Our resident Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine shares some simple food swaps for a healthier holiday season.
Swap ICE CREAM with BANANA ‘ICE CREAM’ : There’s nothing like your favourite ice cream on a summer’s day, but making too regular a habit of this over the holidays can encourage the kilos to creep on. Save ice cream for special occasions and days at the beach and stick to banana ‘ice cream’ for dessert when you’re at home.
For two serves, simply throw two super-ripe frozen bananas (peeled before freezing and cut into chunks) into the blender and blend on medium-high until the bananas have reached a smooth, creamy, ice cream-like consistency. Pour into two bowls and eat immediately. For something more fancy, blend the bananas with a TBS of almond butter or dessicated coconut and some cinnamon for a sweet and spicy kick.
Swap LEMONADE for SODA WATER WITH FRESH LEMON/LIME: Lemonade is really just sugar water, full of empty kilojoules. Diet lemonade is no better; Yes it’s sugar free but it contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which really have no purpose in the body; This is why diet foods can make you feel bloated and gassy, as we can’t digest artificial sweeteners sufficiently.
Iced soda water with a squeeze or wedge of lemon or lime is a much healthier option that wont impact your blood sugar like lemonade. For a lemonade-inspired drink without the sugar or artificial sweetener, add to this ½-1 tsp of Norbu Natural Sweetener.
Swap POTATO CHIPS with KALE CHIPS : Sometimes there’s nothing like a bag of potato chips, but for a healthier everyday option, kale chips are the way to go. Buy the raw ones from the health food store, or for a more affordable option, make your own.
Simply chop or tear up a bunch of curly kale (washed well, stems removed) into chip-sized pieces and spread them out onto a lined baking tray; Brush with olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt and paprika for a kick. Bake at 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced for about 10-15 mins, or until the kale has crisped up and has a nice crunch – Make sure to watch them as they can quickly go from nice and green to black and burnt.
Swap CORNFLAKES with BIRCHER MUESLI: Cornflakes and other commercial flaked/puffed cereals may seem like a healthy and light summer breakfast option, but they typically have a surprisingly high salt content as well as a high GI. Bircher muesli is a much more wholesome option, being low in salt and full of fibre and healthy fats.
For two serves, in a deep bowl combine 2/3 C rolled oats with 1.5 C milk of choice, 1 pitted and chopped Medjool date, 2 TBS chopped raw almonds, 1/2 a grated Granny Smith apple (skin on) and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight; In the morning, top with a dollop of unsweetened Greek yoghurt and dig in!
Swap an ICEBLOCK with a FROZEN COCONUT WATER POPPER; Just pop a popper of UHT coconut water into the freezer; Once it’s frozen, cut off the top corner of the popper and you have a coconut-water iceblock! A hydrating and electrolyte-rich summer snack, with far superior nutritional value than an iceblock made with refined sugar and artificial colours and flavours.
Swap MAYO-HEAVY SALAD DRESSING with HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSING : Coleslaw, potato salad and Caesar salad all become much healthier and less energy dense when you switch their mayo-dressings with alternatives like:
- A simple vinaigrette: Combine 1 tsp olive oil with 2 tsp balsamic/red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp Dijon mustard and a little black pepper; This makes enough for 1 serve but you can easily double, triple it etc for more people.
- A dollop of hummus.
100% tahini and lemon juice – My go-to dressing that pretty much goes with anything: For one serve combine 1 TBS tahini with the juice of ¼-1/2 a lemon.
LOW FAT FRUIT YOGHURT/DIET YOGHURT with UNSWEETENED, FULL FAT YOGHURT: Many of us still fall for flavoured low fat or diet yoghurts, but they tend to leave us unsatisfied; This is typically due to the high added sugar content of low fat flavoured yoghurts (which can make our blood sugar quickly rise and then fall, increasing our desire for sweet foods), and the lack of well-rounded flavour in artificially sweetened and thickened diet yoghurts.
With minimally processed yoghurt, the satisfying mouth-feel from its fat content lingers long after eating; The richness of fat also means that a little bit goes a long way. New to the tartness of unsweetened yoghurt? Add a shake of cinnamon or a pinch of Norbu natural sweetener to help your taste buds adjust.
To find out more about Norbu Sweetener go to: www.norbusweetener.com.au