Healthy Thanksgiving Side Ideas

While we know the turkey is the star of the show, the sides are what make Thanksgiving the great culinary production that it is! Yes, the carby dishes like mashed potatoes and stuffing are what everyone goes for, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your veggies so they get the proper attention they deserve. 

Below are a few sides that will actually get people coming back for seconds:

Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil

Butternut Squash Fries

Pumpkin Spiced Fall Medley

Sweet Potato Wedges

 Happy Thanksgiving! We are certainly thankful for this community of healthy foodies! 

Butternut Squash Fries

French Fries are EVERYONE’s Achilles heel. Seriously, who turns down that savory, greasy, delicious side that every restaurant buys in massive bulk? Unfortunately, the fries are usually the tipping point from making your meal borderline healthy to the reason those jeans don’t fit anymore. Even the healthier sweet potato fries still contain a decent amount of carbs (albeit good ones). But we have a solution that cuts the carb count in half while still giving you a nice finger food side. 


Ingredients: 1 medium size butternut squash (makes about 3 servings), olive oil, salt & pepper (other spices if desired).


Directions: Cut the top stem, half squash vertically, and seed. Slice the top half away from the bulb of the squash. Cut fri-like strips out of the top portion. The bulb will produce a more “C” like shape but the final product will all taste the same.


Toss with olive oil and spices. Bake on 350 for about 40 mins. They live up to their name with a great buttery taste that you will definitely make room for on your Thanksgiving table. 

Junkless Peanut Butter Cups

Happy Halloween! For the kids, it’s all about the candy and for the adults, it’s either about boozing while wearing a ridiculous outfit or waiting for the kids to pass out so you can have your crack at their loot. Either way, your health doesn’t take first priority. 

While this may seem like the perfect opportunity to cheat a bit, keep in mind, the next two months are perhaps the most tempting, so play it safe with a more healthy alternative to processed sugar, artificial colors, and a host of other  horribly addicting bad stuff.


Ingredients: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoons (or to liking) almond milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup, 1 jar of peanut butter, small size cupcake liners

Directions: Mix together oil, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and agave or syrup. Without the almond milk, the mixture will lean towards more of a dark chocolate taste. If to your liking, add less milk. If not, add more. 


Fill each mini cupcake liner (recipe makes about 13-how appropriate 😱) a little less than halfway. Glob an appropriate amount of peanut butter into each as shown above. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. 


After confirming that each cup is solid, top each one off with the remaining mixture. Make sure peanut butter is covered. Refrigerate again for 10-15 minutes. 


These are great if you’re having a party or just for something fun to do with your kids for the holiday. We don’t recommend handing these out to trick-or-treaters because Halloween is the one holiday where homemade treats are not appreciated 😱. Snack wisely and have a happy and safe Halloween 👻🎃!

Chocolate Protein Ice Pops

Looking for a late night snack that you won’t feel rumbling around in your stomach when you finally lay down? Look no further! With added protein and no dairy, this chocolate version of the ice pop makes a great, guilt free desert at the end of a long day.

Avocado Chocolate Coconut Water

Ingredients: 1 full avocado, 16 oz of chocolate coconut water, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1-2 scoop(s) of protein powder 

Directions: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. A blender will work better than a food processor in this situation. The avocado will provide the cream factor. If not a fan of avocados, banana can be used instead. Pour into ice pop mold. 

Chocolate Ice Pop
Freeze for at least 4 hours. These are great for a late night snack attack and also if trying to work additional protein into your diet. They also provide hydration and are great for your skin. Stay cool!

All American Granola Bars (V)

Regardless if keeping a healthy diet or not, we all like a good bar. But the purpose of the handheld treat differs greatly: A snickers bar to appease a sweet tooth, a protein bar post workout, or a breakfast bar when running out the door in the morning.  Most bars, however, are pumped full of artificial sweeteners and other harmful additives that sacrifice nutritional value for convenience. That’s why it’s always best to make your own!

strawberries and blueberries
Ingredients: 2 cups rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of flax seeds, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, handful of strawberries, handful of blueberries, 1 scoop of vegan protein powder, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add honey/agave to taste. 

Directions: Soak flax seeds in 4 1/2 tablespoons of water for 5 minutes. Mix oats, protein powder, chia seeds, coconut oil, and flax mixture. Cut strawberries and blueberries in half. Add to mixture. Make sure to mix thoroughly so protein powder is fully dissolved. 

granola mixture
Once mixed, form bars onto greased tin foil on pan (recipe makes 6). Bake for 15 mins. Let cool for at least 5 minutes.

Granola Bars preoven
You can see that we chose our berries with America in mind. Happy (belated) Independence Day to all our American followers!

While the honey or agave will give it additional sweetness, the berries and protein give plenty of natural sugar so it’s not necessary. These are great in the morning, post workout, or when you just need something sweet. Hey, looks like we fulfilled all three!

Caulibrown Brunch

Happy Father’s Day to all the healthy dads out there! Brunch always caters best to the Sunday holidays so here’s a lighter option when the table is already covered with bagels and pastries.

Cauliflower
Ingredients: 1 head of cauliflower, 1 quarter white (or yellow) onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 eggs (or 4 tablespoons of chia seeds)

Directions: Dice and microwave cauliflower for about 6 minutes. Once cooled, process cauliflower with garlic and onion (and seasonings of your choice) until puréed. As described in the caulirice recipe, the garlic and onion give the caulirice some much needed flavor. 

Once processed, transfer to bowl. Mix eggs separately and add to cauliflower mixture. Mix throughly. Shape into ovals.  

Caulibrown
These were cooked on a flat top but can also be prepared in a pan. Cook for about 5 mins on each side. 

Glowing Green Ice Pops

Glowing Green Ice Pops
It’s getting hotter and hotter out there. It’s important to stay hydrated and refreshed…two things these ice pops satisfy.

Additionally, it’s always good to have solutions to excess fruits and veggies that are on the brink of spoiling. It feels like an accomplishment when you finish off ALL the spinach in that bag or blow throw ALL the apples in that sack. Coming up with the right combination for a delicious ice pop will certainly help to fulfill your produce’s destiny!

Ice Pops in Food Processor

The recipe requires an ice pop mold and food processor. If there is one kitchen gadget to invest in, it’s a good food processor. There are countless healthy things one can produce with it so it’s best not to settle for a cheap, small one. 

Ingredients: 2 Granny Smith apples, 2 small Haas avocados, half of a honeydew melon, half the juice of a lime, bunch of spinach and kale, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut water. 

Directions: place all fruits and veggies in food processor. Add coconut water and chia seeds. Blend until the desired consistency. Some prefer a bit of texture but these are pretty smooth. Pour into mold. Freeze for about 5 hours (overnight is ideal). 

frozen ice pops
The two key ingredients are the avocado and coconut water. Avocado gives the pops a creamy consistency which a banana will also do. The coconut water provides a sugary component as opposed to a bland, watery taste (it will give the same effect for a protein shake). 

frozen ice pops
These will make the perfect treat for a pool day or as a dessert without any guilt attached. Happy summer!