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Thanksgiving Superfoods

Although Thanksgiving is known as one of the biggest eating days of the year, the most popular items on a typical holiday dinner table are generally not unhealthy – in fact, some of the most nutrient-dense whole foods commonly make it onto Thanksgiving dinner menus. It makes sense that during the harvest season – the essence of Thanksgiving celebrations – plenty of fresh produce would be included in the big feast. From roast turkey to Brussels sprouts – here are some of the very best things you can eat this Thanksgiving.

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  • Onions 1 of 10
    Onions
    Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber, fat free and low in calories - a great ingredient to load into a warming soup.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Pumpkin 2 of 10
    Pumpkin
    Packed with fiber and beta-carotene but low in calories, pumpkin is one of the best veggies you can eat. Pumpkin pie is by far the most common Thanksgiving dessert, but you'll have to eat breakfast and nibble on something healthy as you cook dinner - this pumpkin pie granola is like the very best-edible-potpourri!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Turkey 3 of 10
    Turkey
    A golden roast turkey is the main event on most holiday tables. Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, providing important nutrients like niacin and vitamin B12 as well.
    The Family Kitchen has full instructions on how to thaw, stuff, roast and cook your Thanksgiving turkey!
  • Peas 4 of 10
    Peas
    A plain old bag of frozen green peas is filled with more nutrients than you think - peas are high in fiber, low in calories, and rich in vitamin K, B, C and manganese. Peas cook quickly - finish them off with a squeeze of lemon and dollop of crème fraîche while the turkey is resting. No oven required!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Brussels Sprouts 5 of 10
    Brussels Sprouts
    Members of the brassica family, think of Brussels sprouts as wee cabbages. They are low in calories and high in fiber, with the same cancer-fighting properties as other cruciferous veggies. Try not to overcook them, which can make them mushy and give off an unpleasant sulphur-like odor. Everyone will love these Brussels sprouts with maple buttered pecans!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Cranberries 6 of 10
    Cranberries
    All berries are low in calories, rich in fiber and antioxidants - but tangy cranberries are particularly high in vitamin C. Add them fresh or frozen to your holiday muffins, cakes and pies, and simmer up an easy batch of cranberry sauce, spiked with citrus.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Red Wine 7 of 10
    Red Wine
    Rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, red wine has many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and improved levels of good cholesterol. A glass of red wine with your holiday meal can do you good - and help you relax after a long day in the kitchen! Read more about the benefits of red wine at Shape.com or the New York Times.
  • Winter Squash 8 of 10
    Winter Squash
    Winter squash (think butternut, acorn, Hubbard and pumpkin) are low in calories, rich in fiber and vitamin A (beta carotene) - even if you don't recognize the variety, you can roast them easily in the oven. Peel and cube or simply cut into wedges with their skins, then spread out on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 450F for 20-30 minutes, or until tender and golden.
  • Leafy Greens 9 of 10
    Leafy Greens
    Dark leafy greens are among the healthiest foods you can eat - low in calories, high in fiber and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Try a tossed green salad, quickly sauteed spinach, or this festive salad made with quinoa, cranberries, feta and kale.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Sweet Potatoes 10 of 10
    Sweet Potatoes
    Dark-fleshed sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and fiber - a more nutrient-dense choice than regular white potatoes. Try them roasted and mashed, or grill thick slices and add them to this salad with feta and balsamic dressing.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!

Find more of Julie’s recipes and ideas at her blog, Dinner with Julie. You can also join her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or find more of her posts at the Family Kitchen.

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