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Diabetes-friendly recipes for your Thanksgiving table

Try these lighter, tasty takes on American favorites.

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Thanksgiving is all about the food. But many traditional Thanksgiving dishes are hard for people with diabetes. But don’t lose hope. There are ways to make Thanksgiving a little healthier for everyone. Try these healthy twists on Thanksgiving favorites.

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Herbed bread stuffing

Think stuffing is off the table? Think again. This classic recipe gets a healthier makeover with just a few tweaks. Makes 12 half-cup servings.

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery sliced into ½-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 large apple, chopped into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1–2 tsp. salt-free poultry seasoning
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 12-oz. package unseasoned stuffing cubes
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, sage, or chives 
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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place olive oil in large sauté pan. Add celery and onion and sauté until softened, about 3–5 minutes. Add apple and poultry seasoning. Toss well. Add stock and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Add bread cubes and herbs and toss well.
  2. Place in a 2-quart ovenproof casserole pan. Bake for 30 minutes. If you want crispy stuffing, bake uncovered. For softer stuffing, cover with foil.

Nutrition facts

Calories 170 | Total fat 4.5g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 280mg| Total carbohydrate 27g | Protein 5g | Dietary fiber 2g| Total sugars 5g | Protein 5g | Potassium 220mg | Phosphorus 65mg

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Better mashed potatoes

Enjoy a delicious diabetes-friendly twist on a Thanksgiving staple. Makes 10 half-cup servings.

Ingredients 

  • ⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 head of cauliflower (separated into small florets, throw away core and stem)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (peeled and left whole)
  • 1 russet or baking potato (peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, place the potato, garlic, and cauliflower and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the potato and cauliflower are tender, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the stove. Drain the liquid from the pot. Cover the pot with a kitchen towel and put the lid over the towel. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and towel. This helps to dry the vegetables so they mash better.
  3. Add the buttermilk, cheese, olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper. Mash just until the ingredients are lightly combined. If you like, sprinkle with fresh snipped chives.

Nutrition facts

Calories 60 | Total fat 2g |Cholesterol less than 5mg | Sodium 230mg| Total carbohydrate 7g | Protein 2g | Potassium 260mg | Phosphorus 50mg

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Green beans with cranberries and hazelnuts

A lighter take on the popular creamy green bean casserole. Makes 10 half-cup servings.

Ingredients 

  • 1¼ lbs. fresh green beans 
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2½ tbsp. chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Fill a large pot a little more than half full of water. Bring to a boil. Add the green beans and turn off the heat. Let the green beans stand in the water for 3 minutes. Drain the beans and add them to a serving bowl or platter.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, nuts, cranberries, salt and pepper. Top the green beans with the cranberry-nut mixture. Garnish with the lemon zest.

Nutrition facts

Calories 35 | Total fat 2g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 35mg | Total carbohydrate 4g | Protein 1g | Potassium 85mg | Phosphorus 20mg