We all know that the arrival of the festive season means that our days are quickly filled up with special gatherings, feasts and fun occasions with friends and family. This year, you may have been nominated to host a dinner on Christmas eve or lunch for the extended family?!
Whilst for some of us this idea sounds like a great opportunity to show off your creative foodie flair, for others it can seem like a daunting task - especially if your cousin's partner is attending, who is lactose intolerant, eats gluten-free AND has recently quit sugar! However preparing delicious meals for all sorts of dietary requirements doesn't have to seem so limiting.
Once you have a fair understanding of the options, it can be an exciting challenge that urges you to try something new...and healthy too! So let's get into the easy Christmas recipes and ingredient options for your special guests that will leave them feeling happy, full and satisfied!
If you're not that familiar, paleo basically means cutting out grains, legumes, dairy, processed sugar...or processed anything really! Don't worry, this isn't as hard as you think - this your chance to keep it relatively simple using pure, real ingredients - ie. MEAT AND VEG! Cooking with meat and vegetables should be a breeze, but doesn't have to be boring either, experiment with a variety of herbs and spices to add flavour to your dishes. Snacks such as nuts and vege sticks with home-made dip are perfect (try this Spicy Pumpkin dip), or make a delicious breakfast featuring this Grain Free Granola from Live Love Nourish (which also makes a fantastic edible gift!) or even finish off dinner with this yummy Paleo Christmas Cake!
To give you an extra hand, here's a few healthy, paleo friendly ingredient substitutions...
- coconut milk or almond milk instead of dairy milk
- raw honey or pure maple syrup instead of processed sugars/sweeteners
- coconut flour or almond meal instead of wheat flours
- extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil instead of vegetable/canola oil and butter
- use zucchini or squash to make spaghetti instead of pasta
Also head to the Merrymaker Sisters site for many more paleo-inspired recipe ideas!
Saying NO to gluten (traditionally found in bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, etc.) simply means a whole lot of YES’s elsewhere! Instead you can say hello to quinoa, buckwheat, millet and amaranth! How about serving the breakfast table with these divine Buckwheat Pancakes or make them quick with our new Gluten Free Pancake Mix. Fill up your cheeseboard with Seed Crackers, and enjoy a sweet biscuit treat with gluten-free Cinnamon Cookies. Then move on to create an impressive looking Roast Turkey with Incaberry & Macadamia Stuffing as your main dish! Plus, so many of our salad recipes make great side dishes that are also gluten-free - try out a bright and colourful Superfood Salad or Gluten Free Tabouleh.
VEGETARIAN, VEGAN and/or DAIRY FREE
Staying away from meat (vegetarian) or animal products altogether (vegan) is a great opportunity to make friends with salad! No Aussie Christmas meal is complete without the vibrant colours of a beautiful summer salad - check out Ascension Kitchen's gorgeous Rainbow Goji Salad. For a heartier dish, why not try Vegan Rice Balls?
Then....everyone make room for the vegan dessert table!! Vegan desserts (which are consequently dairy-free) are currently right in
the forefront of the healthy wholefood world, so there are so many possibilities out there! Try one of our stunning recipe favourites No-Bake Choc Peppermint Slice, or Chocolate Mousse Tart with Rasberries OR Raw Tiramisu! Amazing!
PS! Why not try making your own dairy-free milk for the breakfast table using our Nut Milk Bags? Give it a Christmas twist by adding sweet spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves), vanilla bean or even coffee for some tasty flavour options!
Raw dishes are great additions to any Christmas spread. Raw means they are packed with living nutrients just waiting to boost our energy, as well as being so fresh and so clean. This Raw Beetroot & Arame Salad would give a great pop of colour to the meal table, or perhaps Raw Vegan Burgers would be an interesting option to try too! To finish, how about a delicious Raw Cacao Slice that everyone will love, or Lola Berry's Raw Pina Colada Cake featured here!
At Honest to Goodness we are pretty serious about our love for nuts, however we still appreciate some nut free days too. We've got a Nut-Free Toasted Muesli recipe for breakfast occasions, or for lunch you could whip up a fresh Chickpea Tabouli or Chicken & Cannellini Salad. And something healthy for the sweet sweet that is also nut-free, whip up a quick batch of easy Raw Orange Chocolate or a lovely Berry Trifle.
SUGAR-FREE BUT JUST AS SWEET!
This time of year can be very naughty when you factor in the sugar volumes, with loads of sweet treats, gifts and desserts floating around! If you're catering for an I Quit Sugar advocate, or if you simply want to cut down on the refined sugar/fructose, then brown rice syrup is your champion! It's the sweetener of choice for Sarah Wilson's sugar-free army, so simply swap it into the recipes that call for a liquid sweetener like this Cacao Chocolate Cake or these deliciously cute Caramel Chia Puddings. Need a salad or potato dressing? Then you need to make Garlicky Aioli.
Have you got any great tips or recipes for alternative seasonal meals? Let us know below in the comments section! Or submit one of your favourite recipes to contribute to our Organic Recipes page!