For many of us, Christmas means over indulging with food and drink we wouldn’t usually eat or drink as much of the rest of the year. But when your calendar is full of different events and festivities, it can be hard to keep healthy. This year, we’ve come up with some great healthy alternatives for when you’re hosting at Christmas. Including a delicious snack, super healthy canape and of course, mince pies. We’ve got you covered.
Spicy Paprika Chickpeas
Ditch the crisps and salted nuts, and prepare a bowl full of these delicious spicy chickpeas for guests to pick at.
- 400g can of chickpeas (drained)
- 1tsp oil
- 1tbsp paprika
- Sea salt
Preheat oven to 200C /gas mark 6.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix the chickpeas, oil and paprika in a bowl until the chickpeas are evenly coated.
Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on the tray.
Cook for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and sprinkle with sea salt before serving.
Smoked salmon buckwheat blinis
Smoked Salmon blinis are the perfect canape, they look great and always go down well among guests. But to make them that little bit healthier, this recipe includes the superfood buckwheat!
- 70g buckwheat flour
- 70g strong white four
- 150ml milk
- 1tsp salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 4g yeast
- 25g butter
- 150g sour cream
- Smoked Salmon
Heat the milk in a small pan until it boils.
Whilst it heat, mix the flours and salt in a large bowl and separate the eggs.
Once the milk is boiling, take it off the heat and stir in the yeast.
Next stir in the egg yolks and 100g of sour cream - you will need to stir thoroughly.
Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl, slowly stirring into the flour.
Once it is a smooth consistency, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour.
After an hour, the mixture should have slightly expanded and developed a few bubbles.
Next whisk the eggs whites to a soft peak and fold into the mixture.
Once mixed, cover and leave to sit for a further 2 hours.
Once you’re ready to cook the blinis, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium to high temperature. Next add teaspoons of batter to the pan and cook until they bubble on top. Flip over and cook on the other side for around a minute, or until golden brown.
You will need to cook them in batches.
Lastly, top with remaining sour cream and smoked salmon to serve.
Traditional Mince Pies
Lastly, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie. It may not be deemed the healthiest of treats, but this recipe involves minimal sugar to make it as healthy as it can be, without jeopardising the taste!
- 230g plain flour
- 115g unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
- Pinch of salt
- Jar of mincemeat
- Icing sugar to garnish
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
To make the pastry, sieve the flour & salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and gently rub together with your fingertips. Slowly begin to add water, until the mix forms a ball and the sides of the bowl are left clean.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured flat surface until approx. 3mm thick.
Cut the pastry with 3inch flutter cutters and place them into muffin trays.
Add 1 ½ teaspoon mincemeat to each pastry case.
Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into small stars (or whichever Christmas shape your fancy).
Place these on top of the pies and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Take them out of the oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.