Fringe Box



Abby Ixer’s Nutritious Food: Alternative Christmas Food

Published on: 22 Dec, 2014
Updated on: 22 Dec, 2014

Abby Ixer is a registered dietician with a passion for food and nutrition. In this month’s feature she writes about alternative food for the festive season.

Dietician Abby Ixer.

Dietician Abby Ixer.

The festive season is fast approaching and food seems to be all around us. The food we eat at Christmas is often very traditional, with mince pies, Christmas pudding and roast turkey aplenty. If you’re still deciding what to have for Christmas dinner this year, why not be adventurous and try something new?

As traditional as it is, turkey can become dry if overcooked, and we often end up eating turkey sandwiches until January. So why not try something less conventional this year? There are a wide range of alternatives to make Christmas dinner that bit more special.

Duck is a meat that has increased in popularity over the last few years. Although it is known for having a higher fat content compared to leaner, white meats such as turkey, duck is still packed with nutrients.

Duck meat contains more iron and zinc than turkey, and is a good source of protein. It also contains decent amounts of B vitamins, which are important for a variety of functions in the body including energy production, growth and development.

Cooking duck needn’t be a daunting task; it really isn’t too different from cooking other meats. When roasting a whole duck, a tip is to place it on a wire rack above a roasting tray so that any excess fat can freely drain away.

Trimming the visible fat before eating will also help to reduce the fat content of the meal. It is better to cook stuffing separately to allow enough heat to enter the cavity and ensure even cooking. Duck meat goes especially well with fruit, so why not make an orange based sauce to accompany the meat instead of the usual cranberry sauce accompaniment?

TRy duck for a change this Christmas.

TRy duck for a change this Christmas.

Duck is just one of many meats that you could try this year. Goose, partridge, pheasant and roast beef are also great alternatives to the traditional roast turkey.

The majority of us are likely to overindulge over the festive period, but remember that all foods can feature in a balanced diet, and everything in moderation is the key to healthy living.

So why not give duck a try this Christmas, and please feel free to leave a comment below about your experiences with this less commonly used meat!

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