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 👻🎃!

Pumpkin Spiced Fall Medley

There’s certainly a lot of debates going on these days. Yeah, there’s that whole whose going to run the US come November, but the only one this blog feels comfortable taking a stance on is whether you love or hate Pumpkin Spice! 

It’s always great to integrate what vegetation is in season into your diet. It allows you to try new things while possibly introducing some new nutrients into your body. So, we are more than on board with adding some pumpkin into our meals this Fall! That is, if it’s the actual squash and not some chemical that a certain huge chain coffeehouse concoctes.😜

Pumpkin itself is not the greatest on it’s own. It doesn’t contain much natural sugar like sweet potatoes do so you get a very Earthy taste. That’s why it’s frequently paired with signature Fall spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. 

Ingredients: 3 medium size sweet potatoes, 1 smaller size butternut squash, 2 Granny Smith apples, 1 can of pumpkin,  1 can coconut cream, nutmeg, ground cinnamon, clove, allspice, 2 tablespoons of raw sugar, pinch of flour

Directions: Peel and cut butternut squash  in half. Seed and cube. Wash and cut apples and sweet potatoes. Spray a baking sheet and add your fruits/veggies. Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes. You may want to bake apples separately for a shorter time as they can get a bit mushy. 

Open can of pumpkin and coconut cream (I’ve only seen this at Trader Joe’s). Mixture together in food processor (use about 3/4 of can of cream). Add spices, sugar and flour. If too thin, add more flour (same with sweetness). 

Once completed, drizzle pumpkin sauce over fruit/veggies. We made this with unseasoned chicken and added the pumpkin mixture to it as well. 


This combination will definitely get you into the Fall spirit. It’s a nice break from broccoli and Brussel sprouts while still getting your veggie intake. 

Roasted Chickpea Coleslaw

Coleslaw can easily tow the line between healthy and unhealthy. It all depends on how you dress it. We all know mayo gives it the full flavor, but also the full fat content. But this blog’s purpose is to find ways around the bad ingredients without sacrificing flavor. Plus, this recipe adds something unique in the form of roasted chickpeas for added protein and crunch. 


Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas, 1 12 oz pack of broccoli (or cabbage) slaw, 1/4 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustards, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of agave nectar 

Directions: Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Toss with any desired spices (black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and nutritional yeast were used here). Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Broil for 5. They should have a nice crunchy yet moist consistency. 

Toss slaw mix with onion and chia seeds. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can add the chickpeas before the dressing or on top of you prefer. 


You’ll find that the mustard and vinegar provide a great tangy flavor, balanced with the sweetness of the agave. Plus the chia seeds give additional moisture once they gel. Makes a great BBQ side or a vegan meal all on its own. 

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!