Fiber is a friend of your gastrointestinal tract. Fiber-rich foods have this scrubbing effect that cleans up your digestive tract and colon, reducing your chance of developing digestive problems. It helps prevent bloating and constipation – something you might have suffered from after consuming a Thanksgiving dinner bonanza. You may not help but get excited about all the yummy things served at the Thanksgiving buffet during the holidays, and you tend to overindulge. If the dinner is filled with fiber, you and your guests can avoid the uncomfortable consequences of overeating.
These are some tips on how to add more fiber to your Thanksgiving feast:
- Serve fruits and vegetables. Maintain your traditional foods, but add some fresh produce. Add a green salad appetizer and a fruit salad option for dessert. Your guests will be happy to have these options, especially those who are watching their weight and sugar intake.
- Add nuts to casserole dishes. Put some chopped pecans to your sweet potato casserole. Add sliced almonds to your dressing. Substitute breadcrumbs with grated walnuts – it’s tastier and healthier.
- Add some nuts, veggies, and fruits to your dressings and stuffing. You can use your regular recipe and simply stir in some cranberries, chopped celery, mushrooms, chopped apples, bell pepper strips, diced onions, or chopped nuts.
- Always choose nut or fruit pies over cream pies. Your traditional pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pear and cranberry tart, and apple pie with nut toppings contain good amounts of fiber, especially if it uses lots of fresh fruit instead of canned filling.
- Sneak in some whole wheat flour with your bread. If you’re baking bread yourself, substitute up to half of the all-purpose white flour to whole wheat flour. If you’re buying, pick whole grain bread like whole-wheat buns or oat muffins.
- Substitute regular flour with almond meal in baked goods. You can use almond meal cup for cup when it comes to cakes and cookies.
- Add grated carrots or apples to cakes. These healthy foods add moisture, sweetness, and of course, fiber to your dishes.
- Make nut-based toppings and crusts. Explore recipes that use nuts along with the flour. Just make sure that your guests have no nut allergies, and inform them beforehand if you aren’t sure about their allergies.
- Keep fruits and veggies unpeeled. Unpeeled potatoes in roast potatoes and unpeeled apples in Waldorf salad tastes great and packs in more fiber.
- Swap mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. Let’s be honest, the appeal of mashed potatoes lies on its smooth and lush texture than its flavor, and that it’s so nice to add gravy to it. The cruciferous cauliflower has more than twice the fiber, six times the vitamin C, and nearly twice the potassium of a standard potato.
- Fill up with non-starchy veggies. Add green beans, bell peppers, carrots, and a green salad to your menu. Put the colorful vegetables together and use herbs and spices to add flavor.
- Avoid adding dried fruit, candied nuts, or croutons to your salads. These things are calorically dense, and it can outweigh the small amounts of fiber the leafy greens and veggies can provide. Also, serve green salad undressed and leave the dressing to the side so people can dress it to their liking.
- Turkey is the main event of a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not fiber-rich since it’s a protein source, but the stuffing can have more fiber to it. Traditionally prepared turkey stuffing doesn’t have more than a gram or two of fiber in it, but you can bulk up the recipe using non-starchy veggies like mushrooms, onions, celery, leeks, and dark leafy greens.
- Keep the sugar on your cranberry sauce low. It’s best to do it yourself using fresh cranberries, rather than buying canned or store-bought sauce.
Fiber-Rich Recipes for Thanksgiving
Try out these nutritious, delicious and fiber-rich recipes for your next Thanksgiving feast:
Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad
Add a pop of color and a whole lot of nutrients to your Thanksgiving table with this delicious fall salad packed with fiber, healthy fats, vitamin C, and loads of flavor. Its main event is the spinach and oranges, and it’s topped with pomegranate seeds, avocado, almonds, and walnuts.
Easy-Bake Crab Cakes
Crab cakes are often loaded up with fiber-less bread crumbs and can even be fried. But you can make it healthier by baking it and using wheat bran. Serve it as an appetizer or as protein for salad.
Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Maple
Add a new twist to your sweet potatoes by creating a bittersweet syrup made of coffee, bourbon, and maple syrup. For the most fiber, keep the sweet potatoes unpeeled. The chopped almonds add a bit more fiber to the recipe.
This gluten-free, vegetarian stuffing is a fiber- and protein-packed alternative to your usual stuffing recipes. It’s made of mushrooms, celery, sage, and thyme, with some waffles broken up into cubes.
Instead of making mashed potatoes this year, welcome your guests to the new trend and blow them away with this low-carb, delicious, and fiber-rich side dish.
Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Ham and Toasted Pecans
People have mixed opinions about Brussels sprouts, but you can always make this vegetable appetizing depending on the recipe you make. If you add smoked ham and toasted pecans, people are going to love it. Get the extra bulk from the Brussels sprouts and the toasted pecans.
Roast Turkey Breast with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Mustard Pan Sauce
This recipe is a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted turkey breast is served with potatoes, green beans, leeks, and flavored with honey mustard and leeks.
Cranberry Sauce is a staple at Thanksgiving feasts. It’s great with fish, roasted meats, and as dessert toppings. But most cranberry sauce recipes need a lot of sugar. You can replace it with a sugar substitute like stevia to slash calories to the max.
Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie
Berry pie lovers are going to love this Thanksgiving dish. Adding frozen wild blueberries and cranberries can get you a dose of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. The lattice top is for the ‘gram.
Cinnamon Spiced Baked Apple
This is a sweet and fruity dessert perfect for the holidays. The apple is the main event, which is rich in soluble fiber. Drizzle a little honey and sprinkle with some cinnamon for flavor, and it’s good to go.