Healthy and Delicious Holiday Side Dishes


The holiday season is upon us, and I think it's safe to say that many of us will be feeling extra grateful as we gather with our families and friends after a whirlwind of a year. For me, there is such a beautiful expression of love that is shown through cooking and homemade food, that is exemplified during this time of year.


During the holidays, there are so many family recipes that only come out during this special time of year, but include lots of processed, manufactured, and artificial ingredients that leave us feeling bloated and lethargic.


In today's post, I am sharing a few of my favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes that are easy, quick, healthy AND Whole30 approved, which are good FOR you and include all the flavors that this time of year brings.

This way, you can have a beautifully balanced meal that will have whole, real ingredients, so you can enjoy the other classics that JUST can't be touched. After all, moderation and balance is the key to nourishing your body properly so you can feel your absolute BEST!


These simple and easy tweaks of ingredients will literally turn your Thanksgiving meal into a plate of medicine, and once you try these easy and healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes, you may never go back!

So let's get cookin'!

EASY & HEALTHY THANKSGIVING SIDE DISH RECIPES

MASHED POTATOES

One of the classics that can be found on almost every table is mashed potatoes.

Who doesn't love a heaping portion of that creamy deliciousness that you can dunk your turkey, ham, or roast in once the meal is ready?!


And did you know how healthy white potatoes are (despite them getting a bad rap because of CARBS?) These guys are FULL of amino acids, that inhibit the growth of viral properties. Yes, they are high in glucose, which is why people tend to stay away from them, but gimme ALL the potatoes, because the high glucose counts provide substance to the liver, which helps to keep it nice and strong! Highly functioning liver support, from mashed potatoes? YES PLEASE!


Most recipes include a lot of milk and butter, so to keep this clean and healthy, we're going to replace the dairy with a simple swap:

olive oil or ghee.


If you are unfamiliar with ghee, it is the meat of the butter. Ghee removes the milk solids from the butterfat, which removes the casein and lactose, thus making this a great option for those who refrain from dairy for allergen or dietary reasons. You get that same nutty, buttery taste without dairy components that cause so much havoc for so many people.


Simply replace your butter and milk with either olive oil or ghee, add in salt and pepper to taste, hand mash, or use a hand blender for a whipped potato side, top with chopped chives, and VOILA! perfectly delicious and nutritious mashed potatoes. Go ahead, grab seconds (or thirds!)

GLAZED CARROTS

There is something about carrots and potatoes that make my mouth water, so these two sides always take up heavy real estate on my holiday plate. Carrots are so healing, too, because of their high vitamin and mineral content. They're also more commonly known for their support with improved eye health, but did you know that they're ALSO great for the liver? Those high mineral and vitamin properties refuel the liver, so second servings on the carrots? SURE THING!


In my recipe, I lightly steam my carrots until they become al dente, or I roast them in the oven. Once cooked to your liking, toss your carrots with ghee or olive oil, a sprinkle of ginger, and a dash of honey. Man oh man, you will NEVER go back to slathering your carrots in straight butter after you try them this way. Feel free to omit the olive oil and/ or ghee, and just use the ginger and honey...you just might have a new favorite side dish on your hands, folks!

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Ok, maybe THIS is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish, because omg! taking a big forkful of this is like heaven in my mouth! This nutrient-dense superfood is high in vitamins and minerals, is a great source of potassium, and boosts immune function. PILE IT ON, AUNTIE KIM!


With this recipe, I find it best to roast cubed chunks of the squash in the oven, until they are soft enough to pierce with a knife. Add in ghee or olive oil, pumpkin spice blend (if you don't have all the pumpkin spices, add in cinnamon and ginger) with a dash of maple syrup. Use a hand blender to mix together until your desired texture, and enjoy as much squash as your lil' heart desires! If you'd like to learn all about the pumpkin spice blend, what it includes and its healing properties, read my recent blog here.

ROASTED GARLICKY GREEN BEANS

As we add some more colors of the rainbow to our plate, a solid serving of greens beans means you'll be supporting your body with a vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They are terrific for cardiovascular health and have amazing anti-inflammatory properties, making this a PERFECT side for those who suffer from auto-immune disorders like COPD, fibromyalgia, and IBS.


This recipe calls for roasting this medicine for about 10 minutes until al dente in the oven. While they're cooking, you'll want to sautee minced garlic and thyme in either olive oil or ghee and drizzle over the green beans once they are out of the oven. Sprinkle with some sea salt and BAM! medicine never tasted SO GOOD!

There you go! A few easy swaps that will turn your holiday plate into medicine, with some healthy and easy substitutions. Remember, food is medicine, should you choose to fuel your body with whole, real ingredients. The majority of holiday meals are made with sides compromised of vegetables, that your body LOVES. Why not keep them clean and natural, giving your body sustainable fuel, and indulge in the cakes and pies that maybe use more processed ingredients...moderate your intake and feel amazing this holiday season!


The info on the healing properties of these foods came from the food medicine guru himself, The Medical Medium. To learn more about how food can heal, visit his website here.

To learn more about clean eating and its benefits, check out my recent blog post "What is Clean Eating" by clicking here.


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