Tis the season of mulled wine, mince pies and reruns of Only Fools and Horses. Yes, it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year – and we LOVE it!
Decorations are being dusted off, Christmas trees (fake and real) are on sale, lights are being festooned and Christmas Markets are creeping into your home town alive with festive cheer and rich with the smell of hog roasts and churros.
It’s no wonder many of us find ourselves overwhelmed when it comes to navigating the tastiest of tasty treats and our goal driven diets at this time of year, or why many of us end up choosing to eat everything in sight.
And why not? It’s Christmas!
But while gorging yourself on oodles of deliciousness at the Christmas Market is absolutely fine as a one-time treat – we actively encourage it – it’s good to keep in mind that many of these nibbles can be loaded with calories.
So with festive overindulgence on our minds, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 biggest calorie culprits, and a few lighter alternatives to help keep your diet on track this Christmas.
Kicking things off with a biggy…
There’s simply nothing nicer than a warm cup of sweet, spicy, delicious mulled wine to warm the cockles of your heart – and your gloved hands – as you mull over the handmade delights of the Christmas market.
But along with all that spicy warmth comes a rather hefty dose of sugar adding, roughly, 50 calories to each and every cup taking your calorie total to around 200.
Gulp down two or three cups, and that’s an extra 400 to 600 calories.
If you really fancy something warm and want to keep your calories in check, opt for a mulled cider instead.
Every Christmas market has a crepe stand, sometimes even two or three, and on those crepe stands are vats, actual vats, of Nutella, the most popular crepe filling.
But did you know that just one of these tasty treats can add at least 400 calories to your daily intake?
Yes, seriously! So if hitting up the crepe stand is on your list of must-dos this festive season we suggest a sprinkling of sugar and lemon instead…
No Christmas market would be complete without a Bratwurst stand, but these morsels of German fabulousness are absolutely laden with fat.
Just 100g of a juicy Brat is packing roughly 30g of fat – that’s 270 calories.
Add to that the fat it’s fried in and the bread roll in which it’s served, and you’ll be tipping the calories scales close to 500.
And that’s only for a standard Bratwurst, imagine if you decided to try out the ½ meter creation that’s the latest craze to grace the German Markets?
But, if a bratwurst is simply something you cannot do without, ask for a venison sausage instead. They’re naturally leaner but still pack a hefty flavour punch.
It’s rich, it’s spicy, it’s sweet and it’s seriously scrumptious… It can only be one thing – Stollen.
A good Stollen is basically made up of eggs, butter, sugar, raisins and lots of festive spice so it stands to reason why just one slice of this traditional yeasted cake of German origin can add around 350 calories to your daily intake.
To be honest we don’t have an alternative for you try. Why? Because we think a slice of Stollen cannot be beaten!
So, all we’ll say is as moreish as it is try sticking to just one slice instead of two… or three… or four…
But almonds are healthy, right? Yes, they are! Not only do they contain a hearty dose of fibre, protein and vitamin E, but they’re also packing in healthy fats.
Straight from the pack almonds will do you no harm, but the toasted almonds you find at a Christmas market are usually smothered in caramelized sugar, thus transforming these healthy nibbles into a rather unhealthy bite.
How unhealthy? Roughly 500 calories unhealthy- that’s the same as an entire meal!
Still need to nibble on a nut or two? Check out the roasted chestnuts instead. 100g of these bad boys will only add on 210 calories to your day.
Yeah, we know – these do not in any way sounds appetising, but there’s something seriously magical about eating French Fries in the cold air of a German Christmas Market – don’t you agree?
It must be something to do with the twinkly lights and the fact they’re often served in a cone… A CONE!
The only problem is these little morsels of crispy warmth usually come in at about 300 calories per portion, and that’s before you add the mayo.
Next time you’re visiting your favourite market of the year, why not try sharing your fries with your significant other… if you can…
This fairly new addition to the German Christmas Market is certainly making waves because it’s basically melted cheese, scraped off a wheel and used as a super cheesy blanket on which lots of other delicious things are served.
Things like a couple of crispy spuds, onions, cold cuts, pickles AND THEN it’s all added to a hearty slice of bread.
It seriously rocks and if you smell it in the air (it smells pretty strange), we advise you to run. Run to it as if your life depended on it. Run like the wind and run wild, because you will not regret it.
The only thing you might regret is the fact a portion of this cheesy delight, with toppings and bread is about 400 calories – eek!
But hey, it’s Christmas, and it only rolls around once a year, so why not indulge your cheesy tooth in style?
Eat, drink and be merry...
So… we’ve made it to the end of our list of 7 biggest calorie culprits you’ll encounter at the Christmas Market this year, and we didn’t even mention the sweets, the Schaumkuss or the Dampfnudel – all of which we recommend you try, by the way…
In moderation of course!