Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover

Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover //
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Happy Thanksgiving friends! I’m excited to be writing from beautiful New York City this week. I am not cooking or doing the traditional holiday gathering this year, but I know so many of you are, which is why I had to bring you my favorite Thanksgiving recipe upgrades. You see I call them upgrades because really living nutritiously doesn’t mean deprivation. It means upgrading our favorite foods so they nourish us and we celebrate this beautiful thing called life without guilt or hesitation. Here are a few of my favorite upgrades. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as my family and I have.

#RNL Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover

We love making these for breakfast and snacks.

pumpkin spice muffins 2

Paleo Pumpkin Spiced Muffins



  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a standard muffin pan with paper cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed, folding in chips last, if desired.
  3. Distribute batter evenly into muffin cups.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes until cakes start to crack on top.
  5. Allow cooling in pan. Store in airtight container in fridge up to 1 week. These also freeze well!

For Starters: 

pumpkin spiced almonds

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds



  1. Preheat over to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. While the oven is preheating, pour 1 cup almonds into a large mixing bowl. Add your cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt – toss to coat.
  3. Drizzle the agave and vanilla extract on the almonds and stir until all almonds are coated with the spices and sweetener.
  4. Spray a foil lined cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread the almonds on the sheet in a single layer.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping once, until almonds are roasted.
  6. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

And how cute is this:

turk veg tray

Our Favorite Sides:


Cauliflower Mashers

Serves 8


  • 2 small/medium heads cauliflower
  • 3 T organic butter or ghee
  • 3 T canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Options: Chives, basil, thyme


  1. Boil cauliflower until tender and drain well.
  2. Next blend all ingredients well with a blender or food processor.

sweet pot cass

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole

Serves 8


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 T coconut sugar
  • 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup raw honey 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover, and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly.
  5. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth.
  6. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  7. Mix the coconut sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes.
  8. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 160; Fat 4 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Carbohydrate 31 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 3 g



Low-Sugar Chia-Cranberry Sauce

Makes 2 cups / 6 servings


  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1½ cups fresh apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest


  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the cranberries, apple juice and coconut sugar over moderate heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cranberries have burst, and the liquid has reduced by about half – approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and add the chia seeds and orange zest.
  4. Mix very well to distribute the seeds.
  5. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring the chia seeds to incorporate every 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to fully chill.
  6. Serve cold. Refrigerated Chia-Cranberry Sauce will last for up to 1 week.

Fun Treats, Desserts and/or Snacks:

Top of view coffee on wood table

whipped cream

Easy Coconut Whipped Cream


  1. Put one can full-fat coconut milk (BPA free) in the fridge overnight upside down. (I always keep a few cans like in my fridge in case I get the urge.)
  2. Put glass bowl in the fridge for at least 5 minutes prior to making (best to keep things cold).
  3. Open can upright and the coconut water will be on top and you can pour right off and use for a smoothie, etc.
  4. Add 1-2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla and 1 tsp-1 T (to taste) of honey or stevia to taste and beat with hand mixer to desired consistency.
  5. Serve immediately and Enjoy!!!



Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Serves 1


  • 8 ounces brewed coffee (or 1-2 shots of espresso)
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 T pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 T honey
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon


  1. In a cup or sauce pan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat on the stove top or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices, and sweetener, place in a cup and use a frother to foam the milk. You can also use a blender – just process for 30 seconds or until foamy.
  3. Pour coffee into a large mug, add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!


Melissa’s Raw Brownie Cocoroons



  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand.
  2. Roll into small golf-ball sized choco-balls and freeze until set up. Keep in fridge until ready to serve!

Be sure and PIN these recipes so you have them for years to come!

Happy Thanksgiving

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Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover //

Blendtec Blenders
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, or as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your advising physician before starting any treatment for a medical condition. Real Nutritious Living, LLC shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained on this site or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this site.

Author: Melissa Schollaert

I'm Melissa—Holistic Health Coach & loving mama. My passion is to help others thrive through strategic eating (not dieting), living a toxic free life & creating healthier families.

5 thoughts on “Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover”

  1. Hi Melissa,

    Regarding your Pumpkin Paleo Muffins, there is no flour, whether it be almond, or any type listed. Was that an accidental exclusion? I just can’t see how the batter would combine into a muffin with the ingredients listed above. Let me know. Hope you’re doing well.
    Xoxo Corie

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