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You want to have a bite of something sweet to finish off your savory Thanksgiving meal, but desserts are where a lot of fat, calories, sugar, and saturated fats hide. There are some simple healthy swaps that you can make to your Thanksgiving dessert table this year.
1. Use Non-Dairy Milk Instead of Cream
Some dessert recipes call for the use of heavy cream, but you can swap it out for non-dairy milk without giving up taste. This is particularly true if the recipe also calls for butter.
2. Use Fresh Sweet Potatoes
If you are serving up sweet potato pie or sweet potato casserole this year, try using fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned. All you have to do is bake them and scoop out the insides, and they have a lot less sugar and processed ingredients than the canned version does.
3. Sweeten Your Pumpkin Pie With Maple Syrup
Pumpkin already has a sweet flavor, so there’s no need to throw a punch of sugar into your pumpkin puree. Instead, sweeten it to taste with a little bit of maple syrup and your traditional pumpkin pie spices.
4. Make Your Own Cranberry Sauce
Skip the canned cranberry sauce that is packed full of sugar and make your own with fresh cranberries instead. Sweeten the sauce with a little bit of honey and orange juice, or use the recipe here.
5. Use Canned Pumpkin, Not Canned Pumpkin Pie Filling
There’s a difference between canned pumpkin pie filling and simply canned pumpkin. Namely, a lot of ingredients that aren’t all that good for you, like high fructose corn syrup. Make sure that you choose 100% pumpkin.
6. Use Real Whipped Cream Instead of Spray Whipped Cream Or Frozen Whipped Cream
While it may seem like the calorie count should make it the other way around, it’s much better to have real whipped cream than the chemical-laden fake stuff.
7. Replace Oil with Applesauce
When making bread, muffins, and cakes for your Thanksgiving dinner, replace the oil in the recipe with applesauce. This can also reduce the amount of sugar needed and provide a nice serving of fiber and vitamin C.
8. Substitute White Flour
When making your Thanksgiving desserts, consider swapping out plain white flour for other types of flour. You can use almond flour, oat flour, or coconut flour to make your favorite desserts healthier. Even whole wheat pastry flour will be a whole-grain upgrade.
9. Swap Butter For Greek Yogurt
In many recipes, you can swap the butter out completely for Greek yogurt in a one-to-one ratio of up to one cup. Keep in mind that this must be Greek yogurt because of the thickness it has.
10. Use Black Beans Instead of Flour
Skip the flour and make a tasty dessert with black beans instead. It definitely sounds weird, but it really works. Check out this recipe for black bean brownies. No one will know unless you tell them.
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This article first appeared on The Gracious Pantry.