Fruit and veges counter Christ­mas treats

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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