Thanksgiving on a Low Carb Budget

While the protein of the traditional roast turkey may be at the center of the Thanksgiving feast, it is a total, massive carb blitz otherwise. Get some tips on how to keep the carbs to a minimum.

For as much as the carb-starved dieter may want to believe that the traditional Thanksgiving dinner in America is dominated by the protein of the roast turkey, frankly-speaking, that’s just the tryptophan talking: in the end, all of the trimmings to the turkey are enough to put your carb-o-meter into the red. Let’s relish the obvious carbiness: bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, pumpkin pie — heck, even peas, a common veg for Thanksgiving, is a low carb no-no.

Face it: on Thanksgiving, your low carb diet doesn’t have a chance.

But if carbing it out on Turkey Day isn’t an option, there are some great alternatives that low carb food manufacturers have to offer that can defray the carb level of your Thanksgiving Day meal. Using some of these great products, you can actually keep all of the high-carb trimmings on the dinner plate.

Stumped On Stuffing? Go With Low Carb Bread!

There is a love/hate affair over low carb bread. Yeah, we know: low carb bread loaves don’t often stand up to a standard loaf of white bread. But that’s because your standard loaf of Wonder is a virtual carb brick. The thing that makes bread taste so good are the simple carbohydrates and natural sugars that need to be left out in low carb breads.

But when it comes to making stuffing — particularly if you are planning on cooking it inside of the turkey — low carb bread works as a perfect stand-in. all of the natural juices from the turkey conspire to season even low carb bread.

The highly-seasoned stuffing mix will have to be passed on, however, you can always use poultry seasoning, salt, dill, celery seed, and any other spice in the low carb stuffing to bring it up to taste, as well as some sauteed celery and onion. After a day of roasting, your low carb stuffing should totally pass for the real thing.

Dixie Diner Instant Mashers
Dixie Diner Instant Mashers

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes?!

For kids, cauliflower is right up there with brussels sprouts for perhaps the most revolting vegetable. But a strange thing happens when you mash it up0 and season it with salt, garlic, and butter — they take on the texture and even taste of mashed potatoes! If you cannot imagine leaving mashed potatoes off of the Thanksgiving Day menu, go with mashed cauliflower. You’ll be amazed at how well it works, and because cauliflower is relatively low in carbs, it is totally guilt-free compared to the heavy-duty carbs in potatoes.

But if you are totally anti-white vegetables, then — believe it or not — the low carb food industry has an answer for the call for low carb mashed potatoes! Dixie Diner’s Instant Mashers are remarkably like regular instant mashed potatoes, but instead of sending your glycemic index through the roof, each serving is only 9 grams of carbs! Even better, they come in a wide varieties of flavors as well, and are extremely easy to make. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry Sauce Conundrum

Low carb cranberry sauce is almost impossible to come by; since cranberry sauce is such a seasonal item, food producers don’t see much of a point in producing it. Yet, if you’re like me, the prospect of a Thanksgiving Day meal without cranberry sauce is downright depressing. I would argue that it is the inclusion of the cranberry sauce that makes the turkey dinner on Thanksgiving so distinct. Cranberries really capture the late fall flavor of the holiday, and the sweet-tart taste with the mild turkey is a real treat.

If you’re as desperate to incorporate cranberry sauce into your Turkey dinner but don’t want to ingest all of the sugar from the canned type, your best bet is to find your own recipe and change out the sugar with low carb sweeteners. As always, you’ll have a bit of an aftertaste to contend with, but the tangy, tart flavor of cranberry will help to mask any real bad aftertaste from a low carb sweetener. The good news is that cranberries are very low in sugar and carbs: one ounce only has 2 grams of net carbs, thanks to a high fiber count.

If you’re a low carb dieter, hopefully this article has given you a few options for keeping to your low carb diet at Thanksgiving. To be sure, it is a wonderful holiday and a time for enjoying food. Now, with low carb foods, you can still enjoy the big meal without it destroying your diet.

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that Linda’s Diet Delites carries all of the low carb products that we talk about in this article? Be sure to visit our online store and get all of the low carb items you need for your own Thanksgiving feast!

Leave a Reply