21 Nov How to Enjoy a Banting-Friendly Holiday Feast!
If you’re committed to the Paleo or Banting lifestyle, but are finding those “sugar-plum visions” of Christmas goodies dancing in your head too tempting to resist, we’ve got good news for you. It’s now easier than ever to make your festive meals Banting-friendly; low in sugar and carbs, high in protein and loaded with natural nutritional goodness! We’ve put together a list of indulgent LCHF recipes to make your Banting Christmas feast an unforgettable one. Get inspired with our Banting-friendly starters, sides, desserts and drinks!
First, a quick look at some must-have ingredients:
Coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut nectar are absolute must-haves for Banting baking and cooking. The coconut oil is a healthy vegan-friendly fat, coconut flour is a gluten-free, protein-rich wheat flour alternative, and coconut nectar is a low-GI sugar-free sweetener. No wonder culinary cave-dwellers are just nutty for coconut!
Ghee, or clarified butter, is an extremely versatile cooking or baking aid; basically, it’s butter with the lactose removed, so it’s easy to digest but still loaded with healthy fatty acids.
Protein-packed nuts make wonderful festive snacks, whether they’re mixed into stuffing, sprinkled over desserts or simply enjoyed straight from the bag. Eaten sparingly, dried fruits are also wonderful sweet treats without the processed sugars.
Our new Banting Basket range includes handy premixes you can use to whip up anything from Paleo-approved bread, to Banting-friendly chocolate cake, cupcakes and muffins. Yum!
And some handy kitchen gadgets to help you out:
Always squeeze your own fresh nutrient-rich juice, instead of buying those sugary supermarket fruit juice blends.
Invest in a good quality food processor or blender to blend your sauces, doughs and batters into the right consistency.
Now without further ado, let’s check out those recipes to get your taste buds going!
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
This is such a great summery starter, perfect for those who prefer to have Christmas lunch instead of dinner.
- 1 box ripe cherry tomatoes
- 1 ripe medium avocado, chopped
- 1Tbsp mild green chillies, chopped
- 2Tbsp white onion, chopped
- ½tsp garlic, minced
- ¼tsp ground cumin
- Pinch of salt & pepper to taste
- Combine the avo, chillies & onion; mash slightly but leave chunky. (Non-vegetarians can also add 2 chopped strips of crispy cooked bacon.)
- Add the garlic, cumin, salt & pepper.
- Cut the tops off the tomatoes; scoop out the centres (you can add these to a salsa, marinade or sauce to avoid wastage).
- Spoon the avocado mixture into the tomatoes; top each one with a squeeze of fresh lime & a cilantro leaf. Serve & enjoy!
American “biscuits” are actually small breads, similar to the UK’s scones. These golden-brown goodies are a much-loved savoury treat at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners; particularly when they’re smothered in creamy gravy! Whip up a batch of these gluten-free Banting-friendly biscuits, to serve as a delicious and satisfying side dish at your festive meal.
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1½Tbsp cold butter (or coconut oil)
- 6 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper & lightly brush with about 1tsp coconut oil.
- Combine the flours, salt & baking powder in a food processor with the butter; pulse until the butter is broken up into pea-sized lumps (the mixture should still be dry).
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Gently fold in the flour mixture, until just combined.
- Make 6 biscuits, by rolling the mixture into balls, or using an ice cream scoop. Pl ace on the baking sheet & latten the top of each one slightly.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden-brown on top. Serve with a gluten-free gravy & enjoy!
You just can’t have biscuits without the gravy! This recipe is gluten-free and can be made using vegetarian stock and coconut oil, instead of turkey stock and butter/ ghee, depending on your dietary preference.
- 1 cup each diced carrots
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4-6 cloves whole peeled garlic
- 1Tbsp ghee (or coconut oil) melted
- 2tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2tsp butter (or coconut oil)
- 2Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2½ cups stock of your choice (turkey, chicken or vegetable)
- ¼ cup white wine
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 425°.
- Place the chopped vegetables on a prepared baking sheet, brushed with the balsamic vinegar, sea salt & ghee.
- Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft & golden-brown.
- Combine the vegetables in a saucepan with the stock. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Strain the vegetables. Add the liquid to a food processor, along with about half the veggies (depending on how thick you want the mix to be). Puree until smooth.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat, then add the arrowroot powder. Whisk to combine & cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Add the puréed gravy mix & bring to a simmer. Add the wine & simmer for 1 minute more.
- Season to taste with a little salt. Pour into a gravy boat & serve with your biscuits, turkey or main of your choice!
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Clementines
A delicious Christmassy treat; the healthy alternative to those mouth-watering “Chocolate Oranges” that pop up in the stores this time of year! Makes a great dessert or sweet anytime treat.
- ½ cup sugar-free raw dark chocolate (eg. Honest Raw Chocolate Slab 88%)
- 2-3 ripe clementines, naartjies or oranges
- ¼ cup pecan nuts, chopped
- Clementine zest for garnish
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel & separate the clementines into wedges.
- Melt the chocolate on low heat, using a bain-marie (double boiler).
- Dip the clementine wedges in the melted chocolate, remove with a fork & place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans; place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Store in fridge until ready to serve. Garnish with a little zest, serve & enjoy!
Pomegranate & Cranberry Sangria
A fruity and refreshing wine-based mix, perfect for a summer Christmas celebration.
- 750ml organic red wine
- 1 cup fresh pomegranate juice
- 1 cup fresh cranberry juice
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- ⅔ cup brandy
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 small orange, sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Splash of coconut nectar, agave or Paleo sweetener of your choice (optional)
- Mix the wine, fruit juices & brandy in a large glass jug.
- Add the chopped fruit, orange slices & cinnamon.
- Add the sweetener to taste & mix to combine (it’s up to you whether you prefer your sangria sweet or tart).
- Refrigerate for a few hours before serving; enjoy chilled.
Cinnamon Maple Bourbon Sour
Add a little “holiday spirit” to the mix and drink a toast to good times!
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 shots of good quality Bourbon
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- 1 shot cinnamon maple syrup (see below)
- Ice cubes
- Lemon wedge, for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- To make the cinnamon maple syrup: Slowly bring the maple syrup & cinnamon stick to a boil. Simmer for % minutes or so over low heat.
- Remove the mixture from the heat & leave to cool to room temperature. Store in a sterilised glass jar & set aside until ready to use.
- To make the cocktail: Add the bourbon, lemon juice & cinnamon maple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Shake well.
- Pour your drink over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge & a cinnamon stick. Cheers!