The arrival of shorter daylight and the foggy, gloomy weather is a sure sign that we are getting closer to my favourite time of the year, the holiday season. I still remember the special time when the entire family gathered around my parent's dinner table to celebrate. An essential part of these special gatherings was my Mom's delicious homemade meal, cooked from scratch. As a child, I did not realize how much time, effort and creativity she had to put into preparing these dishes which contributed to the jovial, unforgettable atmosphere of Christmas.
Many years have passed since then and I now have my own family and friends to gather around our dinner table. Every year, I strive to re-create the festive atmosphere that still lives deep inside me. I prepare some of the traditional recipes that my Mom passed on to me and the ones that my family loves. They eagerly await for my special fish recipe on Christmas Eve, roasted duck or goose on Christmas Day, but mostly for the holiday pastries that I bake once a year only. Needless to say, all of the baked sweets would be gobbled up shortly after they cool down if I allowed them to eat as much as they wanted. Fortunately, the holistic nutritionist in me is well aware of the detrimental impact that all the white flour and sugar has on our waistline and overall energy. Therefore, to please my family's expectations and improve the nutritional content of my goodies at the same time, I started to experiment with substituting some ingredients for healthier alternatives. Here are some helpful tips that may help you in transforming your favourite recipes without compromising much on flavour.