CHRISTMAS TREATS (on the healthy side!) by Marianne Andrews, Nutritional Therapist.
Christmas is a magical time of year and for many of us it is an excuse to totally ditch the regular diet and exercise regime. It’s so tempting to over-indulge. And the worst part is that “Christmas Eating” is not even limited to just one or two days anymore! As you’ve probably noticed, if you haven’t been on the moon for the last few weeks, the Festive Season starts earlier and earlier!
Research shows that many adults will eat an extra 2410 calories a day over the Christmas period. And on Christmas day…. A whopping 4350 calories just on the roast dinner itself! Add to that Christmas pud & brandy butter, that tin of chocolates that Auntie brought, fizz and other alcohol, and it’s easy to see how some people can gain a few pounds just in the 48 hours from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, not to mention the effects that this sort of eating can have on your digestion.
Of course it is time to indulge a little, and here are some of my favourite ways of doing just that, whilst keeping it relatively healthy.
SUGAR FREE WHITE CHRISTMAS BITES
Prep time: 30 mins
562ml coconut butter
281ml coconut milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds extracted
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
50g desiccated coconut
100g macadamia nuts, chopped
100g frozen raspberries
- Line a 20cm square slice tine with baking paper. Melt the coconut butter in a bowl over hot water until it has completely turned to liquid then place in a food processor and add the coconut milk, vanilla, syrup and coconut and whizz until combined.
- Whilst this mixture is still runny, stir in the dry ingredients.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and freeze for 3-4 hours. Store in the freezer. Cut into squares for serving.
- These can be eaten directly from the freezer or thawed for 30 minutes in the fridge.
CHOCOLATE FRUIT & NUT CLUSTERS
Prep time: 25 mins
100g dark chocolate (Green & Blacks would be good)
15g dried cranberries
25g dried apricots
5 Nairns oatcakes
2 tsp xylitol
40g flaked almonds
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water.
- Blend all the other ingredients (except the almonds) in a food processor until roughly chopped
- Add the blitzed mixture and almonds to the melted chocolate and coat thoroughly
- Spoon into 10-12 cake cases and chill in the fridge until set.