How to entertain the healthy way
FOOD

How to entertain the healthy way

Summer is a great time for celebrations with family and friends. Here are some helpful tips for healthy entertaining.

Celebrate wisely

 

With an abundance of stunning summer produce and balmy evenings around the corner, here’s how to entertain and stay on track.

 

Dips and starters


Chips and fried canapés can quickly clock up SmartPoints® values, so serve your guests lighter alternatives. Take time to source high-quality ingredients – especially wholefoods – dial up your food styling and create ambience with table settings, candles and fairy lights.

Focus on fruit
Zero Points fruits bust hunger the healthy way. Try skewers of watermelon cubes, reduced-fat feta squares and fresh basil leaves. Watermelon is rich in lycopene antioxidants, which are studied for a potential role in protecting skin from sun damage.

Go single serves
Research by Dr Brian Wansink shows buffet-style spreads can lead to overeating. Instead of overflowing bowls and platters, serve individual portions so that guests only have an option to take one. Try mini bowls of spicy tomato gazpacho or Asian chicken and slaw salad.

Splurge differently
Instead of rich, creamy foods, offer gourmet zero Points goodies. Most people appreciate seafood like prawns or Moreton Bay bugs, and if you control portions, it’s not as expensive as you think. Choose produce such as oysters and serve with nam jim dressing and lime wedges.

 

Barbecues


If you’re going to a barbecue, take a dish or plate that’s program-friendly. If you’re the host, smart menu planning will help curb abundant food.

Signature salads
When guests ask what to bring, answer with, “Your signature salad, please!” If the table’s full of salads you’ll have greater control over the protein, as well as the starters and desserts.

Sneak in a serve of veg
Add extra vegies to the grill like zero Points corncobs with Mexican spice or asparagus spears with lemon and pepper.

Go single serves
Cater for individual fillets of fish or lean meat for each guest rather than sausages. Add mustard, horseradish and tomato relish to the table so everyone has low SmartPoints values sauces on hand.

 

Desserts


Sweets and desserts can be tricky, as there are so many high SmartPoints dishes that spring to mind at this time of year. But all it takes is some clever modification and fresh ideas.

Twist tradition
If you’re known for the best pavlova in town, you can tweak your recipe and keep your guests satisfied. Switch cream with 99% fat-free plain yoghurt, and top with naturally sweet sliced mango cheeks (rich in vitamins A and C).

Go single serves
Portion out desserts into individual ramekins so there are no seconds or leftovers. Try Summer puddings in mini moulds.

Use fruit as a base
Be creative with treats using zero Points fruits. Try strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. If your crew loves ice-cream, try 100 per cent banana fro-yo with a swirl of salted caramel and a little crumbled biscuit. Or, my favourite: chargrilled figs and peaches served with honey and mascarpone.

 

"SWEET TOOTH? Your guests won’t feel cheated when you pair fresh seasonal fruits with cheeky treats like chocolate."