Cooking with heart and mind this Christmas

With Christmas season full of traditional foods, let’s explore how we can enjoy our traditions, revitalised with foods that truly nourish our hearts and stimulate our minds.

09 May 2018

With Christmas season full of traditional foods, let’s explore how we can enjoy our traditions, revitalised with foods that truly nourish our hearts and stimulate our minds.

Here are some Christmas foods you can eat for health, not just for instant energy. They are full of the season’s colours and familiar great tastes, without the guilt or regrets.

During the holiday season your taste buds won’t feel cheated when you feed them these delicious treats.

Putting 'delicious' into the recipe for health

Wholesome food that tastes delicious will lift our spirits, energise us and nourish our bodies.  Here are some websites that are packed with simple recipes for delicious meals and snacks for which our bodies and gut bugs will thank us.

Aussie Plum Pudding – light and piquant

The rich flavours and nutrients of this pudd will feed your heart and tantalise your taste buds. Many find that their bodies function much better without the gluten from wheat. The fruit and ginger provide lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The carrot, quinoa and almond milk provide healthy fibre as well as other important nutrients.

  • 1 cup raisins

  • ½ cup diced apricots

  • ½ cup cranberries

  • ½ cup dried blueberries

And macerate in ¼ cup orange flavoured liquor overnight (optional) and 2 shots coffee (espresso), jest of 2 lemons, juice 1 lemon.

Add to the dried fruit
  • 1 green apple, grated

  • 1 carrot, grated

  • Knob ginger, grated

Soak 1 cup organic tri-coloured quinoa in 2 cups almond milk until milk absorbed (about an hour)

Cook 1 cup Arborio rice and add to the quinoa with 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp whole cloves cut finely (not powdered cloves)

Beat together
  • 3 organic free-range eggs

  • 150g organic coconut oil

  • 1 cup honey

Combine all ingredients and steam until pudding is set (5 hours). Before cooking, pudding will be more liquid than conventional recipes. However, it sets firm and cuts well.

Rice, Raisin and Walnut Salad

These ingredients feed our hearts and stimulate our minds because the turmeric is anti-inflammatory and the rice and nuts are packed with fibre

  • 100g brown rice

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1tblsp olive oil

  • 100g chopped walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 6 tblsp shredded coconut

  • ½ raisins soaked in ¼ cup lemon juice

Cook brown rice in 1tsp turmeric and add the raisins. In saucepan, heat oil and add cumin seeds, walnuts and coconut and cook until golden in colour.

Add rice mixture to seasonings and mix through.


Want something refreshing to drink when celebration is all around? This berryblitz has the look and taste of Christmas. These ingredients feed our heart and stimulate our minds because it’s packed with antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and low in sugar.

Blitz in your blender and enjoy

  • 250g frozen mixed berries

  • half bunch mint

  • rind and juice one lime

  • knob ginger

  • tblsp organic honey (optional)

  • fill with water – sparkling or still


Green Bean Salad 

Green Bean Salad with grape tomatoes and macadamia nuts is high in fibre and phytonutrients with all the traditional colour of Christmas.

  • 500 gm fresh green bean, steamed lightly and immediately immersed in icy water to cool and retain their bright green colour and their crispness

  • 1 punnet grape tomatoes

  • ½ cup macadamia pieces, lightly toasted

  • A handful basil leaves

  • Dress with 2 tblsp olive oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, juice and jest of 1 orange juice, 1 garlic clove crushed, salt and pepper to taste


More great recipes can be found at: 


Dr Helen Hudson Bsc (Hons) Dip Ed PhD (Stanford Medical School), Preventative health and nutrition expert at Retire & Flourish, and

Gabrielle Leahy BA M Policy & App Social Research, Retirement Coach at Retire & Flourish


'This article has been reproduced with permission from Gabrielle Leahy of Retire & Flourish Pty Ltd'

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