I don’t know about you but we’re knee deep in Christmas stuff here – parties, shopping, decorating. I love it though!
And like a lot of people I look forward to the sweet treats that come with Christmas. In fact, one of the things that make’s Christmas so special is that you get to eat food that you don’t normally get throughout the year.
You may notice that already the sweets are flowing. But they’re likely of the synthetic/hormone interrupting/highly addictive kind.
But there is a much healthier way to get your sugar kicks over this festive season.
Today I want to share with you my simple strategy for satisfying my sweet tooth but staying true to my wholefood pIant-based lifestyle during this time of year.
It’s very simple. I keep my kitchen well stocked with delicious, wholesome treats. These come out whenever we have visitors or I bring them with me when we’re going visiting. And sometimes they come out when the kids are tucked into bed and I’ve got my feet up at the fire……..bliss!
But these recipes are under lock and key from January to mid-December. These are my special ‘Christmas only' treats. That way I still get that feeling of Christmas been really special.
I’m going to share with you today my top 3 recipes for healthy festive treats.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
#1 Snow Ball Surprise Energy Balls
Don’t these just look amazing! And they taste just as good as they look.
Makes 18 balls
1.5 cups of desiccated coconut (for the mixture)
½ cup of desiccated coconut (for rolling the balls in)
6 tablespoons of coconut yogurt (or another dairy free option)
18 fresh raspberries
In a mixing bowl combine the 1.5 cups of desiccated coconut and the yogurt until the mixture becomes a firm thick consistency.
Once combined, take a spoonful out and place a raspberry in the centre of the mixture. Roll the mixture in your hand to form a ball around the berry.
Roll the balls onto a plate covered with the remaining desiccated coconut until they are completely coated. This will prevent the balls from sticking together.
Place the balls in the fridge to set for 6-8 hours.
As these are made with fresh berries they will only keep for up to 3 days. However you could put them in the freezer. They can be eaten straight from the freezer or leave them to slightly soften for an hour or two on your kitchen counter.
#2 Crisp Chocolate Slab
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to actually make your own slab of chocolate. This is a classic recipe and will show you just how easy it is to make delicious natural chocolate without all the additives and preservatives found in commercial chocolate.
195g cacao butter
120g cacao powder
10 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla powder
½ teaspoon of salt
250g pistachio nuts
250g goji berries
Place a glass bowl into a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not actually touching the water but just sitting above it.
Melt the butter in the bowl.
Once melted, add all of the other ingredients except the pistachios and goji berries.
Stir the ingredients in the bowl until they have combined evenly and you have a smooth chocolate.
Line a tray (such as a baking tray) with greaseproof paper.
Roughly chop the pistachios and add half of the nuts and the goji berries to the mixing bowl.
Pour the mixture into the tray until the chocolate is about 1/2 cm thick deep.
Sprinkle the remaining nuts and goji berries over your chocolate slab.
Once it’s cooled down, place the tray into the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.
Once set, break into chunks and store in airtight container in the fridge.
#3 White Vanilla ‘No Cheese’ Cake
This is a real luxurious desert. Ideal for entertaining your guests over Christmas.
For the Base
180g pitted medjool dates (or regular, but medjool dates are amazing!)
120g blanched almonds
100g wholegrain oats
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the filling
500g cashews (soaked in water for 8 hours)
125ml maple syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla powder
Juice of ½ lemon
120g melted raw coconut oil.
For the top layer of jam (optional but worth it)
500g red currants
60g coconut sugar
To make the base
Using a food processor blend all of the ingredients until they form a sticky mass. Then pour into a pie tin (or I like to use a muffin tray so that I end up with individual portions), scraping down the sides of the blender bowl. Spread the mixture so that the entire base of the tin is entirely covered.
To make the filling
Drain and rinse the soaked cashew nuts. Blend all of the ingredient for the filling, except the coconut oil. Blend until the mixture is really well combined and smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend again.
Pour the mixture over the base. It should evenly cover the entire base.
Put the tray into the freezer to set for 3 hours. Defrost at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
This will store well in the fridge. Or you can just leave your individual portions in the freezer and use as needed.
To make the jam
Put the currants and sugar into a large pot. Add enough water to just cover the base of the pot, so that just the bottoms of the berries are wet.
Heat the mixture on a medium heat, stirring frequently until they have softened and turned into a jelly-like consistency.
Take the mixture off the heat. As it cools it will thicken even more.
If your mixture doesn’t turn out as thick as you expected you can add a tablespoon of whole chia seeds to the mixture. Stir them in and allow to sit for 20 minutes to thicken. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge.
When serving your cake add a tablespoon of jam over each serving.