7 savoury treats your heart will love
Whether you're watching your waistline or just trying not too eat too much saturated fat and salt during the build-up to Christmas, we've got the inspiration you need. Here’s our guide to what you can enjoy when it comes to savoury snacks.
And if you’ve a sweet tooth, don’t miss our 7 sweet Christmas treats with none of the guilt.
Try popcorn, either plain or spiced with paprika, chilli or rosemary, for a lower-fat, lower calorie alternative to crisps and roasted nuts.
2. Sticks and dips
Have breadsticks and vegetable sticks (crudités) with a spoon of low-fat dips such as low-fat hummus or tzatziki. Make sure you choose reduced-fat dips though, as regular versions can be high in fat. Or make your own hummus – you don’t need to use much oil – or tzatziki with low-fat yogurt. For something different, try crunchy chicory leaves for dipping. Any of these will make a healthier alternative to crisps and tortilla chips with creamy dips.
Read our recipe for beetroot hummus
3. Unsalted nuts
Choose unroasted, unsalted nuts like cashews and almonds to control the amount of salt that you are eating. Nuts are nutritious and contain a healthy type of fats, but they are high in energy (calories), so keep an eye on how much you eat. A small handful is enough.
4. Get fishy
Replace your sausage rolls/scotch eggs with some tinned or poached, flaked smoked salmon on rye or multigrain toast with low fat cream cheese and horseradish. Salmon is not only a lovely festive fish, but also a source of Omega 3, the type of unsaturated fats that protects your heart. But remember that smoked salmon is high in salt, so keep to a small portion (30g).
Read our recipe for salmon paté
5. Cooked prawns
Why not try cooked prawns seasoned with lemon, pepper, parsley and garlic as a delicious, healthier alternative to fried or coated prawns – you’ll slash the calories and saturated fats.
6. Home-roasted veg
Roast potatoes and parsnips are traditional at Christmas. Reduce the fat by cutting into large pieces, so that they absorb less fat. You don’t need to put loads of oil in the baking tray – instead, rub the veg with no more than a tablespoon of vegetable oil before placing in the oven.
7. Home-made stuffing
Stuffing is a traditional part of the Christmas feast. It's best to make your own, and choose a lean meat mince rather than sausages as the basis. This will reduce your saturated fat and salt intake.
Or you could skip the meat and make stuffing with some breadcrumbs, cooked chestnuts, chopped celery and onions, with herbs and lemon juice/zest for flavouring and some beaten egg and water to moisten and bind. Cook it separately from the roast, and any vegetarians around the table will be able to enjoy it too. Packet stuffing mixes can be high in salt, so do make your own if you can.