Come December and the countdown for Christmas begins. Along with the gentle winter breeze comes the aura of celebration, excitement and the spirit of togetherness. In the season of love share a treat with your friends and loved ones with a taste of good health.
Thoughtful gifting: This year on Christmas, think out of the box for gift ideas. Dr Madhu Chopra, actor Priyanka Chopra’s mother offers the following suggestion – “Be a thoughtful giver this Christmas by sharing healthy treats like almonds, oatmeal cookies and similar products that allow your friends and loved ones to make healthier food choices. The best gift that one can give is the gift of good health. I usually give a lot of thought to all the gifts I give, and almonds have always been my all-time favourite option.”
Serve up healthy treats during carol rounds: Christmas celebrations are incomplete without carol rounds. The sweet melody of the music blends into the chilly evening air as carolers approach each neighborhood. Goody bags fill up with sweets and snacks typical of the season.
Nutritionist Sheela Krishnaswamy observes, “think Christmas and a wide array of dishes come to mind. Carol rounds are the time during which a lot of goodies come people’s way. This time, acknowledge your caroler buddies by serving up a plate of smoked/roasted almonds. Almonds also contribute towards managing diabetes by lowering the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods they are eaten with.”
Cook up a storm the healthy way: A lavish spread of dishes is an essential part of the Christmas banquet. Everyone relishes cooking an assortment of exciting dishes to entertain their friends and loved ones.
Chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent recommends simple steps to keep healthy this season. “At any point, it is necessary to have healthy eating habits. While the festive season does offer us tempting treats, it is no excuse for us to compromise on a healthy diet. Honey roasted almonds are my all-time favourite. You could even try caramel almonds for the children, and your guests will love you for the variety.”
Gluten free, but not flavour free: For those living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, almonds can be your top snacking candidate for living deliciously gluten free. Gluten free almonds are endlessly versatile and always enjoyable. “Being gluten-free does not mean we go flavor free. Enhance your diet this Christmas by deliciously flavouring your almonds,” says Delhi based nutritionist Ritika Samaddar.
The season of Christmas reminds us to partake in the spirit of sharing. These simple tips combine the festive cheer of Christmas with a healthy and thoughtful eating.
And to add to your Christmas cheer, here is a quick gluten free recipe for your Christmas cake:
Gluten free almond cake
Serves: 4/ Preparation time: 25 minutes/ Baking time: 20 minutes
- Almond Powder – 350 gms
- Egg (Separated) – 200 gms
- Honey – 100 gms
- Baking Soda – 10gms
- Vanilla Essence – 10 gms
- Salt – 5 gms
- Honey – 20 gms
- Sliced almonds – 50 gms
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Coat a 9-inch pan with butter and flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Beat 4 egg yolks, 100 gms honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the almond powder and beat on low until combined.
- Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, but not stiff enough to hold peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely.
- Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Tip: Make sure that the almonds are toasted a little before you make a powder and there is absolutely no moisture in the grinder jar to avoid any lumps in the cake...