Iight so boom. Thanksgiving is around the corner. And no cap, Big Mama/Pops or Auntie with the Suga(diabetes) finna whip up that work. You got your outfit together, bought some new Tupperware for the to-go plates because ain’t nobody got time for the flimsy plate collapse. You even strengthened your clapback game because tuh, you’re grown now and anybody can get it. But really, you’re just here for the good vibes and family time, ya know, the walk with the cousins, laughs, and the food itis.
Or maybe you’re hosting or doing solo Thanksgiving this year and about to get down yourself. You are concerned though, because even though Auntie with the Suga finna get down and taught you the ropes, you don’t want that Suga. You want a lit meal without worrying about the dreaded post thanksgiving detox and workouts. So what’s a young chef to do?
Don’t worry fam, I got you. There are plenty of swaps and subs you can make to eat just as well but cleanly so that you don’t have to disrupt any gains or new health habits and you won’t feel heavy af in the gym over the next three days.
Disclaimer:Now, if you cook, Auntie with the Suga might show her ass a little bit because “these green beans ain’t got no seasoning” or “you ain’t use enough butter.” But don’t worry about them fam. You want what’s best for both you and your fam. They just gone have to get with it or go home.
Now, let’s get into it. I'm going to provide the links too because I don't want any excuses! "I didn't know which one to get!" AHT-AHT! Stop it!:
Butter: Everyone’s favorite flavor. Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives to the fatty, high salt flavor we love. Swap butter for coconut oil in baking recipes and use coconut oil or ghee for low to medium heat cooking. Ghee, especially adds that delicious buttery flavor in a healthy way. For medium to high heat cooking, try olive oil and avocado oil.
Condensed milk: Condensed milk is a must for the sweet treats. But to make it healthier, swap it for full fat coconut milk and real maple syrup-not Aunt Jemima or Ms Butterworth. Stop playing.
Candied Yams: Not sure about you but I love me some candied yams on top of my baked mac. But the butter and sugar content be enough to put me in a coma and wake up with the Suga. This time, skillet roast your sliced sweet potatoes with cinnamon, coconut oil, and vanilla. It’s already naturally sweet, but for added sweetness, add a drizzle of raw honey.
Sugar: If your family is like mine, each recipe uses at least 2 full cups of white sugar, the worst you can use. If you need to sweeten a recipe, swap out the white sugar for organic raw cane sugar, organic brown sugar, agave, or raw honey. It should go without saying: STILL USE THESE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES!
Milk: In recipes that call for milk, there are quite a few options to help you achieve the same, if not better taste. Opt for plant based substitutes like almond, soy or oat milk to avoid lactose, added sugars and other additives. Or try my favorites: A2, Califa Farms or Fairlife. These are real milk options that don’t give you the BGs but give you the richness you’re looking for.
Dairy: Now I know not too many will follow me on the dairy sub, but try swapping out your sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt and cheese ingredients for avocado. It adds such a moist, buttery and creamy texture that you wouldn’t even notice the difference if it wasn’t for the green color.
Salt: Mm hmm let’s get into this challenge. Yes, salt and pepper and seasoning in general is a must in these classic thanksgiving dishes. But not if you’re going to use so much that you’re on the brink (if not already there) of high blood pressure. Try incorporating more fresh herbs as seasoning such as mint, oregano, paprika, coriander/cilantro, cumin, ginger, thyme and more. Check out these 19 natural salt alternatives.
Now I promise I’m not trying to throw a wrench in thanksgiving traditions and what not. I just want to see y’all enjoying your loved ones for as long as possible, in the healthiest possible ways.
If you found any of these subs helpful, let us know! Participate in the #GuttedToGoPlatechallenge: Make your dish, take a picture of your dish with the swapped ingredient, and of everyone and their to go plates full of your dish. Tell us your experience and dish reviews by tagging @Gutted_nthings on Instagram or on the Facebook!
We need the recipes fam!!