It’s that time of the year again when presents and fun abound and you find yourself hopping from one party to another.
Remember how you eagerly awaited the arrival of Christmas as a child, well that excitement doesn’t really abate even with the passage of time.
So, of course, Christmas isn’t just a time for nostalgia but also offers temptation in the form of rich holiday snacks that can seriously derail your health regime in the blink of an eye.
So let’s explore some healthy evening snack options that help you maintain your diet and make you the star chef of the evening:
1) Deviled Eggs:
Eggs aren’t just for Easter. You can welcome Christmas too with a twist of an egg or two and simultaneously avail a whole host of health benefits. Just replace the heart of the hard boiled egg with a mixture of the yolk, yoghurt, mustard, salt and pepper. Simple!
Garnish it with coriander, salt and pepper alongside a spicy coriander chutney for a healthy snack serve.
2) Banana Oatmeal Pancakes:
Christmas is also a time for indulgence in sweets; however, indulging in puddings, pastries and cakes one after the other can seriously derail your fitness regime. That’s why these healthy oatmeal pancakes are the perfect morning treat and can even be served as a light and healthy sweet dish at your Christmas dinner.
- 2 cups oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 large ripe banana
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a blender, combine milk, banana, oats, baking powder and salt.
- Add eggs, honey and vanilla (optional) and blend just until combined.
- Heat skillet over medium heat.
- Once warm, add butter to a hot pan.
- Pour pancake batter into the pan in circles.
- Flip just after a minute or so until it turns light brown on both sides.
- Serve with a swirl of organic honey on top instead of the high caloric maple syrup.
3) Walnut Cookies:
Just like chipmunks treasure their winter store of nuts, so can we if we realise how essential nuts are for these cold months. Walnuts are rich in Vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. The natural oils in dry fruits help fight off the dryness of the weather. Grab a pack of these and turn them into an evergreen healthy snack.
- 1 cup whole grain flour
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and prepare a large cookie sheet.
- For the cookie dough, mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and butter in little pieces.
- Form the dough into small balls no larger than a walnut and place on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
4) Green Tea Mocktail:
The first thing any dietician recommends for weight loss is The Great Green Tea!
With a twist and punch of fruits, and with little or no sweetener, just imagine all the goodness of Green Tea turning into an exotic evening drink for Christmas!
We even have a handy recipe for it.
- 2 bags green tea
- 1/2 cup diced pineapple
- 6 tablespoons simple syrup or Chashni (Optional)
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1/4 diced berries of choice
- Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- Brew tea in 1/2 cup boiling water for 3 minutes, then add 1/2 cup cold water.
- Blend fruit and simple syrup until smooth.
- Combine with tea in equal parts in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and strain into glasses.
5) Cauliflower Soup:
The crown of winter vegetables, cauliflower, is full of antioxidants, boosts immunity and reduces the risk of heart diseases. You can get all the goodness in a single bowl of this deliciously subtle cauliflower soup. Bon appetit!
- Olive oil or cooking oil
- Onion + garlic
- Low-sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock.
- Salt and pepper
- Sautée the garlic and onion until softened.
- Add the cauliflower and stock
- Let everything simmer until the cauliflower is tender.
- Puree the ingredients until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
6) Chicken salad:
Chicken, in itself a lean protein, combined with the goodness of veggies makes the perfect nutritious salad.
Carrots, cabbage, onions add in the vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants. Plus the dressing adds just the right amount of crunch for your guests.
- 1 pound cooked chicken, shredded (about 4 cups shredded)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup diced apple
- 2/3 cup (100 grams) halved grapes
- 2/3 cup (165 grams) yoghurt
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Coriander for garnish
- Toss the shredded chicken, cabbage, onion, apple, grapes and carrots together in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the top of the salad and toss well to coat.
- Fold in the peanuts and coriander and Serve.
7) Chicken Curry:
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Yes, that’s what we have for dinner when we celebrate; Chicken! An Indian meal is incomplete without a curry, and the nutritious chicken curry for your Christmas dinner is just the thing to make your guests’ mouths water.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- ½ tsp powdered spices
- 1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 chicken boiled and diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 8 oz green beans
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a pot.
- Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
- Add the spices, saute for a few minutes, then stir in the coconut milk and broth and bring to a simmer.
- Add the sweet potato and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the green beans and chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender and the chicken is cooked through.
8) Makka/ Ragi Roti:
Breads are a must have for any meal to be fulfilling. But mostly, they bring in a lot of calories along with them. Try switching the regular breads or chapatis with a different grain roti like that of Ragi (Millet) or Makka (Corn). That’ll not only give a unique element to the dinner but also a different and healthier flavor.
9) Orange Cake:
Winters seem incomplete without the tang of oranges, and so does Christmas without a cake. Forget the conventional high caloric chocolate cakes and try incorporating the fruit of the season, Orange, instead. The mild, sweet, and tangy flavour would surely win hearts at dessert or even with an evening tea.
- 3 ¾ cups (450g) white whole wheat flour
- 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp (32g) orange zest (about 3-4 medium oranges)
- 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 4 large egg whites
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (180g) plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 cup (240mL) nonfat milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat a pan with nonstick cooking spray and flour.
- To prepare the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Next, whisk in the orange zest.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, vanilla extract.
- Stir in the yogurt, mixing until no lumps remain.
- Stir in the orange juice.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
10) Keeros Multiseed and Corn Chaat:
When all the Christmas dinner is done, and you just need a little something for your guests to snack on while chatting, Keeros is your best option. Without having to cook and miss out on the fun, simply grab a jar of Keeros Multigrain Roasted supersnack. The crunch of the roasted healthy snacks with the chewiness of the corn is just what they need.
- Take a bowl of Keeros Multigrain Roasted Supersnacks.
- Add chopped onions, tomatoes, chillies and steamed or boiled corn.
- Top with lime juice and salt
Now that’s one complete list of all the must haves for this festive eve. So jot down all the goodies that are going to make your Christmas healthier and merrier!