one green planet
one green planet

Thanksgiving is probably the most artery-clogging holiday. And just because your holiday meal is vegetarian or vegan doesn’t necessarily mean it’s heart-healthy. Processed, sugary, salty, and high-fat foods abound, even in the vegan world. So this holiday, follow these tips and be kind to your heart:

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  – with over 20,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy!

Also, don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to plant-based recipes for Thanksgiving!

Now, let’s get started!

1. Make Smart Substitutions For Butter and Cream

To replace butter in recipes, choose heart-healthy options like extra virgin olive oil, high-oleic safflower oil, organic canola oil, or macadamia nut oil. This goes for baking as well as sautéing, enriching stuffing, etc. To replace heavy cream in soups or sauces – or even mashed potatoes – try soy yogurt or a product called MimicCreme, which is essentially a thickened nut milk.

2. Keep Your Grains Whole

Less white flour = fewer empty calories and carbs. White whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour are superior substitutes. Use them for your baking, and try whole-grain breads for your stuffing. Find ways to work in whole grains like quinoa and barley into the meal – there’s no rule that stuffing has to be made with bread, and gluten-free folks will appreciate an alternative, too.

3. Say No to Salt

Start with one-third the amount called for in a recipe (except for baking recipes) and go from there. You’ll be surprised that you won’t miss it. Use lemon juice to brighten the flavors of vegetables, which will reduce the need for salt. If you are using commercial broths, be sure to look for the lowest sodium brands you can find.

4. Be Smart about Sweet

Sure, you’re going to eat dessert this Thanksgiving – but in addition to delicious vegan pie, consider lighter alternatives like baked apples. And to make up for dessert, eliminate the sugar in other places, such as in your sweet potatoes and cranberries. Try chopping and roasting sweet potatoes with savory herbs and spices instead of making a traditional sugary sweet casserole, and serve a less-sweet cranberry sauce. Bring sweetness to the table with naturally sweet vegetables like beets and with fresh fruit in salads. And remember, sugars also come from carbs, so do yourself a favor and don’t serve bread with your meal. It’s the last thing you need, especially if bread stuffing is on the menu.

5. Go Veggie Crazy

Instead of one vegetable side dish, why not serve four or five? Be sure to include some superstar vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli so you can load up on antioxidants. Remember, the more vegetables on your plate, the fewer carbs and sugar you’ll eat during the meal.

6. Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods tend to be high in salt, calories, and unhealthy fats. Avoid them as much as possible, and you’re already well on your way to a healthier holiday.

For delicious, plant-based recipes and ideas, check out our Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu. Most of the recipes are hearty with vegetables and good for your heart. Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating!

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!

Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.