Making better lifestyle choices is often front of mind in January when many of us vow to lose those post-Christmas pounds, drink less alcohol and follow a more nutritious diet. But if you’re hoping to make long term changes, rather than just another dashed New Year’s Resolution then planning a healthier wedding menu could be easier than you think. From mouth-watering meat-free dishes to masterful mocktails, Lucy Plummer from Whirlowbrook Hall has some simple and delicious ideas to help you stick to those health goals AND please the crowd on your big day.
Resolution 1. Drink Less Alcohol
The well-documented effects of alcohol on the body mean more and more people are cutting down on the booze or forgoing it altogether. Over 20 per cent of UK adults now class themselves as teetotal, so it’s likely a good proportion of your guests would welcome an alcohol-free tipple to accompany their dinner. Even better, you’ll remember every little detail of the day and get to spend your first day as man and wife feeling fresh and hangover free.
In summer, a vintage style cart serving homemade lemonade is a refreshing substitute for traditional fizz on guests’ arrival. Alternatively, blending fresh seasonal fruits into a summer berry punch means guests will also get some of their five a day. Swap for alcohol-free mulled wine made with spiced pomegranate, blackberries and apple to provide some welcome warmth for guests at a winter wedding.
Mocktails add a glamorous element to an alcohol-free do, especially when professionally mixed and beautifully presented. There is so much scope to experiment with different fruits and flavours – who wouldn’t want to try a blueberry mojito, a watermelon margherita or a cooling lemongrass or jasmine iced tea?
Resolution 2. Eat Less Meat
Vegetarianism is on the rise in the UK, as many people switch to plant-based diets for health, environmental and ethical reasons. In recent years, the number of people opting for a vegan diet that’s totally free of animal produce has soared to 3.5 million. If your healthy resolution is to cut out meat, Whirlowbrook Hall can now provide full vegan menus for weddings.
Amongst the delicious options available are Tandoori Kebabs, Rainbow Slaw, Paprika Yoghurt and Micro Coriander or Charred Watermelon, Mint & Chilli Gel and Coconut Sorbet to start. Mains include Red Pepper and Spinach Lasagne, Saffron Roast Potatoes, Ruby Chard or ‘Sausage & Mash’ served with Caramelised Onion Jus and Crispy Onions which could convert even the most committed of carnivores. And with a host of dairy-free desserts to finish, there’s certainly something for everyone.
Resolution 3. Sugar Free Substitutes
If sugar is your downfall and your new year goal is to curb a sweet tooth, there are plenty of ways to incorporate this into your wedding day. Research on the subject suggests that refined sugar has the most negative effects on health, so speak to your wedding caterer and ask them to use recipes that swap white sugar with natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.
Many couples are going one step further, ditching desserts altogether in favour of fruit platters or a selection of cheeses. And of course, there is the option to stack up your favourite cheeses as an alternative to a tiered wedding cake.
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