It’s the same story every year: when Christmas comes, we kiss the gym goodbye and go on a healthy-eating holiday. While it’s easy to resign ourselves to spending the best part of a week on the sofa eating endless quantities of mince pies and Christmas dinner leftovers, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
Here, we take you through five simple ideas for festive fare that’ll help you indulge – without overindulging.
These no-wheat, easy-bake cookies are tasty enough to sate the sweetest of teeth, but lean enough to keep your guilt at bay.
Combine equal measures coconut flakes, chopped walnuts and dark-chocolate chocolate chunks or chips, with four egg yolks, almond flour, cocoa powder and a generous dollop of natural sweetener. Combine in a mixing bowl, spoon onto a lined baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 °C.
Behold the energy ball! Chock full of protein and bursting with flavour, they’re an easy treat to whip up – just throw together a few handfuls of your favourite raw ingredients to turn out a rich, healthy snack that’s oh-so-delicious.
Blitz a big squeeze of natural sweetener with a couple of handfuls of dates, a handful of your favourite nuts, and a couple of tablespoons of cocoa and coconut, roll into balls, and leave to cool in the fridge. Coat with cocoa powder to give yours an extra-indulgent, truffle-like finish.
Turkey, turkey and more turkey
Not everything on a traditional Christmas menu is off-limits. While most of the dinner table is booby-trapped with all sorts of carb-laden treats or sugary glazes, the star of the show is actually a lean, clean power-protein hero.
Pile your plate, load up with a few low-carb sides and enjoy – no guilt necessary.
A traditional Christmas dinner without some sort of potato-based dish is just wrong, but that doesn’t mean that the carb-dodgers among us should miss out completely.
Steam the florets cut from a whole cauliflower head until they’re crumbly and soft, add a couple of dollops of cream cheese and a knob of butter, season, and mash. The result is a light, creamy mixture that’ll be as welcome addition to your feast as its starchy cousin.
Brussels sprouts with bacon
Bacon makes everything taste better – just ask our American friends across the pond. The traditional inclusion of brussels sprouts in festive menus has always been a source of Christmas dinner controversy, but a protein-rich, bacon-loaded version will make sure the humble but healthy sprout finally gets its dues.
To give this vitamin C-rich superfood a keto upgrade, wash and halve your sprouts, then roast in the oven with pancetta or lardons, plenty of seasoning and a few parmesan shavings. Controversy solved.