It’s easy to think the fat’s in the pastry, but there is traditionally a lot in the mincemeat. Most recipes call for suet but there are options where no fat is used. It’s best not to mess with the pastry but you can cut back by leaving your pies open-topped.
Another festive staple – and all you need to do is avoid pouring in the added sugar and suet. Dried fruit is full of sugars, so there’s no need to add more. Replace it with coconut oil and ground almonds. They’ll bind your mixture and add flavour without clogging your arteries.
Turkey is a lean meat but we tend to smother it in gravy and stuff it full of sausagemeat. So why not replace the sausage with Quorn? This meat alternative has a meaty texture but little flavour of its own – so it will soak up the bird’s flavours.
First, go continental by using olive oil instead of goose or duck fat. Second, roast potatoes are all about the ratio of surface area to volume, and the thinner cut they are the crispier they are. But bijoux cubes of crunchy potato are also much fattier than more traditional roasted lumps because there is more surface area to soak up the grease. So keep your spuds chunky, and remember to baste to crisp them up.
A few drinks are an essential part of Christmas for many, but sticking to a couple of rules can keep off the lard. First, avoid liqueurs. Rather than an Irish cream, have a spirit and low-calorie mixer. And drink dry wine rather than sweet.