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Fantastic Christmas ingredients

Fantastic Christmas ingredients.  I am so excited to cook at this time of year as I can play with some of my favourite ingredients.  These include chestnuts, cranberries and Brussels sprouts.  You can include all of these in your Christmas dinner and enjoy their amazing benefits.

Chestnuts

High in fibre with 3g per 100g, vitamin C, minerals such as potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants.  They also contain high levels of essential fats including linoleic acid which has been shown to be beneficial to cardiovascular health.  They are delicious roasted and eaten on their own or mixed with halved brussels sprouts and bacon and roasted for Christmas dinner.

Cranberries

Excellent source of vitamin C, fibre, manganese and copper.  Rich source of anthocyanidins which inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract – hence use in UTIs.  High levels of antioxidants (may inhibit atherosclerosis, cancer and other degenerative diseases).  Apart from making a great home made cranberry sauce (simmer 300g with juice from 2 oranges and 2 teaspoons of zest for 20-25 mins) you can add chopped to a turkey and quinoa pilaf or make cranberry coolers.

Brussels sprouts

Love or hate them they only come round once a year! They are a cruciferous vegetable (along with broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower) which are liver supportive.  They are relatively high in protein and packed with fibre (3.3g per cup serving).  Fibre helps reduce cholesterol, supports cardiovascular health and is important for weight management.  They contain carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which support eye health.  They are also great for bone health due to their vitamin C and K content.  Cook with chestnuts as above or mix with your favourite steamed green vegetables and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce

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