Truth be told, when it is Christmas or any other big feast all the caution is thrown out of the window and we start being careless eating all we can-because after all its Christmas and it comes once a year! This Christmas we should be cautious about what we are going to eat.
Just to name but a few of what foods we can prepare in our homes as part of the Christmas celebration without trying to harm ourselves;
Breakfast- brown bread, cheese, ham, eggs, coffee and tea can make a very sumptuous and healthy breakfast. Brown bread is a whole wheat bread which is also very good for normal people or even with people suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. Cheese is also good for the body. Ham is good for sandwich; eggs can be served as scrambled, boiled or even fried. A fruit or two is a must before savouring all the other eats.
Lunch – starter can be a mushroom soup served with a bun. Then the main course without any fail in most homes which can afford is grilled turkey or chicken, these two are white meat and contain nutrients and are healthier to eat since they are white meat. Also when eating these two delicacies try to avoid eating the skin because this is usually high in fat, served with vegetables, rice, roast potatoes and who could forget the roast potato, a vital part of the traditional Christmas lunch? Potatoes are a starchy food containing carbohydrate, which gives us energy, as well as fibre and other important vitamins and minerals. So pile them high! And if you cut them into larger chunks they will absorb less fat. For some of us who grew up in the coastal region, Christmas is not without Pilau or the chicken biryani not forgetting chapati’s.
Heaps of vegetables are another traditional part of Christmas lunch. Many people will eat more fruit and vegetables on Christmas day than on any other day of the year. And with so many different varieties to choose from, it should be easy to reach your five daily portions.
At this time of year there are lots of wonderful vegetables in season. And these can add lots of colour and taste to your plate, not to mention the vitamins.
You could try steaming your vegetables, rather than boiling them, this way they won’t lose as many vitamins. If you do boil your vegetables, you could use the cooking water to make the gravy. This is also a good way of making healthy gravy because you won’t need to use stock cubes, granules or powder, which all tend to be very high in salt.
Another Christmas classic is the Christmas pudding, with its rich concoction of fruits .
But Christmas pudding isn’t to everyone’s taste. If you’re after a lighter dessert, try serving a big fruit salad and make it extra special by adding some fruits such as papaya. Make your own Christmas compote by stewing your favourite berries with plums, apples and cinnamon, and serve it up with some plain yoghurt which is readily available in supermarkets. Or try poaching pears and serve with some low-fat yoghurt and a sprinkling of pomegranate.
Christmas dinner – depending with one’s family tradition, some families enjoy their main celebration during Christmas at lunch time, while others enjoy their at dinner time. Either way one chooses to have their Christmas meal, it surely must be cooked well and be enjoyed. After which a Christmas cake is a must have, with a cup of tea when the entire family is enjoying their evening together sitting around and remembering the good old days.
This is a very good time in my family, when we spread mats down, sit and tell our stories as we remember the good old days and the people that we loved and lost, such a bittersweet moment.
Despite everyone’s best efforts at tucking into the Christmas goodies, there are usually plenty of leftovers for Boxing Day. Don’t forget it’s important to cool leftovers as quickly as possible (ideally within one to two hours) and then store them in the fridge to stop food poisoning bacteria growing.
A glass of wine late into the night will do for people who love their drinks! All this goes to show that festive food can be healthy as well as tasty. So this year, make sure to eat, drink and be merry!