5 Healthy Sides to Serve at This Years Holiday Table

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The holidays have arrived, and that can mean only one thing: It’s time to get prepping on those get-together menus. But if the feasts of the holiday season feel like one heavy and unhealthy side dish after another, never fear. 

Here, we’ve compiled 5 truly astounding healthy holiday side dishes that will knock the socks off your guests — and that make an argument for healthier eating. 

Do you have to give up on flavor to make your holiday meal just a little healthier? The answer is a resounding no. Read on for our picks for this season’s healthiest (and tastiest) side dishes.

1. Smashed Cauliflower Side Dish

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This healthy holiday side dish recipe substitutes that old holiday standby- potatoes- for cauliflower, and with the addition of butter and garlic, your guests won’t know the difference. Stocked with fiber and B vitamins, cauliflower brings more than just deliciousness to the table, and it’s particularly well-suited for those looking to eliminate a few extra carbs.

2. Italian Baked Zucchini Side Dish

This crunchy, savory dish, which harnesses the delicious power of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, is a great way to gratin- without all the cream. It’s also easy to make: a half-hour in the oven, and you have a side-dish that’s tasty and good for you.

3. Asparagus Side-Dish

Steamed asparagus and baked brussels sprouts keep their vibrant colors in this festive holiday side dish, which offers satisfaction from a finishing touch of Parmesan cheese. Since they’re not sauteed and fried, these veggies are better for you.

4. Sweet Potato Fries

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Just one serving of these sweet potato fries can offer an entire day’s worth of vitamin A- but you’ll want to make these fries for the taste too. They’re easy to prepare and a hit with anyone craving a bit of starch this holiday season.

5. Quinoa Side Dish

High-Protein, high-fiber, amino-acid-rich quinoa is healthy in and of itself. But this dish adds to the mix aromatics like onion and garlic, as well as a spritz of citrus. Replace rice, potatoes, or pasta with better-for-you-grain, while still keeping the delicious holiday spirit intact. You can add apples, cranberries to make it more nutritious or just keep it simple.


Author: Devika

Devika, M.Sc, NET Qualified is passionate about helping people discover the power of nourishing real food. She specializes in weight management, therapeutic nutrition, food allergies and intolerances, inflammatory diseases, gut health, and functional nutrition. Her approach blends a conventional health care and nutrition background with natural and science-based therapies.