Christmas Eats » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle



By Cheshire Que, RND, RN, RD

You know what they say, there’s always room for dessert during the Christmas season, especially if it’s the classic leche flan and gelatin. But you might be anxious about growing a Santa belly throughout the holidays, so here are some tips to help you take control of your figure while indulging yourself with some treats from your family’s dessert spread.

First of all, be mindful about your movement by being physically active throughout the day. Walking is a good way to start. For instance, pacing while talking to someone on the phone not only gets you moving but burns more calories compared to sitting down. Just keep moving throughout the day.

Fill up on water and high fiber food to keep you full so when dessert time comes, you will only have room for small portions. It also helps to just get small portions using small dessert plates and spoons. Savor every bite and chew slowly. The faster you gobble down those sweets, the more calories you consume.

When making your own recipes, modify traditional extra sweet recipes by decreasing the amount of sugar without compromising the quality of flavor. Sugar substitutes may be used in combination with sugar to decrease the caloric content as well as the amount of refined sugars per recipe without altering the taste that much.

At this year’s Noche Buena, satisfy your sweet tooth cravings by combining traditional flavor and modern, fruity flair with these recipes shared by Mott’s 100 percent apple juice and Jolly Cow Condensada.

Fruity Leche Flan


6 egg yolks, beaten

1 can (410 mL) condensed milk

1 can (354 mL) evaporated milk

 juice and zest of 1 dayap

1/2 cup sugar

water, for steaming

1 can fruit cocktail, drained


  1. Prepare the caramel: In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil; reduce the heat to low before adding the sugar. Stir continuously for about two minutes or until the sugar caramelizes or turns amber. Immediately pour the caramelized sugar into prepared individual flan mold. Swirl the flan mold to evenly spread the caramel. Set the mold aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine evaporated milk, Jolly Cow condensed milk, sugar, and dayap. Gently pass the beaten eggs through a strainer into the bowl. Stir to combine and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared flan mold containing the caramel.
  3. Cover the mold with aluminum foil, arrange into the steamer (water should already be boiling before placing the mold inside); steam for 30 minutes or until firm. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate for at least two hours. Top with fruit cocktail upon serving. (Tip: rinse fruit cocktail with distilled water to remove excess syrup)

Jolly jelly

Jolly Jelly


2 1/4 cups 100 percent apple juice

3/4 cup non fat milk

10 tsps. hot water

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

7 packets of Stevia


  1. Prepare two rectangular gelatin molds and two bowls.
  2. In the first bowl, combine one envelope unflavored gelatin, five tablespoons of hot water, 3/4 cup Mott’s 100 percent apple juice, and three packets Stevia. Pour into the mold.
  3. In the second bowl, combine one envelope unflavored gelatin, five tablespoons of water, 1/2 cup Mott’s 100 percent apple juice, 3/4 cup non fat milk, and four packets Stevia. Pour into the mold.
  4. Refrigerate for two hours or until gelatin is set.
  5. Slice gelatin into cubes. Combine both flavors in one glass.
  6. Top with light whipped cream and serve.

Enjoy a treat or two during Christmas because eating should both be healthy and pleasurable, but always remember to practice portion control. Have a happy healthy holiday season!;; Instagram/@cheshirequerdn

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