Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all the good things in our lives, including great food. This year, try some healthier holiday recipes that are just as delicious and comforting as traditional holidays treats. The team at Boston Children’s Hospital Heart Center has provided a few recipes for your Thanksgiving feast. Give them a try, and be creative with your own. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start a new tradition for the dinner table.

APPETIZER: Hearty Crackers with Chunky Apple Orange Almond Spread~ Serves 8


2 medium apples
1/4 cup raw almonds (about 40)
2 tablespoons orange juice


Remove the core from the apple, and cut into chunks. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth but slightly chunky — not too long or you’ll have applesauce. Spoon out the spread and put on hearty crackers such as 11 stoned wheat bite-size crackers.

SIDE DISH: Roasted Root Vegetables~ Serves 8


roasted-root-vegetables8 to 12 slender carrots, peeled and trimmed
8 to 12 baby turnips, peeled
6 to 8 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in halves
1 or 2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
1 or 2 medium onions, trimmed, peeled and halved, each 1/2 cut into quarters
1 or 2 large beets, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 or 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 celery root, trimmed and halved, halves cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly. Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve the vegetables from their baking dish or transfer them to a platter to accompany a roasted main course.

DESSERT: No sugar-added harvest fruit pie~ Serves 8

Pie Filling:

no-sugar-dessert2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 medium Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
1.5 tablespoons of corn starch
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of 100-percent pure apple juice (not from concentrate)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves or allspice
1/2 cup of frozen cranberries

Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of toasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain, non-fat
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon of skim milk (for browning crust)


To prepare the pie crust, combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt in a food processor.
Add in cold butter pieces until the mixture starts to resemble coarse crumbs.
Add yogurt and blend well.
Add water one tablespoon at a time until dough is firmly together, but not sticky. It should start to form a ball.
Remove and mold into 5-inch disc, seal in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour.
Roll out dough on a large floured surface until it is uniformly 1/8-inch thick.
Carefully place into 8-inch greased pie tin so dough overlaps edges.
Set onto foil lined baking tray and set aside (note: may be substituted with store-bought frozen puff pastry dough).


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine apples and pears into a mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together corn starch, lemon juice, apple juice and spices.
Add cornstarch mixture to the fruit and stir well. Gently toss in cranberries.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, simmer the fruit mixture until it starts to thicken.
Pour into prepared pie crust. Fold overlapping pastry over the fruit filling until a window of fruit is visible in the center.
Brush pie crust with milk for a golden finish.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until crust is browned and juices are bubbling.