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Enjoy the Christmas season – with healthy treats

Advent sends its messengers ahead. As the smell of pastries, mulled wine and roasted almonds hit our nostrils, we know that Christmas is not far away. For most of us, tasty treats, sweets, and good food are just as much a part of the most wonderful time of the year as the company of our families and a little peace and quiet for body and soul. The only problem is that these delicious things are often good for the soul, but not for your health.

During Christmas, most people eat too often, too much, and too greasy – after all, no time is as good for feasting as this one. For almost two-thirds of the Swiss, meat is part of a good Christmas meal; one-third of Germans deliberately avoid sugar and carbohydrates in December. Of course, for around three-quarters of those surveyed, cookies are part of Advent. So, people are happy to accept that their clothes will be a little tighter after the festive season and that they will have to make regular visits to the gym again in the new year.

In Switzerland, the delicious smell of Guetzli is as much a part of Christmas as the Christmas tree, the Advent calendar, and the presents. May it be Mailänderli, Zimtsternli, Chräbeli, Spitzbueben, Totenbeinli, or Vanillehörnli, in all cantons people are kneading, cutting out, and decorating at Advent time. Most of the baking is done by young adults who want to keep the cherished tradition from their childhood or try something new with their children.

What is new, for example, is that today’s amateur Christmas bakers pay attention not only to taste but also to health aspects. Experts are convinced that it’s not that difficult to eat healthily at Christmas and still enjoy the treat. According to TV expert Dr. Alexa Iwan, it depends on when you eat treats: “If you’re going to have Guetzli, then have them as a dessert and not constantly between meals. That way, the body has a chance to bring its sugar and insulin levels back to normal in between meals.”

Food engineer Mine Uran, the founder of Alver, advises health-promoting ingredients like Golden Chlorella. “Simply spice up the Guetzli with our Golden Chlorella powder when baking and then enjoy with a clear conscience. For example, microalgae absorb toxic heavy metals that we often add to our bodies by eating meat. In addition, microalgae help prevent cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.”

By the way, Mine’s favorite Christmas cookies are vanilla croissants. She’s in good company with that since, among the Swiss, vanilla is the most popular condiment for Christmas cookies. So, if you’re in the mood to offer your loved ones something delicious and healthy during Advent, give Mine’s Vanillehörnli a try:

Ingredients for baking:

  • 250g Flour
  • 80g Powdered sugar
  • 10g Vanilla sugar
  • 200g Very cold vegan butter (or regular)
  • 100g Almond flour
  • 3g Golden Chlorella (1 teaspoon)
  • A pinch of salt

For decorating:

  • 20g Vanilla sugar
  • 50g Powdered sugar

Here’s how: Put all the baking ingredients in a large bowl, mix and knead into a crumbly dough. Then chill the dough wrapped in plastic wrap for an hour and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Divide the chilled dough into several portions and shape one portion at a time into a roll. (Note: work only with small portions, always keeping the remaining dough in the refrigerator). Cut small slices, roll them between your hands, and form crescents. Spread the crescents with enough space between them on a cake tray with baking paper. Then, if the dough is very soft, place the crescents in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes before baking.

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until the vanilla croissants have a light golden color. Then sprinkle with vanilla sugar and powdered sugar and let cool.

Mine’s vanilla croissants are ready – the healthy Christmas treat.

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