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For many of us, Thanksgiving has become synonymous with indulging (and over-indulging) in heavy, not so healthy, foods. Consider a lighter holiday menu this year with these better-for-you, but still delicious, alternatives to some Thanksgiving classics.



Smoked Turkey Breast
Don’t labor over roasting a big bird this year. Purchase a smoked turkey breast instead. The all-white meat has less fat, and you’ll be less tempted to snack on its non-crispy skin. Go ahead and grab two so you can still enjoy that after-Thanksgiving breakfast sandwich. Just poach an egg and add your favorite vegetable with strips of smoked turkey and place between toast.




Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Ditch the traditional green bean casserole with its creamed soup base (full of salt) and fried onion topping. Replace it with these crunchy, vitamin-packed Brussels sprouts. This dish will have even the pickiest “I don’t eat Brussels sprouts” guests asking for seconds. Serves 4 to 6.

1 pound of Brussels sprouts sliced in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toss the sprouts in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Serves 4.




Roasted Butternut Squash
Move over mashed potatoes. Easy and yummy, this winter squash packs a flavorful punch without the massive amounts of cream and butter.

2 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out of the middle
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
salt and pepper to taste

Cut a small slice off the bottom of each half of squash to help it sit flat on a sheet pan. Rub the flesh of each half with 1 tablespoon butter. Divide the other tablespoon of butter among the four pieces and place in the well where the seeds were. Sprinkle sage and salt and pepper on top. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Serves 4.




Homemade Cranberry Sauce
You’ll never go back to the canned stuff after tasting this creation that contains less sugar and zero preservatives.

1 12-ounce package of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon
1 cup water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over med-low heat until the cranberries soften and reach a jam-like consistency. Serves 4 to 6.




Baked Apples
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this simple dessert that takes full advantage of apples’ natural sugars and throws in the benefits of honey too. Serves 4.

4 apples
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Take each apple scoop out the core, creating a small well. Rub each apple’s outside with 1 tablespoon butter and divide the remaining tablespoon butter among the apples, putting a small pat into the well of each. Divide the honey between the apples and add to the well of each. Sprinkle with the ginger and cinnamon and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt sweetened with a bit of honey.