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The biggest trend of this year is the plant-based diet. While I wouldn’t necessary call it a trend, I was glad to see it top the list. There are a few definitions of plant-based, but generally, its known as a diet which predominately involves the consumption of plant-based foods such as legumes, wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, nuts/seeds and limits consumption of animal-based products. There are numerous benefits of consuming this type of diet in addition to the eating regime not being restrictive but instead incredibly flexible to suit individual requirements.

If your goal is to be more plant-based come 2019, this goal can easily start during the festive season and doesn’t have to wait until the New Year! Here are some tips on how to eat a more plant-based diet over Christmas.

Start the day with plants

Over the festive season, its common to use leftover ham or turkey for breakfast, however, aim to start the day with plants such as:

  • Sauteed mushrooms and avocado on sourdough toast
  • Homemade seed/nut mix with oat bran, almond milk and leftover fruit salad
  • Smoothie using leftover fruit salad, hemp seeds and soy milk
  • Leftover fruit salad with coconut yoghurt and nuts/seeds
  • Scrambled tofu with turmeric and spinach
  • Hummus, avocado and tomato on wholegrain toast

Make plants the main event

Most people associate Christmas with ham, turkey and prawns, however, it is possible to make plants the main event while still enjoying a bit of the traditional Christmas meats. For example serve wholesome dishes such as:

  • Rice and bean stuffed zucchini, capsicums, tomato or sweet potato – use a mix of all veg or use green and red capsicums for a Christmas feel
  • Chickpea and mango salad
  • Roasted cauliflower steaks served with roasted capsicum sauce and fresh tomato salsa
  • Large platter of roasted vegetables using pumpkin, baby beetroots, baby carrots, baby potatoes, sweet potato and eggplant with a tahini dressing
  • Whole roasted cauliflower topped with green tahini drizzle

Get creative with leftovers

Instead of making leftover meat the main event when it comes to leftovers, think of ways to use the meats but in dishes, which mostly use vegetables and grains. For example:

  • Mixed grain and vegetable pilaf with a small portion of diced ham for seasoning
  • Zucchini fritters with shredded turkey mixed into the batter in replace of cheese or add to vegetable pattie mixtures
  • Buckwheat pasta with leftover roasted vegetables, small portion diced turkey and avocado dressing
  • Use ham to ‘flavour’ a tomato and herb Bolognese sauce and freeze for quick meals in the new year

 Simple Swaps at dessert

Come dessert time, if you aren’t a dairy fan, have dairy-free guests, or are looking for some plant-based options, here are a few swaps you can make:

  • Thickened cream >>> whipped coconut cream
  • Yoghurt >>> cashew cream
  • Brandy butter >>> cashew or macadamia nut butter
  • Rum balls or truffles >>> nut/seed and date bliss balls
  • Eggs >>> flaxseed/chia egg
  • Cream based mousse >>> avocado mousse
  • Traditional shortbread >>> chickpea based biscuits