9 healthy (and tasty) festive food swaps

9 healthy (and tasty) festive food swaps

While you don’t want to worry about calories at Christmas, with these tasty swaps you won’t have to think twice about going for the healthy option.

While you don’t want to worry about calories at Christmas, with these tasty swaps you won’t have to think twice about going for the healthy option

You’d think at Christmas most of us want to give Santa a run for his money with the amount of calories we consume, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

While we’re not suggesting you swap your turkey for extra sprouts. In fact, if you follow these switches you’ll barely notice a difference, as these tasty options are as packed with flavour as they are nutrients. Or sometimes it’s just knowing what the lower-calorie option is, so you can have the same treat with less of the guilt.

Read on for nine easy festive food swaps you can make this Christmas…

1. Roast potatoes for roast parsnips

Whilst spuds are a root vegetable, they’re too starchy to count as one of your five a day. Plus roast potatoes are usually covered in goose fat, which adds flavour but also a whole host of calories.

Instead, swap your potatoes for parsnips, which contain more vitamins and minerals and are still super tasty, adding a delicious sweetness to your meal. Sprinkle them with paprika for a twist and additional nutrients.

2. Pigs in blankets for Parma ham and asparagus

They may be a favourite but pigs in blankets are essentially fat wrapped in more fat, then fried. Instead, swap them for the equally delicious – and arguably more sophisticated – option of asparagus spears wrapped in Parma ham.

The fibre content of the asparagus helps support healthy digestion and so will help avoid the dreaded post-dinner bloat, too.

3. Vol au vents for filo tartlets

Not all pastry is made equal, and vol au vents are made with puff pastry, which is high in calories and fat. Filo pastry offers equal taste with nearly half the calories and less fat, so check it before you neck it.

4. Honey glazed ham for smoked salmon

If you’re stood over the party buffet debating whether to go for a slice of glazed ham or some smoked salmon, opt for the latter. While the calories and fat content are similar, the omega 3 and fatty acids of salmon make it the winner health-wise.

5. Christmas pudding for clementine sorbet

You’re probably stuffed after Christmas lunch so why not take the opportunity to have a light dessert instead of the sugar-packed Christmas pudding. Clementine sorbet is festive and light, and the perfect way to refresh and cleanse your palate after a big dinner.

If you must have Christmas pud, opt for a small slice and have it with custard made with skimmed milk instead of brandy butter.

6. Mince pies for… mince pies

A mince pie is a festive must-eat, but one pie can contain up to 20 grams of sugar. Instead of going for shop-bought pies, which are usually made with buttery shortcrust pastry, make some homemade filo pastry pies, and enjoy them with a tablespoon of low-fat Greek yoghurt instead of double cream.

7. Christmas Yule log for panettone

A slab of chocolate Yule log is, unsurprisingly, laden with calories, sugar and fat. Instead, swap it for a slice of panettone. Equally delicious and the all-round healthier option.

8. Stilton for goats’ cheese

Who can resist a cheese board at any time of year, yet alone Christmas? And it’s fine to have a few slices, just be careful of what cheeses you go for.

Stilton, for example is higher in calories and fat than goats’ cheese, so opt for the latter and eat it with a few slices of apple or grapes for some added vitamins.

9. After-dinner chocolates for roasted chestnuts

Forgo the bumper boxes of chocolate over Christmas for bowls of unsalted nuts. From brazil nuts to walnuts, they are packed with minerals and vitamins and a handful will keep you fuller for longer so you don’t keep snacking.

For a festive touch, cut a cross on the top of some chestnuts and roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes.

If you really need a sweet fix, try some plain Turkish delight, which is very low in fat and has fewer calories than chocolate.

And one last swap…

As well as avoiding unnecessary calories this Christmas, you can also avoid unnecessary stress by getting the washing-up done quickly and easily by swapping your regular dishwasher tablets for Fairy Platinum Tablets.

These liquid tabs break down even the toughest foods, grease and oil first time, so there’s no need to pre-rinse or run the dishwasher twice. They’re so powerful, they’ll even clean your dishwasher while they’re at it. Sorted.

Do you have any health festive food swap suggestions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Healthy food items

Victoria 03/01/2017

Would love to try out some healthy recipied food as Xmas and new year have now gone and so need the pounds too

Watchout for calories at Xmas

Coco 02/01/2017

I love watching what I eat and try to get my partner to follow, this idea of festive food swap was the best thing ever, we never have parsnips with our dinner and have tried it this season and they were sweet and tasty and am sticking to that! Pigs in blankets is going out the window and taken over by asparagus wrapped in parma ham, and works for us as we both love asparagus! Nuts not chocolates, big transformation for less calories at festive seasons!


Carol 30/12/2016

It is brilliant works wonders would not be withou it

Christmas dinner

Sasha 26/12/2016

I swapped my roast potatoes for roasted sweet potatoes, they were a great hit as they're lighter and healthier. I also only used a drizzle of vegetable oil in a solid baking tray. They always come out crispy! Why not try roasting your veg too for extra flavour, carrots are always sweeter. I always cook lots of vegetables and serve up less meat and potatoes. That way everyone fills up on veg and there's plenty of meat left over for curries, casseroles, sandwiches, salads etc saving money too.

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