Sure, Christmas dinner only comes around once a year, so you won’t be that badly off if you just go for it and throw your gospel overboard. But if you don’t want to do that, we have three neat tips to help you prepare your own paleo Christmas dinner. FYI: I wrote an article on how to prepare a paleo BBQ last summer, so maybe some of the tips mentioned here will ring a bell.
1. Settle on your dietary perspective – and compromise
First, think about why you want to do a paleo Christmas dinner in the first place?
Christmas dinner has to be special, right? And “special“ in reference to food usually means tasty. Really tasty. The good thing about paleo is that you have lots of options to prepare delicious food. But if you are going to do so, you have to decide if you want a “real paleo dinner” or a meal where you are substituting certain standard Christmas foods with their paleo equivalent.
If you decide on the latter, you will include a lot of “treats” with your meals that aren’t exactly helping your dietary goals. But who wants to lose weight at Christmas anyway? Right. So you can either prepare a paleo dinner without paleo treats if you are really strict with your diet – or you can go for the treats and enjoy a classy meal with your family. I would especially advise you to take the latter version if you have problems watching your non-paleo friends and family gulping down non-paleo Christmas sweets and the like – or if you are going paleo because of a certain food intolerance.
2. It’s waffle time, it’s waffle time…
Starting with dessert may seem a little odd right now, but since this is the part where most people have problems regarding paleo, I want to shed some light on this difficult subject. You basically have two choices about how to prepare your Christmas dessert. If you want to create a strictly dietary paleo desert, you can go with fruits. The trick with this version is to prepare it in a christmassy way. You can do that for example by putting together a double or triple layer fruit-purée with fruits that have Christmas-themed colors. Just follow this easy recipe:
- Ingredients for two layers: green and red fruits (for example kiwi and berries), lemon juice, Christmas spice (for example cinnamon, cloves)
- You also need: a blender, a nice serving dish (for example a martini-glas)
- Purée the kiwi and the berries separately in a blender
- Add a bit of lemon juice to each purée
- Pour the kiwi-purée into your desired dish until the dish is about one third full
- Carefully pour the berry-purée on top of the kiwi-purée, so that the two don’t mix
- Sprinkle your desired Christmas spice on top and you’re done 🙂
Of course, you can also prepare a much more treat-like paleo desert. The easiest way to do this is to make some paleo-waffles. For this of course you need a waffle iron and some batter. If you have been doing paleo for quite a while now, you have probably already tried to make paleo-pancakes. You can easily use this recipe for making waffles.
Prepare the batter in the same way and pour it into your waffle iron. When the waffles are cooked, pour some maple syrup and again add Christmas spices on top. You now have a great christmas dessert. Or you can make chocolate pudding, using cocoa, honey and tapioca starch. Just remember: Even if you are doing paleo, calories still count. If you gulp down a whole bottle of maple syrup, you will probably still have trouble losing weight…
3. Paleo Christmas Dinner: The grand finale!
What’s the star of every proper Christmas dinner? Of course, the famous roast. Whatever kind of roast you’re having, you will most certainly have some kind of meat on the table for your fancy Christmas gathering. Fortunately, there isn’t so much you have to worry about with this one. Just bear in mind the following things and you are bound to have a great paleo Christmas dinner:
When buying the meat you want for Christmas dinner, try to get an organic, free range animal
This is ethical, healthy and will taste a lot better. Sure, it will be more expensive, too, but it’s Christmas, right? Just bear in mind that you probably have to be quick to get your desired meat at the farmers market or your trusted butcher – before they sell out.
If you want to prepare traditional gravy with your roast, you can easily substitute flour as a thickening agent with tapioca starch or something similar to make the gravy paleo friendly.
With side dishes you have a lot of options. If you are allowing white potatoes into your diet, you can prepare these easily by cutting them in chunks and roasting them coated in duck lard and some spices in the oven. Combine these with roasted vegetables or other traditional Christmas sides
Make substitutions for non-paleo-ingredients
- Most common non-paleo-ingredients include sugar, flour and non-paleo-fats – use honey or maple sirup, paleo friendly starches and coconut oil, ghee or lard instead
- If you want to drink alcohol on christmas eve then you should
- Red wine is considered paleo friendly, if consumed in moderation. Just beware of store bought punch and egg nogg which are mostly full of refined sugar
Well, that is it! Hopefully you will be able to enjoy a nice paleo-dinner with your friends and family and also of course very comfy and happy holidays. If you have any tips of your own to share about how to create the perfect paleo Christmas dinner, post them in the comments.