It’s that wonderful time of the year. Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year celebrations are right around the corner. You are probably making endless lists for gifts, guests and menu options for the upcoming weeks. Food is the centerpiece of any special occasion, and the choices you make this holiday season create an opportunity for ringing in 2017 with a healthful approach. We’ve put together a short list of suggestions to help you with that goal.
Tip #1: Have a plan
Create a plan for grocery purchases, holiday meals and re-using leftovers.
Look for recipes that have nutrition information to help you make informed decisions. Create a budget and a list of food items and ingredients that you’ll ‘need’ for making your holiday dishes. Stick to the plan to avoid buying any ‘wants.’ Use the weekend to brainstorm ideas and involve others in the process. Planning will help you eat healthier, waste less food and save money.
Tip #2: Incorporate healthier substitutions
Substitute ingredients to create healthier holiday dishes.
Choose healthier ingredients without compromising taste. There are many ways to prepare and enjoy your favorite food while limiting the addition of salt, sugar and extra fat. Try something new this holiday season. Reduce the amount of salt in your home cooked meals. Add spices or fresh herbs instead. Create your own homemade marinade or dressing using simple ingredients such as fresh orange, lime and fresh seasoning. If you’re craving something sweet, try baked fruits such as apples or pears. Baking releases natural sugars which adds more sweetness to your dishes.
Tip #3: Find a ‘cooking buddy’
Cook with others to reduce the workload.
Invite friends and family over to help you cook. Involve your kids in food preparation. Make the cooking process enjoyable and fun. Join a local community kitchen. There are many benefits to cooking with others such as sharing healthy recipes, dividing tasks in the kitchen, and providing an opportunity to socialize while eating a meal together. In addition, cooking with others supports healthier eating habits.
Tip #4: Eat more, but choose wisely
Choose a variety of vegetarian based dishes.
Add more creativity to your kitchen creations. Try poaching kale or asparagus, grilling or braising mushrooms, marinating pulses and peppers, or toasting nuts and seeds. These methods will add flavour and texture to your dishes. Choose from the following:
-Green leafy vegetables (lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, broccoli)
-Other muti-coloured vegetables (peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, cabbage, carrots)
-Fresh leafy herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill, basil)
-Mushrooms (white, brown, shiitake, oyster, enoki)
-Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews)
-Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
-Pulses (lentils, beans, green peas, chickpeas)
Interested in learning more?
Book a workshop with us in January and receive a 1-hour healthy cooking session, FREE of charge!
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