Get cooking this Christmas with these 4 ingredient swaps!

‘Tis the season for creamy pastas blanketed in four-cheese layers, gooey chocolate cupcakes, cookies and all other yummy festive goodies.

When you have various festive dinner parties planned with family and friends, it’s inevitable that you will have several attendees with special dietary requirements. Whether they are lactose intolerant or vegan, here are 4 ingredient swaps to choose so you can cater to those special dietary requirements this Christmas!

Choose: Nutritional yeast over cheese

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Image credit: Shutterstock

If we’ve scared you before even starting, don’t be—nutritional yeast can indeed replace cheese in almost any recipe that calls for it! Undoubtedly, its name does not sound appealing; however, unlike cheese, nutritional yeast is a dairy-free alternative made from sugar cane and beet molasses.

Despite this, it has a creamy and nutty umami-like flavour that can be replicated in lasagnes, mozzarella and even cheese-based sauces like carbonara. This makes it perfect for catering to vegans still wish to have their pasta and eat it!

Where can I find it? Most health food stores or online sites such as FairPrice Online
How can I make it? Start with this easy vegan cheese sauce recipe here.

Choose: Raw cacao nibs over chocolate

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Image credit: Shutterstock

If you’re lactose intolerant, yet love chocolate as much as us, then you’re going to love this one! Compared to chocolate chips, raw cacao nibs are a significantly less processed and dairy-free alternative that imparts a bittersweet, yet undeniably rich cocoa flavour sans the sudden energy crash from a sugar rush.

High in blood-sugar stabilising antioxidants, it’s also great alternative for diabetics. Plus, raw cacao nibs help to boost energy levels support heart health and more—what’s not to love?

Where can I find it? FairPrice Online or most health food stores.   
How can I make it? Simply substitute it for chocolate in your usual recipes.

Choose: Roast turkey or chicken over ham

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Image credit: Shutterstock

Roasted turkey is a whole food that makes an exciting addition to the Christmas dinner table. Ham in all its forms is a highly processed food with soaring sodium levels (900mg per 100g), which is not good news for those with existing heart conditions or following a low-sodium diet.

And if you’re on a budget, chicken works just as well, too! Roast turkey also has significantly lower sodium levels (103mg per 100g), which you can season with flavourful herbs, spices and pair it with roasted root vegetables for a hearty meal your body will thank you for!

Where can I find it? Specialist grocers such as Huber’s Butchery and Swiss Butchery.
How can I make it? Try your hand at making it at home this simple herb roasted version here

Choose: Sweet potatoes over white potatoes

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Image credit: Shutterstock

Lastly, no dinner table this Christmas is complete without the fluffiest and creamiest potato mash! However, most recipes call for white potatoes—with most varieties having a high glycemic index (GI) that ranges from 70 to 100. Compared to their sweet, orange-hued counterparts (40), the higher GI white spuds can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Coupled with lashings of high-fat butter and thick cream, it’s a recipe that spells disaster especially for those diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes.

Try swapping out white potatoes for sweet potatoes this Christmas. Besides, a generous serving equivalent to one medium sweet potato can deliver four times the daily dose of Vitamin A to build haemoglobin levels for a natural energy boost your guests will love!  

Where can I find it? Supermarkets such as FairPrice.   
How can I make it? Quick and easy in 30 minutes with this recipe here!

See, there’s absolutely no reason why everyone can’t enjoy feasting on their favourite festive dishes! These small, yet genius ingredient swaps with recipes to boot make it easier than you think.

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‘Tis the season not to count calories. Here’s wishing that you spend the most wonderful time of the year feasting and having quality time with your dearest family and friends you hold closest your heart! Merry Christmas from us, to you! 🎄

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