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Don't let Thanksgiving bust your diet! Joy Bauer shares four healthy recipes

TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer lightens up four classic Thanksgiving recipes, including stuffing and sweet potato casserole.
/ Source: TODAY

Thanksgiving is a chance to count your blessings—not calories. However, for those who are watching their weight, it can be a challenging day. Indeed, you can easily inhale north of 3,000 calories thanks to the delicious appetizers, sides and desserts. While overdoing it for one day won’t drastically tip the scales, there are still some tricks that can help keep you from feeling like a stuffed turkey. And if you’re looking to indulge in some slimmed-down holiday classics without sacrificing flavor, give these tasty recipes a shot:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Covered with marshmallows and doused with brown sugar, a traditional sweet potato casserole feels more like a dessert than a side. That’s why I swapped half the sweet potatoes for naturally sweet carrots (they’re lower in carbs and calories) and cut the added sugar altogether (the marshmallow topping provides plenty of sweetness). Poof! With this bit of magic, I’ve trimmed the calories from 350 per cup to 160. Get the recipe here.

Pumpkin Pie

Let’s face it: It just isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, a no-frills version of this seasonal dessert is about 300 calories. Add ice cream, pecans or a glaze, and your humble slice becomes a calorie monstrosity. By reducing the added sugar and using unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of whole milk or condensed milk, I’ve turned this super sweet treat into 188 calories of pure goodness. Get the recipe here.

Creamed Spinach

Who ever thought of turning innocent spinach into a 240-calorie side? For shame! By replacing the heavy cream with low-fat cream cheese, I’ve preserved the creamy texture while cutting the calories to 110 per serving. Get the recipe here.


With 300 calories per cup, this side dish is quite appropriately named. To avoid feeling liked a stuffed bird yourself after enjoying this classic dish, nix the bread and load in colorful veggies like cauliflower, mushrooms, onions and celery instead. Add a blast of flavor with poultry sausage and fresh herbs, and you’ve got a version that’s less than half the calories. Get the recipe here.

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