(Picture Courtesy of ABC News)
Christmas’ growing up were always exciting. We never went over-board with sweets, desserts and chocolate, but we did have a few treats which my sister and I loved. More often than not my mum would make some delicious baked goods which surpassed anything that could be bought. She always made her famous Christmas cake much to the delight of my sister. Not being a fan of fruitcake or marzipan myself, I would devour an iced sponge cake or madeira that she had made particularly with me, and my grandad who loved them both, in mind.
The main meal was also a grand affair. We would each get to choose a vegetable we wanted aside from the roasted parsnips and potatoes which were a staple. The meat tended to be chicken or turkey with the assumption that we would be eating turkey sandwiches for weeks on end. (This in itself to us as kids was pretty legendary – coleslaw and turkey were the ultimate sandwiches for me). And then there was always the gravy to finish it off making our plates complete.
For pudding/dessert it would typically something along the lines of homemade apple crumble or pie with cream. (Apples are my fave, give me an apple dessert and I’m sold). I always got lovingly teased that I liked the boring food; anything appley or plain sponge cake and I was in my element. I have always loved my vegetables and I really like my food simple.
It was Christmas just gone when I recounted these memories and realized it was going to be very unique. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas dinner and making changes to my food routine is treading on dangerous ground! Being low carb and ketogenic was going to be a challenge in order to create a scrumptious meal that lived up to those of my childhood.
I rummaged through my recipe books looking for new possibilities. I eventually turned to the internet deciding that this method of research would be more fruitful. Bingo!
Parsnips and potatoes went out the window because of their high carb, starch and sugar content. I knew my hubby was making his infamous ham which was perfect; I decided to create three dishes, these were:
- Balsamic- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Creamed Spinach
- Cauliflower Cheese
I was anticipating disappointment as I thought it wasn’t going to be the same, but it was a huge success. My Christmas dinner was divine and our friends brought a green bean casserole which I dissected the beans from.
The only concern about these dishes for those keto babies out there is the amount of dairy you consume. The lactose breaks down into sugars which can be troublesome so you must be mindful of checking the back of the carton to see what the ratio of sugar to fat and carbohydrate is. My milk of choice is Organic Valley Whole Non-Homogenized.
Having studied all the milks in many stores, I decided this one was best for quality and nutrients. It is just necessary to be wary of the quantity you use. Also, I opt for non-homogenized.
The number of milk options out there can be overwhelming. Pretty much all have been pasteurized and homogenized but the difference between them is that homogenized milk has gone through two processes instead of one. Pasteurization sees the milk heated to approx. 161 °F for a very short period of time in order to kill bacteria. Homogenization is when cream or fat that remains on the surface of milk is broken down through significant heating. It is forced through tiny holes so the fat molecules remain within the milk rather than on the surface.
Having gone off on a bit of a milk tangent, I prefaced my future recipes with this example because I believe it’s important to know what I’m buying, where it’s come from and how it’s made, as much as possible.
The quality of food makes a difference for one’s well-being. Has it had chemical sprays? Vegetables and fruit exposed to these sprays have a far higher content of toxins. Veggies grown in the ground absorb more pesticides and even if washed, remain on the outside skin. All of this can have an impact on ill health including seizure activity.
I personally choose organic, here in the US they have a greater leniency in food standards than Canada and Europe, so I feel it’s even more important for my family.
Next week I’ll be posting my listed Christmas recipes, so tune in and join me on my keto journey!
To discover more on the milk process, organics and the environment Organic Valley dairy is coming from, go to: https://www.organicvalley.coop/