As the festive season is in full swing we can be easily tempted to over indulge in food and drinks, however it's important to stay on track and make sure to make healthy choices when possible.
The key to success is to plan your meals and be mindful when enjoying dinner with friends and family. For example if you are eating out you might want to avoid having three courses and enjoy a delicious homemade soup a few hours before dining.
Whether you are cooking Christmas dinner in your own home or are lucky enough to be attending another family members this year, it's important to try and stick to healthy alternatives which is why we have created a list of our favourite healthy Christmas treats!
Healthy Stuffing Balls
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, stringed and finely choppe
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 15g dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 75g peeled chestnuts
- 75g almonds
- 100g wholemeal bread (crusts removed)
- large bunch parsley, chopped
- pinch dry sage
- 1 egg
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (fan/gas 6). Slowly heat the oil in a a saucepan and add the garlic, onion and celery and cook until soft. Tip into a food processor with all of the other ingredients (except the egg) and pulse until combined. Wet your hands and roll the mixture into medium sized balls and then place them onto a baking tray (evenly spread).
- Bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked throughout.
Low Fat Christmas Pudding
- 75g (3oz) currants
- 75g (3oz) sultanas
- 115g (4oz) raisins
- 75g (3oz) cherries
- 75g (3oz) plain flour
- 1tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs
- 50g (2oz) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons gravy browning
- grated zest of ½ lemon and orange
- 115g (4oz) grated apple
- 115g (4oz) grated carrot
- 4tbsp brandy, rum or beer
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 4tbsps skimmed milk
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2tbsp molasses or cane sugar syrup
- 4tbsps brandy or rum for reheating
- Combine all the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in 2 separate bowls and mix together, adding the beaten egg and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour all the mixture into a pudding basin (or glass bowl) and cover with aluminium foil if steaming (do not do this if you plan to microwave).
- If steaming, place the basin into the steamer and cover it, cooking for 3 hours. If microwaving, cover the basin with an upturned plate and cook on high power for 5 minutes, then leave the dish to stand for 5 minutes before cooking for a further 5 minutes.
- When cooked, run a knife along the edge of the dish, tip onto a serving plate and drizzle with brandy rum.
Paprika Roast Potatoes
- 1½ kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters, depending on size
- 100ml olive oil
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan/gas 6). Add all of the potatoes to a pot of cold salted water and gently bring this to a boil and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the water and leave the potatoes to steam dry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the oil to a saucepan and return the potatoes with all seasoning (paprika, salt and pepper). Make sure that all the potatoes are well covered in all seasoning and then add to a roasting tin, ensuring they are evenly spread. For extra crispy potatoes, scrape all the fluffy potato mess!
- Roast the potatoes for 1 hr 15 mins, turning half way through.
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 large carrots chopped
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- handful dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1l low-salt vegetable/chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Put the oil in a saucepan and gently heat and then add in all your vegetables for 5-10 minutes until crisp. Add in the ketchup and dried mushrooms and stir all together until sticky, then add a splash of vinegar. Season the gravy with some salt and then slowly add the stock whilst stirring the mixture and bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Blitz everything together using a hand blender and then pass through a sieve into a fresh sauce pan and once again, bring to a simmer. Slake the cornflour with a splash of water and add to the mixture and continue to cook on a medium heat until thickened.
It is important to try and maintain a healthy and balanced diet throughout the year. Why not book a free consultation with your local Curves club or contact your nearest club.