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  • Writer's pictureD'Ann Franck

Happy Friday Before Thanksgiving!

Happy Friday! It’s so crazy and hard to believe that next weekend is Thanksgiving! If you are anything like me you find yourself grazing and eating nonstop because there is food out all day, only to have a stomach ache and regret it the following day. I find that it helps me to have some healthy options including a big a$* veggie tray that I can pick out without feeling guilty. I will always do a Greek yogurt dip or hummus with it so I can indulge but still be eating some thing healthier. I’m sending you some of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving. If you try them out I’d love to hear what you think. If you share a photo be sure to tag me! 1. Healthy Cookies

These healthy cookies are full of good-for-you ingredients (like oatmeal) but still taste like a treat! It's okay to sneak another one here and there 😉 An extra bonus is they are vegetarian AND gluten free! Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned oats

  • 1 cup Medjool dates

  • ½ cup cashew butter (or other nut butter or sunflower butter)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ cup plain or Greek yogurt

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (or more if desired), plus 1 tablespoon for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Toast the coconut: Place the coconut in a small dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the coconut is fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the coconut can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.

  3. Place 1 cup of the Old Fashioned oats in a food processor and process until finely ground into a flour. Remove to a bowl. (If you prefer, you can substitute 1 cup oat flour to eliminate this step.)

  4. Remove the pits from the Medjool dates. Add them to the food processor with the nut butter, vanilla and salt. Process crumbly and fully combined, stopping and scraping the bowl once.

  5. Add the egg and yogurt and pulse until combined.

  6. Add the processed oat flour, remaining 1 cup whole oats, baking soda, and cinnamon and pulse until a thick dough forms. Stir in the toasted coconut and chocolate chips with a spatula.

  7. Make 20 small balls and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet: it’s easiest using a 1 ½ tablespoon / size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it. For a flatter cookie, gently press down with your hand (we left them as the domed of the cookie scoop). Gently press in the remaining 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips to the tops of the cookies.

  8. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pan after 7 minutes. Allow to cool on a baking rack. To store, place the cookies in a sealed container lined with paper towels between the cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week, or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

2. Healthy Chocolate Pudding Snack

This chocolate snack tastes rich and chocolaty, but it’s just Greek yogurt, cocoa powder and maple syrup. The best part is it takes only a few minutes to make! Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

  • ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. It will be very thick at first, but it will smooth out once the cocoa powder incorporates. If your yogurt is very thick, you can add ½ to 1 tablespoon water to get a bit lighter texture, but all yogurts vary. (Also, you can always add a little more cocoa powder or maple to adjust to your own taste.)

3. Turkey Veggie Tray

The most festive turkey veggie tray you will ever make! Not only is it healthy, it's so cute and everyone will be impressed! Ingredients:

  • 2 red bell pepper

  • 2 cups baby carrots

  • 1 yellow bell pepper

  • candy eye balls

  • 1 crown broccoli

  • 2 cups baby carrots

  • 2 cucumbers

  • 1 cup snap peas

  • dip


  • Make the face by cutting the bottom off of a red pepper. Make the beak by using a baby carrot, a piece of yellow pepper for the snoods and candy eye balls!

  • To make the body, gather and prep your veggies. We like to wash and cut to sizes that are easy for grabbing.

  • Layer the sliced cucumbers first in a half circle around the platter. Then layer the carrots, yellow and red peppers, and broccoli pieces in smaller half circles. End with the snap peas at the bottom.

4. Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Almond Butter Balsamic

This Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash recipe is a SOO good! It's a get together staple! It’s the perfect, healthy side dish for your next meal and great for holiday sides too. Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Paleo Friendly, too! Works for everyone. Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS olive oil

  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar

  • 1 TBS pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

  • 2 lbs squash* (butternut or carnival)

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter

  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup

  • 2 tsp stone ground mustard

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 TBS water to thin


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with oil or line with silicone mat.

  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Set aside.

  3. Prepare squash by peeling, scooping out seeds, and cutting into one inch cubes. Place on baking sheet.

  4. Prepare Brussels sprouts by trimming ends and cutting in half lengthwise. Add to baking sheet with the squash, pour on the maple syrup mixture, and stir with spatula to combine.

  5. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, then stir and roast for another 10-15 minutes, until squash is soft and brussels sprouts are golden.

  6. While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing: combine all ingredients into small blender on high speed until smooth or combine in medium bowl and whisk vigorously by hand.

  7. When the vegetables have finished roasting, transfer to casserole or serving dish. Add dried cranberries, sliced almonds (reserving some for garnish on top if desired), and dressing. Gently stir to combine. Enjoy warm!

As we go into Thanksgiving week I want to share that I am so incredibly thankful for you and for this community. Thank you for being a part of my life and for inviting me into your life! XO, D'Ann

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