Christmas yogurt bark. Picture: Supplied

As much as we look forward to holiday parties and dinners, many of us fear not knowing what to cook. 

We spoke to chefs to share with us healthy and delicious dishes that we should try to make this festive season. 

Gazpacho. Picture: Supplied

Anmerie Truter from the Private Hotel School says: 

Gazpacho

A cold soup that is utterly delicious and a definite on any menu because we are blessed to have summer and Christmas at the same time in South Africa. It features local, organic and heirloom ingredients that pack a nutritional punch that is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and allowed on most diets.

Platters

Platters get people comfortable and set the festive tone, think local cheeses; home-made preserves (strawberry and basil preserve, candied ginger); cold cuts of organic, smoked chicken; smoky gammon; moist slices of biltong and fresh, seasonal fruits. 

Centerpiece dessert

You cannot celebrate Christmas or anything else without dessert. Again, because it is summer, I say, let’s make a frozen yoghurt ‘cake’. Slightly soften some high-quality frozen yoghurt (or make your own), mix in nuts and berries, re-set in a cake mold and top with white chocolate ganache and party sparklers. 

Venison carpaccio. Picture: Supplied

Warren Swaffield from Cassia restaurant says:

Venison carpaccio

Make this with smoked venison, thinly sliced, and accompanied by dried cranberry (which contain antioxidants, dietary fibre, Vitamin C and A), walnut, pecorino, and parsnip. All these ingredients are low in calories, low in fat and packed full of nutrients. 

Turkey

It is not Christmas without it! The good news is that the meat is high in protein, low in fat and is a rich source of Vitamin B. 

Grilled farmed salmon trout

The fish (high in protein and rich in Omega 3, brain food) is served with a wild rocket, asparagus, toasted walnuts and orange salad on a pan-seared courgette rosti. This dish is a perfect alternative for those that do not eat meat or poultry and is healthy, fresh and supports sustainable ingredients.

Pavlova

Meringue topped with honey and mint sweetened low-fat yoghurt, mixed fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries). Berries are powerful allies for your health, protecting everything from your head to your heart.

Christmas yoghurt bark. Picture: Supplied

Jackie Righi-Boyd from Dolci Café says: 

Christmas yoghurt bark

Unlike traditional bark made of chocolate this is made by freezing yogurt and fresh or dried fruit. It is a much healthier alternative and refreshing for our hot Christmases.

Pecan, apple, pomegranate and cranberry salad

This salad has a great amount of flavour well as being light and tasty. With ingredients such as apples, cranberries, pomegranates, and pecan nuts your guests will be left satisfied as well as going back for more. 

Christmas energy date balls

A sweet yet healthy treat for Christmas; add flavours such as ginger, allspice, and cardamom to give it that extra Christmas taste. Roll them in desiccated coconut and – ta-da – a healthy treat to satisfy those who crave something sweet. 

Insalata di polpo e gamberi

This is a cold salad made of prawn tails and octopus served on a bed of mixed green leaves with fresh red onion, celery, capers, olives, a touch of garlic and olive oil. This truly Mediterranean dish is heart-healthy, very lean and packed with flavour.