

By Wellness Mama

What You’ll Need:

  • 1-2 heads fresh cauliflower roughly chopped into uniform, large pieces OR 1-2 bags frozen
  • 4 TBSP butter or ghee
  • 2 TBSP cream cheese or sour cream optional
  • 2 TBSP or more Parmesan grated (optional)
  • salt pepper, garlic powder, and other spices to taste

Directions:

  • In a large pot, bring a couple quarts of water to a boil
  • Add cauliflower and cook until tender
  • Drain well
  • Transfer cooked cauliflower to large bowl, and add butter and optional cream cheese or sour cream and Parmesan
  • Use immersion blender or hand mixer to blend until smooth and creamy. This is the most important step … chunks of cauliflower are a giveaway!
  • Sprinkle with extra cheese if desired and serve warm
  • Top with fresh chopped parsley or chives for a nice garnish

Option for Instant Pot:

  • Wash and quarter cauliflower, removing leaves and stem
  • Add steamer/trivet basket to Instant Pot along with 1 cup water
  • Add cauliflower pieces
  • Set to manual high pressure for 4 minutes
  • Manually vent/release pressure
  • Open, drain, and remove inner basket
  • Gently squeeze any remaining liquid out of cauliflower and return to pot
  • Add other ingredients and whip until creamy

GLUTEN FREE CORNBREAD FOR CORNBREAD STUFFING

 What You’ll Need:

  • 3 c. organic yellow corn meal  (not coarsely ground). Arrowhead Mills is a good brand.
  • 1 t. sea salt 
  • 4 T. ghee
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. organic kefir or milk of choice
  • 4 organic eggs beaten
  • 1 T.  Rumford (no aluminum) baking powder

Directions:  

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Heat the ghee to liquid state
  • Mix the cornmeal and ghee together
  • Pour boiling water (with salt) over the cornmeal mixture and stir until well mixed
  • Add the milk to the mixture and set aside to cool, about 40 minutes
  • When cool, put eggs and baking powder into blender and mix thoroughly  
  • Stir in beaten eggs and baking powder 
  • Grease 8 x 8 inch baking dish liberally with ghee and place in oven for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour batter into the hot, well-greased baking dish
  • Place in hot oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Try not to open the oven and check until cornbread has fully risen and is almost done. Turn down oven if necessary to finish cooking.
  • Check with knife for doneness.

CORNBREAD DRESSING

Cool and crumble cornbread above.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 – 2  onions – 1 ½ cup or more
  • ½ – 1 cup celery
  • 10 eggs beaten
  • 2 T tablespoons dried sage
  • 1 t. salt
  • Salt and pepper
  •  2 T ghee
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth/stock or ready made (most Chicken Broths have excitotoxins – read labels carefully)
  • Shelton’s Organic Chicken Broth – Original Recipe
  • Shelton’s Organic Fat Free Chicken Broth

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Saute onion, and celery until soft
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled celery, onions, crumbled cornbread, eggs, chicken stock, sage, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix very well
  • The consistency of the cornbread batter should be soupy. This is the secret of good dressing; it will cook dry.
  • Pour cornbread batter into greased 13 x 9 baking dish and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees F.  and bake for 45 minutes or until done.
  • Serves 10-12 or more

PECAN PIE

This is soooo good and easy!

What You’ll Need for Egg Filling: 

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups pecans                                 
  • 2 t. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Maple Syrup
  • pinch salt
  • Preheat Oven – 325 degrees  and oil pie plate

What You’ll Need for Oatmeal Cookie Crust: 

  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup spelt
  • ½ salt
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½  t. vanilla
  • ½ cup ghee or coconut oil
  • 3 T. honey  (melt honey and ghee together)

Directions for Pie Crust:

  • Mix crust ingredients and press into pie plate  
  • Bake 10 minutes 
  • Set aside 

Directions for Pie Filling:

  • Toast pecans in a 350 oven for 10 minutes
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325  
  • Whisk eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt in a bowl
  • Stir in nuts
  • Pour into baked pie shell
  • Bake 325 for 30 minute or until set – cool before serving

PUMPKIN MUFFINS or CAKE

What You’ll Need: 

  • All ingredients should be at room temperature
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 4 cups cooked pumpkin or (2 cans of 15 oz. Pumpkin)
  • ¾ cup organic butter or ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups spelt flour
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. Allspice

Directions:

  • Preheat oven – 350 degrees
  • Beat maple syrup and oil together, and then add eggs. Beat thoroughly.
  • Add pumpkin and salt
  • Sift dry ingredients together and then add to wet ingredients
  • Mix in 1 cup raisins and 1 cup walnuts
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes for muffins or 45-60 minutes for cake
  •  Makes 21 muffins or 1 –  8 inch round cake

What sides and desserts do you love sharing over the holiday? Share in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so very much for posting all of these recipes! What a huge help for me this year.

    I’ve been using Branch Basics from the beginning & absolutely love it!

  2. THANK YOU! We will be trying some of these healthy options this year! Appreciate you posting. Happy Thanksgiving!

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