Christmas cracker!

So it’s fast approaching the festive season, works parties, family get together and nights out with friends!

All you can eat buffets, happy hour and continuing to party on  “after hours ” takes its toll on your otherwise healthy routine. Your clothes feel like you’ve shrunk them in the wash, your skin looks like you’ve had a reaction to new face cream and your mood is on a serious come down from all of the bad food choices.

So…..let’s get things in place to ensure you survive the festive season.

Christmas is all about doing everything in excess. Eating, drinking, more eating and more drinking. Let’s be realistic though no one wants to welcome in the new year looking like they are wearing a padded santa out fit or like they ate everything served up and left nothing on the buffet table.

So how about using some if not all of these strategies to make sure you don’t overindulge and undo all of your hard work this year !

• Replace every other drink with a soft drink. This won’t only save on calories and a hangover but also any drunken mishaps/embarrassing moments along the way !!

• Eat some healthy foods (nuts, fruit, veg,) before attending the celebrations to make sure you are not starving on arrival, or making other guests think the only thing you came for was the food when you get into a fracas trying to be first to the buffet table.

• Drink red wine….. your body can burn the calories and it contains resveratrol which in fact mimics exercise in the body ! House spirits and cocktails are empty calories have no benefit on nutrition or health on your body so choose wisely !

• Select all lean meat cuts, pile your plate as high as a house with vegetables…. got to love a plate loaded with brussel sprouts even if the person next to you won’t thank you for it !

• If you have friends and family that love to dish the chocolates out bring your own dark chocolate, great for your health a heart healthy too !! Plus contains less sugar so no sugar crash and as an added bonus it’s a lot harder to over indulge with it too.

• Why not try this sticky pudding recipe and take along with you !!

INGREDIENTS

75g dates, stoned and chopped
75g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g light brown soft sugar

50g light brown soft sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the sauce
150ml double cream
75g light brown soft sugar
25g butter

METHOD

Put the dates in a small saucepan and pour over 75ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 mins until the dates are mushy and have absorbed the water. Gently stir to blend.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 4 x 150ml pudding moulds. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Mix in the blended date purée and divide between the moulds. Transfer to a roasting tin and pour enough boiling water in to reach halfway up the moulds. Cover the tin with foil and cook for 25 mins until risen and firm to the touch.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour half the cream and all the sugar and butter into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Turn up the heat and bubble for 3-4 mins until the sauce is glossy and thick, then stir in the remaining cream. Re-heat the sauce when the puddings are cooked and serve poured on top.

REMEMBER …… you can be the Christmas cracker or the Christmas pudding ….. the choice is yours !!

       

About The Author