Merry Christmas! With only 12 sleeps until Christmas, I wanted to share some more healthy festive tips with you.. and this time it’s how to achieve a healthier more ‘wholegrain’ Christmas!
Together with Wholegrain Goodness, here are three tips on how you can add more fibre and wholegrain goodness to your diet in the form of a healthy festive snack recipe (that is ideal for kids just as much as adults!), a simple recipe swap idea and a delicious wholegrain breakfast suggestion.
Do let me know if you have any more tips on how to include more wholegrains in your diet, I would love to hear them!
But first, let’s look at wholegrains in a little more detail..
- What are wholegrains?
Wholegrains are made of of three elements; the germ (a nutrient packer inner), the endosperm (the starchy middle that provides energy) and the bran (a fibre rich outer layer). They are literally the entire of the grain or the ‘whole’ of the ‘grain’, as opposed to their ‘white’ equivalents where the bran and germ (i.e. most of the goodness!) are removed.
Wholegrains contain all of the edible parts of the grain and are usually identified on an ingredients list by the word ‘whole’ before the grain e.g. whole wheat or wholemeal four. There are a few exceptions though, and these include oats, brown pasta, wild rice, popcorn and rye, which are all wholegrains as well.
- What are the Benefits of eating Wholegrain foods?
Wholegrains provide fibre (both insoluble and soluble), B vitamins and folic acid, essential fatty acids (omega 3), protein, antioxidants including vitamin E and selenium, minerals such as copper as well as other phytonutrients.
Research suggests that wholegrains can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as some forms of cancer such as bowel cancer. Wholegrains may also help in maintaining a healthy body weight.
So if you’re wondering how to can include more wholegrains into your diet, keep on scrolling for my top 3 festive tips!
No Bake Carrot Cake Reindeer Bites!
These little bites of goodness taste incredible and couldn’t be easier to make. The oats provide slow release wholegrain goodness and they contain only naturally occurring sugar (from the dates). This recipe requires just a few ingredients and is perfect for parties or an after work or school snack!
- To make them you will need: 9–10 medjool dates (pitted), heaped 1/2 cup (70g) walnuts, heaped 1/2 cup (50g) oats, 2 carrots (grated), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, dash of nutmeg & unsweetened desiccated coconut for rolling (optional but recommended!).
- What you need to do: Simply pop all of the ingredients (minus the desiccated coconut) into a food processor until combined & then scoop out golfball size amounts of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Roll in desiccated coconut (optional) and pop on a plate. Repeat for the rest of the mixture. Chill the bites in the fridge for 15 minutes before giving them another roll (once they’ve firmed up a bit) before serving!
Wholegrain Swap – Breadcrumbs in your Stuffing!
Many festive recipes call for breadcrumbs, such as stuffing and Christmas pudding, so why not this year use wholemeal breadcrumbs?
- To make wholemeal breadcrumbs: Simply add 1-2 slices of wholemeal bread into a food processor and blend until crumbly.
- Top Tips: Don’t forget that you can use the ends of the loaf of bread and stale bread too and to make ‘dried’ breadcrumbs simply toast the bread first.
Wholegrain Christmas Breakfast – Festive Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
Breakfast is known for being the most important meal of the day – it provides energy to fuel your morning and if chosen correctly, can provide your body with essential nutrients such as calcium. I love porridge and during the festive season like to spice it up.
- To make a festive porridge you will need: Heaped 1/2 cup (50g) oats, 250ml milk, 1/2 apple, 1 tsp cinnamon, rapeseed spray oil, toppings; honey & walnuts.
- What you need to do: Mix together the oats & milk in a bowl before popping it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until cooked (stir half way through). Chop up your apple into little pieces, sprinkle them with cinnamon & spray with a little rapeseed oil before cooking in the microwave for a minute (this helps to soften it!). Top your oats with the apple along with walnuts, a drizzle of honey & some extra cinnamon for good luck!
I really hope you find these three 3 tips useful, do let me know if you give any of them a go!