Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | 5 years ago

Six Healthy Sides to Add to Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving meals don’t always have to be gut-busting. There are a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables that can help you power up your immune system and keep you healthy all winter long.

Here are some super fall foods and easy ways to include them on your Thanksgiving menu as healthy alternatives to traditional side dishes.


Pears are a nutritional bargain. At only 100 calories per serving, one pear provides 6 grams of fiber; that’s 20 percent of the RDA for fiber. They are also a good source of vitamin C and are known to be the least allergenic of all fruits. Try pears on the grill, pureed into soup or a smoothie, or simply sliced and tossed with a salad. Simple Pear Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 Bosc pears
  • 1 orange, peeled, cut into sections
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
Directions: Core and slice the pears, sprinkling them with lemon juice so they do not discolor. Add the oranges, grapes and lemon zest, and sprinkle with the grape juice.


Just one medium sweet potato provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin A and 35 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are a source of fiber, vitamin D and iron. Try this recipe and add sweet potato power to your breakfast. Sweet Potato Breakfast Spread Ingredients:
  • 1 sweet potato
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil or light margarine
  • Toppings: cinnamon, pecans, cranberries and honey to taste
Directions: The night before, bake sweet potato for 30 to 60 minutes or cook in the microwave 7-8 minutes, and then cool. Remove the inside of the sweet potato and place in a bowl, add toppings, mash well, cover and refrigerate. Before serving, take a spoon full of sweet potato spread and warm in the microwave. Add it to whole grain toast or crackers.


Join the kale craze. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in beta carotene, vitamins K, C, B and minerals calcium, potassium and iron. Kale chips are an easy and fun way to add the benefits of kale to your diet. Kale Chips Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Directions: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and dry the kale. Place leaves evenly on baking sheet. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.


One medium orange meets the RDA for a day’s worth of vitamin C. But did you know that oranges also provide potassium, calcium, vitamin A, fiber and folate? Orange slices make a great addition to salads. Oranges complement the flavors of onions, olives and fennel. Orange Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
Directions: Place the arugula in the bottom of a salad bowl; scatter the orange segments, fennel slices, olives and onions over the arugula; drizzle the dressing over the salad to serve. Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth