Thanksgiving is coming around the corner, which means the family gets to come together and enjoy a feast. Other than the staples: turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, have you wondered what other dishes you can bring to the table as Thanksgiving side dishes?
With seniors’ health (and taste buds) in mind, Nurse Next Door has curated a few tasty and simple recipes to spruce up this year’s Thanksgiving dinner that everyone is going to enjoy!
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
This Thanksgiving side dish is the perfect balance of veggies and smalls bites of meat! Pancetta is Italian bacon and also tastes heavenly. Consider using smaller amounts of meat to get more nutrients from the main star of this dish — brussels sprouts!
According to Healthline, brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in quite a few nutrients.
Firstly, it’s a good source of fibre, which promotes a healthy digestive system. It also contains Vitamin K, which contributes to bone growth and helps protect against osteoporosis!
Studies show that Brussell Sprouts contains antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals, which are formed by oxidative stress that contribute to cancer.
Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
There are two awesome components to this dish: maple syrup and sweet potatoes.
Roasting makes the process a lot simpler, no need to boil and mash, just pop em in the oven!
Another great thing about this Thanksgiving side dish is that it’s recommended for you to make this the night before Thanksgiving and just re-heat it the day of.
It’s a good balance of sweetness. The texture is fluffy and definitely not too heavy compared to classic mashed potatoes. Leftovers make a delicious post-Thanksgiving lunch the next day as well.
The recipe suggests adding some lemon in the sauce, adding a hint of sour to the sweet which creates more depth. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can even add a dash of cinnamon!
Why maple syrup? Well, did you know that pure maple syrup has a lower calorie count than honey?
OrganicFacts.net analyzes this delicious and natural sweetener. It contains several antioxidants that are crucial for our bodies to neutralize free radicals. Maple syrup contains zinc, which may protect and prevent various cardiovascular disorders, improving heart health.
Zinc is an essential nutrient. It regulates our immune system to fight off colds, heal wounds etc, but a study showed that an increased intake of zinc (whether through diet or supplement format) has shown possibility of reducing inflammatory disease risks. Zinc deficiency leads to heightened inflammation in those who suffer from chronic diseases.
Sweet potatoes, or yam, are also an excellent addition to a balanced diet. Like brussels sprouts, they are a rich source of fibre. They also contain a good chunk of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, vitamin B and C. You can check out other great health benefits of sweet potatoes here.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad With Tangerine-Rosemary Vinaigrette
BBC Good Food says: “…butternut squash is a great source of fibre, as well as vitamins including A, C, E and B vitamins along with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.” This colourful Thanksgiving side dish would be great for getting your five-a-day vegetable and fruit intake.
The tangerine adds some zest and tanginess to the salad and rosemary packs it with some aroma and taste. If you’re hesitant about the rosemary overpowering the salad, you can replace it with another spice such as tarragon.
Cranberry Maple Skillet Cornbread
Obviously the pumpkin pie is still king of desserts at Thanksgiving. But this healthy and tasty, perfectly balanced sweet and savory dish will keep you coming back for more!
In the previous dish we highlighted maple syrup. Guess what? You can reuse it for this dish too if you’d like! If not, the chef recommends replacing it with agave nectar, honey or brown sugar.
The cranberries are a fun spin to usual cornbread. Medical News Today states: “the nutrients in cranberries have been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure”.
If you don’t feel like have this sweet component, you can also omit them and use cheese, sweet corn, peppers or herbs!
If you’re feeling experimental this holiday, we definitely recommend trying out one of these Thanksgiving side dishes and infuse the meal with some nutrition!
Thanksgiving is where everyone gets together and cooking can be such a bonding, fun experience. All the hard work is worth it when you see people’s eyes light up when the turkey is set onto the dining table. Nurse Next Door’s caregivers provide a variety of home care services such as companionship and light housekeeping. If you need some assistance with putting together some dishes the day of, our caregivers can support with meal prep too! To learn more about our services, feel free to call us toll free at +1(877) 588-8609 and connect with our Care Service Specialists to learn more!
Hope you enjoy time with family and friends this Thanksgiving!