Friday, 10 March 2017

How To: Prepare a Low Carb Party Spread

With Sam's second birthday coming up this month, I've been thinking about whether or not we should have a party (I'm swayed towards doing one because he's old enough to enjoy it, but Andel is not keen), and thinking back to what we did last year.

The plan for Sam's first birthday was actually to picnic with some friends with kids of similar age. Then it rained the week of his birthday, and even though it didn't rain on the actual day, it was so overcast and still wet everywhere, we took the picnic into our house - which truthfully, became a bit chaotic when the wider family also simply turned up.

It happened, too, that at the time we were full on Banting (Andel in an attempt to lose more weight for his cycling; me to shed the Sam-pregnancy weight that had refused to leave). So we did a low carb finger-food spread, and it was really fun and tasty - and the kids loved it.

Here's what we served:

Meat Balls - these homemade protein balls were prepared in coconut oil and seasoned with finely chopped onions, parsley and a bit of grated cheese to help them stick. We made smaller-than-usual sized balls, perfect for little hands.

Yogurt - for all the older kids, we prepared small cups of double cream, plain yogurt, and had some berries, honey and cinnamon on hand to add some flavour (not that it's really needed as the double cream is pretty rich and yummy already).

Crudites - we sliced up some veggies and fruit (the lesser sweet options) for the kids to grab and munch on while they played. These were a hit with the adults as well, and were served with low carb mayo as a dipping sauce.

Egg-Based Muffins - these savoury treats were stuffed with delicious bacon bits, onions, peppers, tomatoes and cheese, and seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and herbs. It's basically an omelette served in a muffin tray, and is surprisingly filling.

Cheese Board - while mostly for the adults, we also cut up some blocks of cheddar cheese for the kids. These can be served with banting seed crackers or on slices of cucumber instead of breads.

As drinks we had refreshing infused still and sparkling water (cucumber, lemon, mint, berries), as well as full cream milk (which was actually the preferred option for them anyway).

Of course, what's a first birthday without a cake - to smash if not to eat - so of course, the cake was not of the carb and icing free variety. However, if you do want a banting friendly cake recipe, this brownie one is a favourite in our house.

Basically, banting does not have to suck dry the enjoyment of food and dining from your life - and not even from a party. There are loads of delicious recipes that give great low carb and low sugar options which, once you get the hand of preparing, make great alternatives.

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