HEALTHY CHRISTMAS RECIPES
Christmas is a time for indulgence, but that doesn’t have to mean being unhealthy! Here are some healthy and delicious Christmas recipes, which are packed full of nutrients to keep you and your skin healthy over Christmas.
Breakfast: Clementine and Kiwi Festive Porridge
This is a delicious porridge which looks as good as it tastes with the beautiful jewel colours of the fruit. Kiwi and Clementine are both especially rich in vitamin C to support your immune system at this time of year, and also to support healthy collagen production in your skin. Oats are an excellent source of fibre, B vitamins and magnesium and provide slow-releasing energy to keep you full and satisfied all morning. Cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels, which affect our mood, energy levels and appetite.
- 80g porridge oats
- 300ml coconut drink (I used Ecomil unsweetened)
- 150ml water
- A pinch of pink salt
- 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 Clementine, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Put the oats, coconut drink, salt and water in a pan and cook until you have a creamy porridge (5–10 mins).
- In another small pan heat the maple syrup and cinnamon until warm
- Divide the porridge between 2 bowls, arrange the kiwi and Clementine slices on top and pour the hot maple sauce over it. Serve immediately.
Brunch: Buckwheat Blini with Scrambled Eggs & Salmon
If you prefer a bigger breakfast or brunch, this is perfect for Christmas Day. It would also make a great New Year’s Day healthy ‘morning after’ meal. It is super high in protein and gluten-free. Buckwheat is a wonderful grain rich in fibre, vitamin B3, magnesium and manganese. The salmon provides omega-3 fats to moisturize your skin from within and help regulate mood. The spinach adds beta-carotene, vitamin K, folate, iron, and calcium to the dish, making this a nutrient powerhouse!
- 8 eggs
- 175g wholegrain buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 300ml unsweetened almond, soya or skimmed organic milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices of smoked salmon (preferably wild)
- 200g spinach
- Small bunch of chives
- Whisk 2 of the eggs with an electric whisk or by hand until frothy. Add the flour, baking powder and milk and beat thoroughly until you have a smooth batter. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and drop in 1–2 tablespoons of the batter at a time to make the blini. Cook until golden, turn and cook the other side.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, keeping the blini warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
- Meanwhile scramble the remaining 6 eggs and wilt the spinach in a separate pan. When the spinach is cooked, squeeze out any excess water and chop. Mix it into the scrambled eggs.
- Serve 2 blini per person topped with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and some chopped chives.
Christmas Dinner: Roast Vegetables & Turkey
Turkey is a fantastic source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted in the brain to the happy chemical serotonin, which helps us feel happy, relaxed and aids sleep. It is also an excellent source of lean protein, B vitamins, selenium and zinc. Choosing a free-range organic turkey is worth the extra cost as they have a better nutritional profile including higher omega-3 levels. Including the rainbow of roast veggies below, instead of the usual parsnips and white potatoes add a host of vitamins and antioxidants to your Christmas dinner.
- 1 free-range organic turkey, stuffed and cooked to your liking
- 500g baby carrots (rainbow carrots are amazing if you can get them)
- 4 Sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into large cubes
- 8 Parsnips, peeled and cut lengthways into quarters
- 2 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 4 Beetroot, parboiled for 25 mins, then peeled and quartered
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp pink salt
- A few sprigs of Rosemary
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp honey
- Put the beetroot onto boil first while you peel and chop the other veg. The beetroot needs to be boiled for 25 mins, then peeled and quartered
- Arrange all the vegetables in sections (don’t mix together) in one or 2 large roasting trays, drizzled with the oil, salt and herbs and roast in the oven for about 40–50 mins.
- When ready drizzle the honey over the parsnips and arrange all the veg on a serving platter
- Serve with your turkey, red cabbage and any other trimmings you like, lean breast meat without skin is the healthiest! I also like to serve some green veg such as broccoli and Cavolo Nero.
Side Dish: Braised Red Cabbage, Apple, and Raisins
- 1 large red cabbage, shredded
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
- 75g raisins
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1–2 tbsp cider vinegar
- ½ tsp pink salt
- Combine cabbage, apples, raisins, oil and salt in a pan with 125ml water.
- Cover and cook on a medium heat for 30–35 minutes, adding more water if necessary and stirring from time to time.
- When the cabbage is soft and no liquid remains, it is ready.
- Remove from heat, add seasoning and vinegar to taste, mix well. Serve warm with your Christmas dinner.
Evening Snack: Spiced Hot Chocolate with Pear & Pecan Cookies
Raw cocoa is a super-rich source of antioxidants, amazing for protecting your general health and your skin. Chocolate has been shown to improve skin condition and have stress-relieving benefits as well. Nutmeg contains a substance called myristicin which aids tranquillity and cinnamon helps balance blood sugar to help keep mood stable. The cookies are free from refined sugars and based on healthy wholegrain oats and spelt, both of which are high in fibre and nutrients. Pecan nuts are an amazing source of healthy fats, vitamin B1 and zinc, so get dunking!
Hot Chocolate: 2 servings
- 400ml almond milk
- 1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- A few gratings of nutmeg
- 2 tsp coconut palm sugar (optional)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Put everything except the cinnamon sticks in a pan and heat gently
- Pour into your favourite mug and add the cinnamon stick
Cookies: makes 12
- 1 pear, peeled and cored
- 100g wholemeal spelt flour
- 50g rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 50g pecans, chopped
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 4tsp coconut oil, melted
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Chop the pear into small pieces. Add to a bowl with all of the other ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon 12 dollops of the mixture onto the baking sheet & gently flatten with a spoon. Bake for 18–20 minutes, until golden.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving with the hot chocolate.
- The cookies will keep for a few days in an airtight container (if you can save them that long!)