During the holiday season a few things generally happen.
1. we rush around trying to get everything done by the end of the year or before we go away for the holiday period.
2. we tend to eat a lot of sweet refined foods and generally overindulge
While, in ayurveda, it’s recommended to eat a good amount of the sweet taste during this season, ideally it should come in a non-refined form such as whole grains, beans and pulses, sweet vegetables such as squash, sweet potato, beetroot and other root vegetables, and nuts and seeds. We need to feel satisfied during this season and this type of food helps to fill us up and also supports the immune system.
Are you thinking that this recipe for Christmas doesn’t sound like fun? Well then I’m going to give you my menu – literally – for an alternative Christmas lunch that won’t break the bank or the belly!
Roasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds
Lentil & vegetable soup – your favourite winter vegetable with a lentil dahl. This soup is nice and filling and warming. Add a trickle of your favourite cold-pressed oil and a sprig of parsley before serving
Buckwheat – this is a seed rather than a grain but has plenty of magnesium and helps to regulate blood sugar levels – i.e. helps to fill you up!
Curried Vegetables – any seasonal vegetables added to my curry sauce – quick & simple
Steamed beetroot – simple but who can resist? Add a few drops of lemon juice to intensify the sweet flavour.
Green chutney – Whizz up your favourite herbs with lemon juice and ginger and season to taste
A slice of homemade spicy fruit cake
(from Winter Recipe booklet of Holiday Seasonal Saver package )
2 handfuls dried fruit e.g. raisins, apricots, dates, figs (soaked – overnight if possible – and cut into pieces)
125 ml/ ¼ pint non-refined olive oil
125 grams /5 oz organic unrefined cane sugar
200 ml/ 1/3 pint Rooibos tea
300 grams/ 12 oz spelt/kamut flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1. Soak the dried fruit overnight in the Rooboisch tea.
2. Pre-heat the oven at Gas Mark 4 (350-375°F, 180 – 190°C).
3. Put baking parchment in a baking tin.
4. Put all the dry ingredients – flour, cinnamon, cardamom, bicarbonate of soda – (except the sugar) into one bowl and mix.
5. Put the wet/moist ingredients – soaked dried fruit, oil, water – and the sugar into another bowl and mix.
6. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl containing the wet ingredients.
7. Mix well. The mixture will fall easily from the spoon.
8. Pour the mixture into the baking tin.
9. Bake the cake for about 20 – 30 minutes. You will be able to smell the cake when it is ready.
And to drink – sip a glass of strong ginger and cinnamon tea.
Have a happy, healthy and satisfying holiday season!