Katie Ferraro by Katie Ferraro

A typical Thanksgiving meal contains more than 3,000 calories, but you don’t have to break the calorie bank to enjoy your favorite fall foods. Here are three delicious and healthy dishes you’ll want to add to this year’s Thanksgiving feast. 

Sweet Potato Brownies 

One sweet potato contains more than the daily recommended amount of vitamin A. These sweet potato brownies are packed with potassium, fiber and vitamin A, an important antioxidant vitamin that also helps maintain immunity and promote eyesight. 

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites 
Icing Glaze Ingredients 
  • ¼ cup low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons water (optional) 
  1. Heat oven to 350° Spray 9” x 9” pan with cooking spray.
  2. If starting with raw sweet potatoes, peel and add to boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash or puree in food processor. Reserve 1 cup of mashed sweet potato for recipe.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add whole-wheat flour, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoons cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. In a food processor, combine cooked sweet potato, ¾ cup sugar, olive oil and vanilla extract. Process until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry flour mixture and mix until ingredients are just combined.
  5. Lightly beat egg whites in a separate bowl. Add egg whites to remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. To prepare the icing glaze, combine all ingredients. Drizzle icing glaze over slightly cooled brownies. 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Raisin Walnut Salad 

If the last time you ate raisins was in a mini snack box at school lunch, it’s time to revisit this nutrient-dense fruit. Raisins are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit with no added sugar, no cholesterol and zero fat. Raisins are naturally sweet and soaking them in warm water is a great way to plump your raisins before you use them in a recipe. 

Rediscover raisins in this simple and delectable Brussels sprouts and raisin walnut salad that comes together in minutes. 

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shaved thinly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins, soaked in warm water
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar salad dressing
  • ¼ cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese 
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shaved Brussels sprouts and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until bright green in color. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove Brussels sprouts from pan, wipe clean with a paper towel and re-heat pan over medium-high heat. Add walnuts and toast until golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drain raisins and combine Brussels sprouts, walnuts, raisins and balsamic dressing. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Chill before serving. 

Turkey Cranberry Salad

Cranberries are another great fall fruit that just don’t get enough positive press. Cranberries are usually sweetened because they are naturally low in sugar and high in acidity, so they require sweetening to be palatable. Even so, the total amount of sugar in cranberries is equal to that of other dried fruits, like raisins and dried cherries. 

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup 100% cranberry juice
  • ½ cup olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fat-free poppy seed dressing
  • 8 oz. shredded turkey
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions 
  1. Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature; cranberries will absorb liquid.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and salad dressing. Stir in diced turkey, celery and scallions. Toss to coat.
  3. Add reserved cranberries and mix well. Serve atop fresh greens for a salad or on whole-wheat toast for a sandwich.