HEALTHY AFTERNOON TEA IDEAS
Afternoon Teas have a long history here in the UK, and for good reason. They provide that perfect mix of great company, flavoursome food and delicious tea, and are a great way to catch up with friends.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A GUILT-FREE AFTERNOON TEA
These traditional get-togethers have seen a real revival over recent years, with more and more of us discovering what a great way an afternoon tea is to get everyone together and share some memorable times. Although they’re typically crammed full of fatty, high calorie treats, there are healthier ways to enjoy an afternoon tea. Here are a few of our very top tips so you and your guests can indulge without even a hint of guilt.
HEALTHY BAKING TIPS
Afternoon tea simply wouldn’t be the same without some delicious cakes. However, these are often the treat that packs the most fat and sugar on the menu, so finding a healthier version wherever you can is a great idea.
First off, choosing the right low-fat spread will cut down the saturated fat in your cake significantly, and skimmed milk or low fat yogurt can often be used to replace whole milk or single cream. Another handy swap is to use fat-free ricotta cheese with a little sweetener to replace thick creams in recipes.
To sweeten your cakes, it’s a good idea to use lower amounts of anything containing sugar. Try adding half or three-quarter quantities of the cane sugar that you usually would and your favourite recipes really will still taste delicious. You could also replace this lower quantity with alternatives like dates, ripe bananas or fresh fruit. These make delicious, moist cakes, but do still count towards your daily allowance of sugar, so be sure to keep an eye on how much you add to your baking.
Many people feel that sandwiches are a must-have at an afternoon tea, but if you or your guests are looking to go gluten-free, baking your own with gluten-free flour, or opting for a shop bought gluten-free bread, can ensure you still provide sandwiches which your guests will love. Open sandwiches are another great option; they look and taste great, whilst halving the amount of bread used.
If you do decide on traditional afternoon tea sandwiches, you’ll find that most include butter and either mayonnaise or cream cheese. To slash the fat in your sandwiches, include light (or extra light) versions of these essentials. To add a few more vitamins and minerals - as well as a great flavour - to your sandwiches, include fresh foods like pepper, rocket, spinach and tomato.
With these tips in mind, there really is no need to cut out the smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise or prawn cocktail flavours from your next afternoon tea.
Alongside your healthy cakes and sandwiches, you could choose to keep it simple by offering a fresh bowl of fruit salad, or you could go all out with the healthy snacks!
For a delicious and healthy treat, why not try slicing apples or pears up thinly, and roasting them in the oven until they’re crispy on both sides? Add a little cinnamon once they’re cooked and you’ll be bound to satisfy your sweet tooth! Also, batons of crisp celery and carrot served with low-fat hummus or yogurt are a nutritious afternoon tea snack.
Finally, why not consider making fruit kebabs? Simply prepare and slice a few vibrant coloured fruits like strawberries, pineapple, kiwi and orange and carefully slide them onto a wooden skewer – delicious!
One of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle is getting involved in physical activity. If you’re looking to make your afternoon tea that little bit healthier, why not line up some fun activities for people to get stuck in to?
Playing a game of croquet or badminton is a great way to keep tradition alive at your afternoon tea, or if you’re enjoying tea with children, why not try hiding some toys or fruity treats around the garden and seeing who can find the most?
Of course, no afternoon tea is complete without its star ingredient – the tea. The good news is that, depending on what you’re looking to cut down on, there are a whole host of ways that you can reduce the fat and sugar in the tea you enjoy at your next gathering.
If you enjoy a sweeter beverage and are usually one to add sugar to your tea, why not give sweet green teas like Salted Caramel Indulgence, or Fruit and Herbals such as our Raspberry & Lemon infusion a try?
These delicious blends are sweet enough to replace your usual sugary cup, as well as refreshing and low in calories. There’s no need to add milk, so they make an excellent alternative to traditional black tea if you’re cutting down on dairy products.