Sweet ways to keep cool this Christmas
Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD
Nothing takes the heat out of Christmas Day more than iceblocks, sorbet, ice cream and other chilly desserts. After all, when the mercury is soaring, who wants to turn the kitchen into a sauna while simmering a Christmas pudding?
However, topping off a festive feast with multiple servings of ice cream can be a detriment to your waistline, with the fat and sugar kilojoules a sure-fire way to a post-Christmas bulge. Instead, why not consider making your own health-boosting cold treats? With the right ingredients (read: local summer fruits), iceblocks and snowy granitas can easily become nutritional heavyweights. Best of all, they don’t require sweating over a hot stove for hours.
Start with these blissfully nippy recipes that are sure to help you keep your Christmas cool—so delicious you’ll forget they don’t include a surfeit of white sugar, fatty cream or other nefarious ingredients. Welcome to summer’s cold snap.
Here’s how to keep your Christmas desserts packed with nutritional goodness.
Focus on fruit
With summer fruit at its peak sweetness, why imbue homemade ice creams, frozen yoghurts and iceblocks with copious amounts of sugar? Berries, cherries, mangoes, peaches and plums will add plenty of natural sweetness and are jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants, qualifying them as health superstars. White sugar? Not so much.
Sweeter than the rest
When you do want to add a sweetener, be sure to gravitate towards more natural options such as maple syrup, coconut sugar and raw local honey.
Slash the fat
Sub-zero desserts are often loaded with fat, thanks in part to creams and whole milk. A wonderful way to bid adieu to excess fat kilojoules but keep the creamy goodness is to incorporate reduced fat Greek yoghurt into recipes such as smoothies and iceblocks. As a perk, it has protein in spades, making your treats more filling. Fat-rich nuts should not be feared as they predominantly contain heart-healthy unsaturated fat and a smorgasbord of vital nutrients.
Spice is nice
A whisper of spices such as cinnamon and cardamom can add a wallop of kilojoule-free flavour to Christmas desserts. Citrus zest provides brightness, while pure extracts such as vanilla or almond add mystery.