Christmas on Lanzarote is a relaxed and peaceful celebration of the good things in life. Here in the subtropics, where sunshine and the outdoor life lasts all year round, one of those good things is the wide range of light and healthy alternatives that mean that Christmas doesn’t have to be a battle with your waistline.
Christmas lasts for at least two weeks here, so take it easy, don’t get stressed and, above all, enjoy it. Here’s to your good health!
In the depths of winter, fruit has always been a treat at Christmas. That’s the reason why we still find an orange in our stockings – at one time, they were rare and much-treasured gifts that came all the way from Spain or Italy. However, much of the fruit that is used in midwinter is of the dried variety – providing sweetness and flavour to Christmas specialties such as mince pies, Stollen cake or pannetone.
Fruit is also a tradition in the Spanish festive season – New Year is celebrated with 12 grapes rather than champagne, and a full fruit bowl is a central part of the season.
Here on Lanzarote, delicious and exotic fruit is easily available all year round, allowing you to enjoy a ripe mango on Christmas Day or a delightful fruit salad on New Year’s Eve.
Make the most of seasonal specialities such as pomegranates, kakis (custard fruit) and tangy, sweet mandarins.
Seafood & Fish
In Britain and Ireland fish isn’t really central to the Christmas tradition – some families might splash out on a few oysters, or some smoked salmon, but that’s about it.
In Spain, however, the fish counters will be heaving with mussels, clams, prawns, live lobsters and langoustines, and fish of all varieties. At this time of year oily fish such as sardines and tuna are out of season, and the most popular varieties here will be anglerfish (rape), besugo (red seabream) or the Canarian favourite of succulent, delicious wreckfish (Cherne).
It’s worth planning a few meals around fish at Christmas – it’s easily digested, filling and perfectly suited to Lanzarote’s lifestyle.
Juice & Smoothies
It’s no coincidence that Nutribullets and other blenders have been one of the most popular Christmas gifts in recent years – liquidised fruit, vegetables and herbs provide a potent, instant hit of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and that can be just what you need at Christmas time, whether you’re trying to stay healthy or recovering from a busy social life.
Fruit juices can also help you get through the alcohol-fuelled Christmas social scene. Give yourself a break from the booze altogether, or just use tasty, nourishing juices to help pace yourself.
Vegan, Veggie & Semi-Veggie
Christmas is a meat feast in many cultures, whether it’s a huge turkey and pigs in blankets or the leg of ham that many Spanish households splash out on at this time of year.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. As vegan and vegetarian lifestyles are rapidly accepted in Spain, the choices available in restaurants have improved endlessly, and the arrival of rich, vegetarian friendly traditions from India and the Far East has also had its effect.
A veggie Christmas doesn’t have to be a nut roast. There are now all sorts of alternatives available, and a rich range of ingredients to work with.
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