Liver Healthy Holiday Choices
When the holiday season is upon us, we often find ourselves running around sorting out schedules and travel plans, shopping and organizing festive get-togethers. The last thing on our minds at this hectic time of year is our livers.
At friends’ houses, holiday and office parties, we are bombarded by delicious homemade treats and boxes of chocolates, not to mention dinners with rich calorie-heavy foods accompanied by sugary drinks. While we might think that our livers only care about what’s in our glasses when we toast, the truth is that our livers are just as concerned about what’s on our plates.
When we consume more calories than our bodies need, the liver stores the excess as fat and over time the build-up of fat can lead to fatty liver disease. The good news is, by changing your diet, reducing your body weight, and including more physical activities in your daily routine, you can get rid of the fat in your liver.
There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence over the holidays, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t incorporate some healthier choices. We’ve collected some appetizer and drink recipes to help make your holiday hosting a little more liver-friendly.
Whip up this easy, colourful and finger-friendly appetizer before your holiday party. Simply skewer mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, black olive and fresh mint or basil.
Makes: 10 pieces
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 10 small mozzarella balls
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 10 whole black olives
- 10 fresh mint or basil leaves
- Balsamic vinegar to drizzle
- Pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Thread mozzarella, fresh mint/basil leave and tomato and black olive on small skewers.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Green olives, corn, and feta cheese marinated with basil, lemon and black pepper are great served on warm slices of crusty baguette or flat crackers. Makes for a tasty appetizer for any gathering.
Makes: 2 cups
- 1 cup sliced green olives
- 1/2 cup diced low-fat feta cheese
- 1/2 cup canned corn
- 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried basil
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine green olives, corn, feta cheese, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and black pepper in a medium bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour before spreading on crusty bread or crackers and serving.
Sparkling Pomegranate Grape Punch
This bubbly beverage satisfies your sweet tooth while providing a great non-alcoholic beverage substitute during the holidays!
- 1 1/2 cup chilled pomegranate juice (no sugar added)
- 4 cups chilled sparkling water (club soda)
- 1 1/2 cup white grape juice (preferably no sugar added)
- Fresh mint and lime or lemon for garnish
- 4 cups of ice
- Place the ice in a pitcher or bowl.
- Add the pomegranate juice and white grape juice and stir well.
- Slowly add sparkling water.
- Garnish with lime slices, and mint sprigs and serve.
Wishing you all a safe and liver-healthy holiday season!
Recipes provided by Atefeh Golpaie, MSc., RD Canadian Liver Foundation volunteer