Get in! Christmas is nearly here. And that means chocolate, alcohol and the main event, the Christmas dinner. But can a clean eating machine make the the Don of roasts healthy? We think so.
Now at this point, you may well be thinking, “Why would you want to?” It’s one day in a year after all.
We aren’t saying you have to do this, but if you are so hardcore that, go to them gym, swig on a protein shake, and count your macros on Christmas day, then this is for you.
Swap the spuds
I am immense at roast potatoes. Probably because I use goose fat, duck fat, butter, oil, and a lot of salt. With that, comes a lot of unnecessary, often bad fats, as well a hell of a lot of sodium, which can increase cholesterol levels. If you want to avoid all that, you have three options.
One, is to cook roast potatoes in a much calmer manner. This could mean bland spuds, and no one wants that.
Much better for a health kick, is the second option. That is to serve up delicious baked potatoes. The skin is highly nutritious, and packed with vitamins and minerals. If however, that seems a bit odd on Christmas day, then why not try sweet potatoes? They may be higher sodium than your run of the mill spud, but they also pack more of an energy punch. Which you may well need on the 8th round of Pictionary.
Making your own gravy is a wonderful thing. The transference of flavours, the changing of colours…the taste. But again, there is a lot of fat, and a lot of sodium in homemade gravy.
Some simple steps can be taken to make gravy healthier. The first, is to skim the fat off any juices or water you use to make the delicious stuff. Simply pour the juices into a bowl or jug, let the fat naturally separate, and with a spoon, delicately take out the fat.
Using low sodium salt for seasoning will also help, as not all salt is bad. As proven by potassium in bananas. It is just the sodium that you really want to avoid in this instance.
If all this sounds like too much work, then get on the Bisto. What you gain in salt, you lose in fat and sugar.
Turkey, is not dry. It is only through poor cooking techniques that it becomes dry. And with that, comes an issue when trying to make your Christmas turkey healthy. Basting your turkey in its juices, plying it with butter and pretty much every other technique to cook turkey, means you are adding fat to the bird.
But turkey is lean, and full of protein. So if you can find an especially low fat cut, then you have a good start. It’s also a good idea to know what bits of the meat are better for you. In general, the white mean will have less saturated fat and more protein. The brown meat has marginally more iron, but is higher in calories, so bear this in mind when picking your share of the festive feast.
There is one further course of action you can take, but it’s quite drastic. The skin of the turkey is probably the best bit, but it is also full of fat. So if you are a full on, full time health nut, give it to a loved one.
How pernickity can we get? you may be asking. Well bear with us.
Vegetables, especially when steamed, are extremely good for you. Rich in vitamins, minerals and a lot of what the body needs. It’s when we start garnishing them, that they become a bit less awesome. Careful with oil, careful with salt; again, it’s sodium and fat.
Yes we are being picky, but if you want a seasoning that is absent of calories, then use some lime or lemon zest, some juice of the same fruit, and add some herbs in too.
Unless you get yourself something like Muscle Mousse there isn’t a lot you can do to make something normally full of a sugar good for you.
But you can make your dessert something like a fruit salad; that way, you know you will be getting all the goodness from the fruit, even if you are still consuming huge amounts of sugar.
If you really want to cut down on sugar, get yourself some zero calorie syrups. You can squirt it on to your heart’s content!
Please note, we are not trying to ruin Christmas dinner for you. We are just giving you the options. But whatever you do, don’t have this. Ever.