Join Us On This Gastronomic Christmas Tour
Even in Spain, we all try to fight the cold season with more copious and caloric dishes. But Spain has the perfect weather to include in its typical Christmas dishes lighter and fresher options. Those dishes helps us to maintain our healthy lifestyle all year long… even during the Christmas holidays! Find the most popular Spanish dishes for enjoying your Christmas season with a healthy twist.
Even The Traditional Christmas Roast Has Its Healthy Version
One of the star dishes in Madrid is the roast suckling pig. In Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León it is the roast suckling lamb or the veal. There are also greater options that compensate for the heaviness of these meals. You can vary the menus with vegetable side dishes, vegetable-based sauces and fish or seafood soups as a first course. For desserts, you can base it on fruit, sorbets and light yoghurts.
A very good option is to include white meat on the menu. One of the most popular recipes at Christmas time is Beef Wellington, which can also be made with pork. If you are in Catalonia or Mallorca, you can’t miss the ‘sopa de galets amb pilotes’ or ‘sopa de Nadal’. It is a tipycal dish at Christmas time in which they stuff the pasta with pork. So delicious!
Like A Fish In Water On Your Christmas Holidays
On the other hand, the most popular Christmas dishes in northern Spain always include fish or seafood. For instance, you can find the baked red seabream, widely used throughout Spain at Christmas time. In Galicia, you can try the sailor-style mussels or clams, the mussels in scallop sauce or the famous Galician-style octopus. All of them well-known as a tasty but actually low-fat food. Anyway, choosing any type of fish on the Christmas menu will always be a very healthy option. Fish (especially blue fish) is high in Omega-3 fatty acids that prevent heart disease, for example.
Vegetables To The Max In Your Dishes!
For an eminently vegetable dish, visit Navarre, Aragon, La Rioja and the Basque Country, where you can find the Christmas cardoon. It is made from the stalks themselves and accompanied by nuts, clams or even cured ham. Vegetable soups are also very popular at Christmas time. Soup dishes help us to keep ourselves warm in winter while taking care of our diet.
Stuffed avocado is a popular dish that comes from Peru. Nevertheless, Spanish cuisine has also adapted it and it is widely used at Christmas time. Especially in coastal areas, such as the Canary Islands. The reaon? Its ingredients (seafood, fruit and vegetables) are commonly used all year long.
And What About Christmas Desserts?
When it comes to desserts, things get a little more complicated. However, we always have the option of replacing sugars with natural sweeteners. We can also use wholemeal flours and include natural fruit and nuts, as we could do with the recipe for rice pudding. These traditional dessert is very popular throughout Spain and especially in Asturias at Christmas time. As well, we could do the same with the mythical Three King’s Cake!
In short, it is not necessary to give-up the Christmas dishes that we all love so much. We just have to avoid and replace unhealthy products for others. To maintain a healthy diet at Christmas time, drink plenty of natural water. This will help you to compensate the alcohol consumption (more common than usual at Christmas). Additionally, do not abuse sweets and saturated fats – all these unhealthy dishes usually lead to gastrointestinal problems that could ruin your Christmas holidays.
And, of course, regular medical check-ups to make sure our bodies stay fit all year round. However, if you are on holiday in Spain and feel you need a medical visit, do not hesitate to ask our doctors for information.