Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Try These Thanksgiving Recipes with Less Added Sugar: Some “Cool” Ideas

November 16, 2016

Like so many others, I am blessed to have wonderful memories of Thanksgiving family gatherings. Having everyone gravitate to the kitchen was a distinctive and fond part of those memories. Even those not involved in meal preparation (especially the kiddos) were always in the kitchen, waiting and watching the magic of the Thanksgiving meal come together.

Although many of our traditional holiday dishes were prepared in advance (i.e., cookies, nut breads, pecan pie), many of them had to be prepared on Thanksgiving Day. With far “too many cooks in the kitchen” (literally and figuratively), I still remember how hot the kitchen became, with all of the stove’s burners blazing and both ovens going full force. Someone get me a fan, please!

Over the years, however, our family has transitioned in countless ways. Not only do we not overindulge at the main Thanksgiving meal (and throughout the day), we also make Thanksgiving recipes with a whole lot less sugar by using SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. (I have mentioned before that we have long history of diabetes in my family so we are very glad to have SPLENDA® Sweetener choices for most of our recipes that call for sugar).

Oh, and I forgot to mention, Thanksgiving at our family’s gathering spot is now much cooler: We now focus on recipes that can be made well in advance to reduce the hustle and bustle and heat in the kitchen. Hence the part of this blog’s title “Cool Ideas.” If nothing else, it allows us much more time to be together without being in the cramped confines of a hot kitchen.

To help your family keep cool while making Thanksgiving favorites with fewer calories and less added sugar, here are three ideas I would like to offer: 1) a delightful, fall-fruit sangria that can be served with appetizers, 2) a “lighter” version of traditional Waldorf Salad, and 3) a delicious less-added-sugar Pumpkin Bread Pudding. All have reduced-sugar content thanks to SPLENDA® Sweeteners.

Sparkling Fall Sangria
Servings Per Recipe: 8


  • 1 orange, sliced crosswise into ¼” thick rounds
  • 1 apple, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 bottle dry Spanish red wine
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 packets SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
  • 1½ cups seltzer water to top


  1. Add orange slices to a large pitcher and muddle with the back of a wooden spoon to release the juices.
  2. Add all other ingredients except for seltzer and stir to combine well. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day to allow flavors to meld and fruit to infuse.
  3. Serve chilled over ice, topped with ¼ cup seltzer.

Waldorf Salad Waldorf Salad
Servings Per Recipe: 4; Serving Size: ¾ cup



  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 packets SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 pinches nutmeg


  • 2 cups chopped apple
  • ½ cups chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add salad ingredients and toss with dressing. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Info

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Servings Per Recipe: 4; Serving Size: 4 oz.


  • 3 cups French bread, cubed
  • 2/3 cup 1% low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 8 packets SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray four (4 oz.) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Cut bread into one-inch cubes. Set aside.
  3. Mix milk, pumpkin, egg, egg white, SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, spices, and vanilla extract together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add bread chunks and stir until bread is coated. Allow bread to soak up moisture for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Spoon bread pudding into the prepared ramekins. Top with chopped pecans. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm or chilled.

Nutrition Info

If you wish to make over your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and want to cut calories, one simple change you can make is to use SPLENDA® Sweeteners in place of full sugar. I personally have made lower sugar desserts and side dishes as well as beverages using a variety of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All of my recipes have surprised – and delighted – family and friends. Here is an easy-to-follow conversion chart so you know how to substitute the various SPLENDA® Sweetener Products cup for cup.

Remember, the key to lightening the calorie count of holiday foods and drinks is through less-added-sugar and fat recipe swaps and cooking techniques, along with some smart strategies to control portion sizes.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Splenda Cooking & BakingFor even more ideas on how to make SPLENDA® Sweeteners part of your everyday cooking, visit the Cooking & Baking section of this blog or visit the recipes section on

Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.

November 16, 2016  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Cooking & Baking


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