As the holiday season draws near, many of us make a conscious decision to abandon our newly adopted healthy lifestyle to embrace mummy’s amazing traditional Christmas cooking. However, we should not abandon our healthy lifestyles for even one Christmas. According to Andrew Dhanoo, the Vice President of the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago, there are more than 200,000 cases of diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago. As such, we need to take steps to adjust our traditional meals for healthier, delicious alternatives.
Yuh Want Some Sorrel Awa?
Locals will get that joke. An ode to a very famous Christmas drink. This beverage is a great option for diabetics as there are a ton of health benefits attached to this plant. Sorrel belongs to the oxalis family, so it is associated with improving the condition of diabetics and boosting heart health in general. Sorrel aids in digestion (high in dietary fiber), regulates blood pressure (significant level of potassium), prevents cancer (high in antioxidants), improves eyesight (high in vitamin A), assists in circulation and prevents anemia (high in iron), and boosts immunity (impressive vitamin C content). Therefore, if you’re looking for a sugar-free option to the traditional sorrel beverage, try adding naturally sweet fruits/fruit juices like pineapple or orange, where sugar is usually added. The fructose in fruit has a natural advantage over table sugar because fruit contains so many vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Check out this recipe below.
Pineapple Sorrel Ingredients:
- 1 lb of sorrel leaves
- 1 chopped pineapple
- 1 freshly squeezed orange
- 5 cloves
- Maple syrup
- 11 cups of water
- ¼ cup of maple syrup/vanilla extract can be added optionally for an extra sweetner
- After separating the leaves from the seed, wash and strain the leaves thoroughly.
- Place, sorrel and cloves into a tall pot with 11 cups of water.
- Boil for 10-15 minutes
- Add chopped pineapple and/or freshly squeezed orange juice. Gently stir. Then, boil for 10 minutes or until leaves look slightly white
- Optional– You can turn off the heat and let the sorrel and pineapple sit to absorb more natural flavor.
- Strain the mixture and try to squeeze the pineapple juices out with a spoon or masher.
- Cool mixture before refrigerating and enjoying a refreshing glass with Christmas dinner!
What’s more satisfying than the warmth of granny’s sweet bread?
A healthy option for granny’s delicious sweet bread is simple. Replace the white flour for whole wheat flour and replace the sugar additives with vanilla essence and agave syrup. It is still tasty with butter when freshly baked.
Fruity Sweet Bread Ingredients
- 4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 4 ½ tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 cups of coconut, grated
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- ½ cup of evaporated milk
- 2 tsps almond essence
- 2 tsps vanilla essence
- 1/2lb butter/melted margarine
- Mix flour, baking powder, salt in a bowl and sift evenly.
- Add dried fruit, raisins, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg to mixture and mix well.
- Mix whipped egg, milk vanilla and almond essence and cool melted butter in a separate bowl.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir with a spoon to make batter. DON’T KNEAD BATTER.
- Pour batter into greased/non stick baking pans
- Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour/until fully baked.
- Optional-Glaze with agave sugar
Bring D Black Cake
Alcohol blocks the production of glucose in the liver, so any type of alcohol consumption for diabetics is not advised. This recipe replaces both alcohol and sugar with the healthy goodness of prunes and fruits!
Non Alcoholic Black Cake Ingredients
- 1 cup dates/currants, chopped
- 1 cup pitted prunes, chopped
- 1 cup. raisins
- 1 cup of non-alcoholic red wine
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup enriched flour
- 1 cup almond nuts, chopped
- 1 stick (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon essence
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon/mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 275 F
- Boil all chopped fruits (excluding raisins) in a large bowl and leave to soak in non-alcoholic wine for 5 minutes.
- Mix butter, eggs, vanilla, lemon and almond essence in separate bowl.
- Add raisins and butter mixture to fruit mixture and mix well.
- Gradually sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon/mixed spice and salt into separate bowl.
- Pour batter into well-greased baking pan.
- Bake for 3 hours.
- Let cool before stealing a slice before offering to guests.
Neighbour oye yo yo, bring out de ham
Instead of the customary ham and chow chow relish that we use for Christmas, which is preserved in sugar, try a regular condiment like ketchup with no sugar added.
Homemade Pumpkin Ketchup Ingredients
- 1 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes/1 cup tomato puree
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, mashed
- 1/4 tsp mustard
- 1 small onion
- 1/4 tsp ground all spice
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients on a low heat for 30 minutes while whisking, till sauce is thick.
Trust us, your body will thank you in the long run!