How To Make Christmas Food A Little More Healthy  – 18th December

Healthy Christmas DinnerAs far as meals go, the Christmas dinner really isn’t that bad for you in fat content compared to say, a pizza or portion of fish and chips. It has great basic ingredients which give you all the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet. The problem is, when you start cooking the potatoes in goose fat, or adding pigs-in-blankets, the traditional Christmas dinner can start to slide in the healthy stakes. So, here’s our round-up of what you can do to make your Christmas dinner a little less of a guilty pleasure without making it taste like cardboard.

Change the oil
At Christmas everybody harps on about goose fat, and yes, it does have a distinctive taste which is rich and wonderful but it is full of saturated fat and so is not good for you. As an alternative, give rapeseed oil a try. This type of oil is widely available, it’s really reasonably priced and it is widely grown in the UK, plus it is around half the fat of standard olive oil. Rapeseed oil is packed with vitamin E which is great for the immune system too.

Drink less or go lo-cal
It’s the time to drink and be merry but people often aren’t too merry after Christmas when they have to reverse the effects of eating and drinking too during the festive season. It seems obvious, but if you cut back on the boozing you’ll save yourself loads of unnecessary calories and possibly a few hangovers too! If you really can’t face cutting back, replace your wine with spirits and your pints of lager with beer or pale bitter which are relatively low in calories. Ideally, if you are in the pub, opt out of every other pint and replace it with a half. You can also opt for lo-cal beers.

Change your mince pie cases
Let’s be honest, we never eat just-the-one mince pie during the festive season. They are delicious because the cases are made up of moreish shortcrust pastry which is rich in butter and sugar. As an alternative you could try making an oatmeal shortcrust case – it is a great source of fibre and has a unique (in a good way!) taste. Thehealthychef.com’s recipe contains almonds too which are full of protein and are great for helping maintain a healthy weight. bit.ly/HealthyPastry

Change the stuffing
Sausage meat and shop bought stuffing mixtures are often high in fat and use lots of oil, so try a fruit-based stuffing using seasonal fruits which are widely available over the festive period. Bonappetit.com has an amazing recipe for Wild Rice, Fruit and Pecan Stuffing. It sounds a little crazy, but it really is good. Replace the olive oil with rapeseed oil and you’ve got a stuffing which is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce cholesterol. You can find the recipe at bit.ly/FruityStuffing

Remove the pigs from their blankets
Sort of defeats the object we know, but if you still want your beloved chipolatas, then it’s worth sacrificing the pastry. If you really can’t face getting rid of the pastry, change the sausage and opt for a low fat or chicken sausage instead. Simple-nourished-living.com has a delicious recipe with sesame seeds on the pastry blanket which tastes super good. Plus sesame seeds are packed with anti-oxidants and vitamin E. You can find the recipe at bit.ly/SkinnyPigsInBlankets

Have you got any other Christmas alternatives? Let us know by commenting here or emailing info@tonyprycesports.co.uk

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