Healthy Burns night

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 by David Blabey

It’s time to bring out the haggis and pour out a dram of whiskey in celebration of Scotland’s most famous poet. It’s a night to drink with friends, share some laughs round the table and even to read out loud the work of the man himself with as much gusto as you can manage.

But more importantly, it’s a time to eat well. However, with many of us trying to stay faithful to our new year’s resolutions, you might want to try a healthier option. We take a look at some great choices for the truly Scottish celebration.

Cock-a-leekie soup

This traditional Scottish soup combines leeks and chicken for a truly nutritious and very filling soup. Rice, or sometimes barley can also be added to thicken it up if you choose, and some even add prunes to the mix for a sweet twist on the savoury dish.

Adding prunes actually makes this dish great for healthy eyes. Every cup of prunes actually contains 15% of your daily vitamin A requirements, which is an antioxidant that actually helps you see in lower lights.

Vegetarian haggis

For those not sold on eating haggis (although if you get the chance you should definitely give it a try, it’s delicious!), there is always the vegetarian option. A healthier mix of fresh vegetables, oatmeal, seeds, nuts and spices.

The nuts and seeds included in a veggie haggis can really boost your Vitamin E and Omega 3 intake, essential ingredients for Eye health that many of us don’t get enough of. In fact, some studies actually suggest Vitamin E could help prevent Cataracts.


A fantastic mix of soft cheese, crowdie and cream, this amazing Scottish dish is the perfect way to round of the night. Especially if served with a little dram of whiskey on the side.

Ok so perhaps this isn’t the healthiest of choices, but the oatmeal and fruits included offer yet another boost to your vitamins. In fact, a handful of raspberries can really help prevent your eyes from deteriorating, offering a high levels of anthocyanins to keep your body working hard.

The right way to address a haggis

For those of you going all out this burns night, there is of course only one way to start your meal. With the address to a haggis, a poem written about the haggis by none other than Robert Burns himself. The address is usually said before eating the haggis, and performed rather than spoken by the head of the table.

but for something a little more short and sweet, the traditional Selkirk prayer, often attributed to Robert burns, makes a fine replacement.

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it,

But we hae meat and we can eat,

Sae let the Lord be thankit.

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