Plant-Based Festive Season Favourites

With another uncertain year drawing to an end and as we look to the warmer days of the approaching festive season, Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics shares her favourite Summer recipes for low key Christmas celebrations and gatherings.

As one of Australasia’s leading plant-based nutritionists and naturopaths, and New Zealand’s number one food blogger, Buffy not only creates delicious feel-good food but always ensures they’re loaded with nutrition-rich, healthy ingredients too. 

Coming together to share a meal is about celebrating life, and nothing celebrates life more than delicious food that promotes health!

The festive season is often a time of overindulging and more often than not is paired with late nights and end of year stress (this year more than ever!).

Eating wisely, keeping active, staying hydrated and getting regular quality sleep all aid to better navigating the festive season in a healthier, more mindful and positive way. 

Ellen’s Be Good online Cooking School is not only a source of incredible plant-based recipes and meal planning resources, within her ‘Naturopathic Circles’ area you’ll also find research-backed seminars on everything from stress and immunity to all you need to know about Protein, Omega-3s, Iron and Calcium.

Ellen’s top tips to support your stress holistically through the festive season: “Increase anti-inflammatory foods like veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole grains; reduce inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy and ultra-processed foods; don’t go overboard on caffeine and stimulants (one delicious soy/oat latte a day is absolutely fine);

“Boost your mood by putting on your favourite Spotify playlist, going for a walk, moving your body, getting out in nature, or watching a good movie or series that takes your mind off the world; prioritise your sleep, which helps to restore your nervous system and balance cortisol; write a daily gratitude list or journal; and most of all – be kind and gentle to both yourself and others. It’s a testing time right now for all of us, but we have something great within us as a human race which is compassion and love – now’s the perfect time to let that shine!” 

Our sugar intake tends to rise significantly over the Christmas period, so to help reduce the sugar in your diet, Ellen recommends; “choosing whole foods to sweeten where possible such as fresh fruits, dates and raisins; when cooking or baking using other things to sweeten such as coconut, carob, vanilla and cinnamon

“Opting for minimally processed sweeteners such as maple, brown rice syrup, and using only just what you need; adding fibre, protein, and small amounts of whole food fats to meals to increase satiety; and reducing ultra-processed sweeteners wherever possible – anything where ‘sugar’ or one of its other names is in the top 3 ingredients on the food label.” 

Ellen aids cooks to create plant-based versions of Christmas classics like mini pavs, eggnog, chocolate truffles and kiwi favourite sausage rolls, all incredibly yummy and full of healthy ingredients for everyone. 

Buffy’s favourite recipes for the festive season: 

Sweet treats for outdoor picnics and homemade gifts: 

  • Magical mini pavs
  • Chcocolate orange tart
  • Christmas eggnog
  • Spiced chocolate truffles
  • Gingerbread men
  • Summer strawberry cheesecake

Keep festive meals easy with vibrant summer salads

  • Pomegranate cauliflower couscous salad
  • Raw beetroot salad
  • Pesto and potato salad
  • Moroccan sorghum salad

Cheeky bites and crowd-pleasers:

  • Vegan gluten free sausage rolls
  • Cheese scrolls
  • Chick’n muchroom pie
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