How to entertain in a healthy way this Christmas.


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How to entertain in a healthy way this Christmas.

Party season has well and truly arrived and with it plenty of parties and celebrations to mark the end of another year. While indulging in party food and drinks it extremely enjoyable, it can also result in a complete calorie blow out if we are not careful so if you are wanting some tips on balancing good health with great celebrating this Christmas here are some simple steps to take.

1. Focus on nutrient rich foods

While our default tends to be focusing on the foods we should not be eating, when we make a simple shift and focus on packing our diets full of nutrient rich foods, our dietary balance naturally tips in the right direction. This remains the case when we are entertaining. Sure we are likely to indulge in some high calorie treats and extras, but if we give our diet a foundation of healthy, whole foods, our diet will remain balanced and calorie controlled. This means when you are entertaining, base your foods around fresh vegetables and salads, nuts, lean protein and treats made with a healthy base – think cut up veges and Mayver’s Goodness to Go Peanut Butter, slices of smoked salmon, oysters and prawns and bites and treats made with dates and mixed nut spreads dressed with a Christmas flavour. 

2. Go for portion control

Things get out of hand from a calorie perspective at this time of year when we load up on handfuls of high calories foods mindlessly- chips, dips, cheese, crackers and even nuts – all high calorie foods that can add to equate to more calories than a meal without us even realising it. For this reason portion control goes a long way at this time of year. Think individual portions of dips and spreads, avoid grabbing extra handfuls of snacks mindlessly and load up your plates with lower calorie options such as vege sticks, popcorn and shellfish. 

3. Avoid the pastry and fried foods

As soon as you see pastry or fried foods such as pies, sausage rolls, arancini balls and fried seafood, run like the plague. With a single fried or pastry based canapé containing at least 100 calories and 5g of fat, you can save yourself a seriously number of calories by banning these foods, which contain very few positive nutritional properties entirely.

4. Make some healthy treats

It is Christmas time so it is natural to want to enjoy a few tasty treats at this time of year and it is really not that difficult to make some healthier versions of your favourite sweet treats. Healthy biscuits are easy when you use a base of wholemeal flour and oats; while truffles, balls and bites are just as yummy when they have a nut spread or peanut butter base and can be decorated in your favourite Christmas colours. If you need some inspiration check out some of our ideas below.

Recipe: Christmas Truffles

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Makes 15 truffles

Ingredients

3/4 Cup Mayver’s Peanut & Cacao Spread

10 Medjool Dates, pitted

1 Tablespoon Water

1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Quick Oats

1⁄2 Cup Desiccated coconut, plus extra to coat

Method

1. Place cacao spread, dates and water in a food processor. Blitz to combine. Add oats and blitz until mixture comes together.

2. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in coconut.

3. Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Roll in coconut to coat and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Recipe: Reindeer Cookies

Makes 10 cookies

IMG_2606Ingredients

3/4 Cup Mayvers Smooth Peanut Butter

8 Medjool Dates, pitted

2 Eggs, whisked

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Self-raising Flour

20 Pretzels

20 White Chocolate Bits

10 Peanut M&Ms (Brown and Red for Rudolph)

Black Icing Pen

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced) and line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Place the peanut butter, dates, eggs and milk in a food processor or blender and blitz until well combined. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

3. Stir in cocoa powder and flour. If the mixture looks too dry, add a dash of milk until everything comes together.

4. Roll a heaped tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on the baking tray. Flatten dough with the back of a spoon.

5. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven and immediately press two pretzels into each cookie for the antlers. Allow to cool for a minute before pressing in two white chocolate drops for the eyes and a M&M nose. Place one small dot of black icing on each eye for the pupil.

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