Enjoy Christmas (in moderation) but throw in some nuts as well

20 December 2017

Isn’t Christmas lovely, especially when you overdo it, right? It’s easy to lose track of the days and nights we spend wolfing down one great meal after another. Until your body pleads with you to stop. Not to stop eating completely, obviously, because we have to eat something every day. So, what to do? Don’t worry, there are always solutions on hand. And nuts form part of them. Here are three ideas for all-year-round activities that can help you out over the festive season.

Are you such an eager cook that you can’t keep out of the kitchen even when you’ve been eating nonstop for days? OK, fine, but try to whip up something light to keep those calories on a tight leash when you’re not in company. How about a lettuce, apple, cheese and grated-carrot salad with a drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of nuts and dried fruit, such as raisins, walnuts and peanuts, for example? Quick, easy and nutritious. Another (fairly) light dish is almond or peanut soup (you’ll need a food processor) to eat on its own, spread on toast or as a smoothie or porridge. If you’re feeling more adventurous, cook an apple sponge with nuts and dried fruit (raisins, walnuts and hazelnuts).

Are you sporty? Then you’ll be even more eager to get into your tracksuit after a plate of mother’s cannelloni. If you want to burn off some calories by going for a run, knock back some walnuts, whose healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids are great antioxidants and anti-inflammatories and also protect your heart. If you swim, eat plenty of peanuts, as their vitamin B3, folic acid and magnesium will boost your endurance. If you cycle, arginine-rich almonds are the nuts for you, because this amino acid helps muscles recover, making almonds ideal for long-distance sports. To infinity and beyond.

Are you a budding interior decorator or blessed with an artistic streak? You can create a striking table display with (unshelled) walnuts and flowers. Simply fill a glass vase with walnuts, fill it with water and finish it off with flowers. You can also decorate a wicker basket with moss (tie it in place with wire), fill the bottom with sisal (the fibre from pita and other species of Agave) and then arrange some walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts on top, before finishing it off with pine cones and white lilies. Or even easier: fill some tall glasses with chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and anything else you fancy and arrange them on a ceramic or plastic base to give them some colour and style. If you’re attacked by hunger pangs, you’ll know where to go.

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