Fruit and veges counter Christmas treats
By making a few simple changes it is possible to have a healthy Christmas Day without forgoing the festive fun, says 5+ A Day.
By including seasonal fruit and vegetables into the day’s festivities, you can cut back on the calories without compromising on flavour, said nutritionist Bronwen Anderson.
‘‘By finding ways to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your Christmas Day breakfast, lunch and dinner and replace larger servings of high calorie foods with lower calorie fruit and vegetables, you can still enjoy your day, feel full and satisfied on fewer calories, yet still get to enjoy great variety,’’ said Bronwen.
‘‘ Fruit and vegetables are water- rich foods that not only fill you up, they do so on fewer calories, which helps to maintain a healthy body weight.
‘‘Colour is key when it comes to fruit and vegetables so aim to eat a rainbow of colour every day.
‘‘It will be the best thing you can do for your body this Christmas.’’
Here are 10 ways to add extra fruit and vegetables to your Christmas Day meals.
Indulge in this season’s beautiful berries with a festive fruit salad for a fresh start on Christmas morning. Take sweet juicy strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, add a squeeze of lemon and fresh mint for some zing.
Scrambled eggs, salmon and bagels are popular choices for brunch on Christmas Day. Pile baby spinach leaves on top of a bagel, add thinly sliced smoked salmon with deliciously fluffy scrambled eggs. Oven roast vine tomatoes until soft, sprinkle with freshly chopped herbs and serve on the side.
If you’re saving yourself for a big celebration lunch a breakfast smoothie is a great option. Whiz up a banana, a handful of frozen berries, low fat milk, yoghurt, and maple syrup to see you through the morning.
Christmas is the perfect time to fill the cake tins with delicious home baking. For a lighter breakfast option, impress guests with warm apple and cinnamon muffins fresh from the oven.
Avoid fat-laden dips and spreads and serve sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber, orange segments, and grapes for finger food instead.
Perk up platters with frozen grapes or thinly sliced nectarine and pawpaw as a delightful addition to any cheeseboard.
Barbecued vegetables are a lovely and colourful alternative to heavy roast vegetable dishes. Asparagus, zucchini, pumpkin and capsicum look gorgeous and are appetising. Top this combination with par- sley and lemon wedges, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
For a new colourful twist on the traditional stuffing, add dried fruit such as apricots, cranberries and apple with chopped capsicum for a festive flavour.
Mini meringues topped with whipped cream, low fat yoghurt or fat-free fromage frais, sliced strawberries, bananas, grapes, and passionfruit, is a great option. Or impress with a vanilla pannacotta and a strawberry salsa.
For a low-fat, fresh tasting pudding sprinkle brown sugar over halved peaches or nectarines and dot with low-fat spread. Bake until golden and serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche or yoghurt. This is perfect for entertaining a crowd on a budget.
Healthy option: By including seasonal fruit and vegetables into Christmas Day’s festivities, you can cut back on the calories without compromising on flavour.