Why not host a Christmas brunch rather than lunch? There is a myriad of deliciously healthy mueslis, smoothies, muffins and quiches you can create – not to mention it frees up the afternoon for outdoor activities or a nap on the couch! If you do choose to entertain over lunch, opt for more informal, lighter and easy to prepare meals. The heat of Australian summer lends itself to fresh seafood platters, BBQ prawns, cold meats and festive salads.

Here’s a recipe for baked Christmas granola from Cenovis Home Economist Mandy dos Santos that’ll help you enjoy your festive celebrations while keeping your waistline (and hip pocket) in check.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of rolled oats
2 Tbs pure maple syrup (or syrup of choice)
2 tsp coconut oil (or butter)
4 Tbs shredded coconut
4 Tbs pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
4 Tbs dried cranberries (or goji berries for a superfood boost)

Method:

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.

Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup, and pour over the oats mixture.  Stir to combine.

Spread the mixture on a lined baking tray and place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees. Bake for around 10 minutes until golden.

Remove the tray and allow the granola mix to set and cool. Break up the granola and serve with some natural yoghurt and fresh fruit of choice.