When we think of a Christmas lunch, it tends to conjure an image of a glistening turkey and tray of potatoes with gravy. But while a traditional roast is undoubtedly delicious, it’s not the be-all-to-all of Australian Christmas foods. With temperatures soaring in December, we tend to enjoy fresh, cold foods just as much as those hearty roasts. And with our island home serving up some of the world’s finest fresh produce, why not take advantage of it? Whether you’re looking for Christmas eve food ideas or something to snack on after your huge lunch, check out the 5 best fresh foods to add to your Christmas menu.
Most Aussies have fond memories of enjoying a plump, juicy mango at the beach on a sweltering summer day. The tropical fruit reaches peak freshness at this time of year and there’s no shortage of ways to stick your teeth into it. You could chop it into slices to snack on at your Christmas celebrations, add it to a tropical pavlova or even freeze it to make ice blocks! You can pick up some of Australia’s freshest mangoes at your local grocery store. To help them last longer, store them at room temperature (not the fridge) before it ripens.
No Aussie Christmas would be complete without fresh cherries! The stone fruit is ripe for the picking in December, finding that perfect balance between sweet and savoury. You can add them to a cheese platter at your Christmas eve celebrations, pop some on the table at your festive lunch or even add them to desserts like pudding or Maraschino. A box of cherries also makes a fantastic edible Christmas present!
40% of Australia’s prawn consumption happens in December and it’s not hard to see why. They’re an absolute summertime staple! You can peel them and eat them fresh, or pop them on the grill for a seafood BBQ feast. Whether you prefer a sweet and mild banana variety or a strong and salty tiger prawn, you can grab them from your local grocery store. While there’s an abundance available at this time of year, consider ordering them early and in bulk to get the best price on fresh prawns.
4. Cold cuts
A hot, glazed ham might be a mainstay on any Christmas lunch menu, but that’s not the only way to get some pork on your fork (or in your hands!) Whether you grab some leftover ham from the fridge on Boxing Day or add some charcuterie slices to your cheese platter, cold cuts are an absolute summer Christmas essential. You can cut it off the bone yourself, but you may also choose to grab it pre-sliced from the deli for your convenience.
In Australia, a balmy Christmas eve can feel like just as much of a celebration than the day itself — and there’s no better way to spend it than with a seafood picnic. While oysters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, they’re an excellent addition to any fresh seafood platter. That said, amidst all the merriment, you likely won’t have time to waste shucking your oysters. Save yourself the hassle and pick up some fresh, shucked oysters from your local grocery store. Whether you prefer a cupped or rock variety, the world is (literally) your oyster.
By adding these fresh foods to your Christmas menu, you can ensure you have healthy and delicious options on hand that the whole family will love.