The trend of plant-based eating has been rapidly gaining momentum in 2021, with a rising number of people adopting a more plant-based diet in Ireland. But on festive occasions, it can seem like more of a challenge given that our traditions of celebration often involve an abundance of food and serving large portions of meat, such as turkey and ham, as a centre piece. With Christmas being right around the corner (can you believe it!) we can help take some of the stress out of your holiday planning by bringing you some of the best tips and tricks for including plant-based festive foods on your plate this Christmas.
But first, what exactly is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is based on foods derived from plants such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and nuts, and contains few to no animal products. It has become popular due to it's association with a more sustainable pattern of eating aswell as for many health reasons including weight control and prevention of diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Plant based festive eating: Tips & Tricks
Find the perfect balance!
Let’s face it, turkey or ham is a predominant part of our Christmas dinner and eating more plant-based around Christmas doesn’t have to mean eliminating this part of Christmas dinner entirely. The key to a more plant-based Christmas table is to choose a smaller bird, serve a smaller portion of meat and increase the variety of delicious dishes that you serve alongside it.
Save time by buying frozen veg
Take some of the pressure off and buy frozen fruit and veg which will save you prep and cooking time.
Eat With the Seasons
Be mindful when shopping for fruit and veg at Christmas and try to choose in-season vegetables as much as possible. Luckily, many of the vegetables that are traditionally a part of our Christmas feast – spuds, brussel sprouts, carrots and parsnips – are in season throughout the winter including mushrooms, turnips and leeks!
Try to increase the variety of plant-based dishes that are served at your Christmas dinner this year. Focus on diversifying your range of vegetable side dishes, or why not add in an extra vegetarian/vegan main dish such as a delicious nut roast or a vegetarian wellington!
Include plant-based foods in your breakfasts and snacks
Balance is key so if you've a Christmas dinner planned or are going out for dinner with family or friends, try to up your intake of plant foods earlier in the day through your breakfasts and snacks. For example, oats with fruit and nuts is a great start to your day and can help you to reach your plant-based target for the day!
Remember going plant-based includes reducing your meat intake, so your Christmas does not have to be completely meat-free, but maybe give some of these ideas a go if they sound tasty to you!
And if you feel inspired to continue on with your plant-based eating habits in the New Year, we're here to support you with our vegetarian and vegan range which will have some exciting new additions in the coming months!