Tasty healthy Veggie Christmas……..is there such a thing??
Christmas is possibly the only thing that gets me through the winter with dark nights and the cold! I was definitely made to live in a hot country (hint hint to my husband). I love Christmas, it is so festive, curled up watching Christmas films, home alone has to be my number 1 favourite and does anyone else watch cool runnings at this time of year…..no only me it seems.
Another thing this time of year makes most of us want to do is to curl up with a glass of red wine and a plate of naughty food!!! Well I am here to make your Christmas less naughty but without losing any of the taste……is that possible?? Yes it is!!!
I have included a few of my favorite recipies to get you through the cold nights but without all the processed, refined sugar that is put into most of the nations Christmas food! I have a yummy gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free recipe for you and they taste DIVINE!!! I also have a super duper veggie roast alternative, an incredible sprout recipe and a delightfully healthy cranberry sauce recipe that will leave you never returning to the horrible sugar loaded jars from the supermarket!
Dare I say healthy gluten free mince pies!
I have to say you would not believe these are the healthy version of Mince pies that are traditionally laden with processed sugar, butter and processed flour! They are dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free!!!
I loved being the food tester for these amazing morsels, I could not even wait for them to cool down I was too excited when they popped out of the oven J. The husband even loves them!
This is the most amazing, yummy recipe! And guess what no added sugar what so ever!! Apart from the naturally occurring kind in dried and natural fruit!!
They also contain my new favorite ingredient Gram flour or chickpea flour, this incredible ingredient is so versatile and gluten free! Yey! I now use this in baking, for making wraps with just the flour and water and is a fantastic alternative for with a curry instead of calorie heavy naan breads! Recipe to follow! But for now back to the mince pies!!!
The longest part of making this is the mince but even that is super easy! All you will need is a food processor, a large saucepan, a juicer if possible (if not do not fear get the best possible apple juice you can buy that has nothing added, I know tesco do coldpressed now), a cupcake baking tray, a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine will do the trick), a cookie cutter (although I just used a knife and squished them out).
My advice when buying your mince filling such as your dried fruit make sure you check the label and try and buy the organic ones with no added sugar and oil. You will find the general big bags of it in supermarkets have loads of vegetable oil and sugar added to them, this will defeat the point of these amazing healthy mince pies.
For the crust-
- 2 cups of ground almonds
- 1 cup gram flour (chickpea flour)
- ½ cup of coconut oil melted
- 1/8 cup of water more if not right consistency
- 1 free range locally ethically sourced egg
- 1/2 cup chopped medjool dates
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
For the mince-
- 2 small apples (Core removed chopped into small pieces)
- 2 small apples juiced (ideally freshly juiced)
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla essence
- 350g raisins (make sure no added sugar)
- 350g sultanas (make sure no added sugar)
- 200g chopped apricot (make sure no added sugar)
- 100g chopped medjool dates (make sure no added sugar)
- The juice of 2 oranges
- The rind of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut for dusting
First Job is making the mince for these delightful little things! I promise it will all be worth it! Place all of your mince ingredients into a large saucepan apart from the chopped apple and the cup of water
Turn on the heat let it cook up on high for about 3min then turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes, then add in the chopped apple and ½ cup of the water if the mixture is too thick. Place back on the heat for 25min and stir frequently throughout, if it is too thick add in more of the water.
Whilst the mince pie filling is cooking was can make the yummy crust! This is super easy; just whack everything in the food processor and whiz for about 1min until it is all nicely blended. It should all stick together when pushed with your fingers!
I sprinkle some gram flour on the table at this point and flatten out the crust mixture then roll it out with a rolling pin (or a handy bottle of wine) to about ½ cm thick then cut out your circles or use a cutter if you have one, my mixture made enough crust mixture for 16 mince pies and the toppings, I made little starts and Christmas trees for on top of mine but choose whatever you feel like and if you are feeling arty enough! You may be more talented than me J.
Spread a little coconut oil in each muffin mold to stop the mixture sticking then put your circle shapes into each one, don’t worry about them not being perfect! It adds to the effect! Pop these in the oven for 6 min at 180degrees. Take them out and add your mince pie filling and top with your star or Christmas tree! You should have quite a bit of filling left over but never fear you can either freeze this to use on more closer to Christmas, to make more mince pies or to put in your porridge, trust me it is totally amazing!!! Now put your mince pies back in the over for 10 min at 180 degrees or until the top has visibly cooked.
Take out of the oven and allow them to cool, try not to eat straight away! Now I like to put my desiccated coconut in a pan until slightly browned to bring out the flavor then blitz it quickly in my nutribullet or blender to create a icing sugar dusting for on top of the mince pies. Blend and dust and it adds a lovely flavor!
I literally ate one straight out of the oven!!! Sooooo good!!! These should stay fresh for at least 5 days. They also freeze well if you have made too many. My only advice is try not to eat them all at once, the hardest bit is sharing them J. Enjoy everyone!!!