I love to make Christmas treats with my children, however it is very easy to succumb to the delicious smells that drift from the kitchen. So I have found a couple of healthy alternatives to share which will help to reduce the calorie intake this year.
Healthy Mince pies – serves approx 20
If you are keen to make your mince pies healthier there are 2 ways to achieve this – make your own mincemeat, and use filo pastry. Making your own mincemeat means you can control the ingredients which go in, reducing the calories. This recipe is a great one to achieve this, it doesn’t include suet, the sweetness comes naturally from the fruit and the spices will aid digestion.
250 g apples,
125 g raisins
50 g cranberries
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
zest from 1/2 orange
250 ml fresh apple juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pack of Filo pastry
- Dice the apples with their skin on in to small cubes.
- Mix the apples, raisins and cranberries in a saucepan.
- Add the apple juice, spices, vanilla and orange zest.
- Slowly bring the ingrediants to the boil, cover & simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring.
- If necessary add a little more apple juice.
- Allow the mincemeat to cool.
- Prepare 5 sheets of filo pastry by laying each one out and cutting the sheet into squares to make the number of mince pies required.
- Fill each square with 1-2 tsp of mincemeat, make sure when you pinch the edges together the mincemeat doesn’t spill out
- Brush the mincemeat with whisked egg yolk & dust it with icing sugar
- Bake for 15-20 mins at 180 degrees until golden
Healthy Gingerbread Biscuits
These biscuits replace butter with coconut oil, and sugar with honey or maple syrup, as well as using spelt flour.
200g wholemeal spelt flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
4 tbsp coconut oil
- Melt the coconut oil
- Mix the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon and baking powder.
- Add the honey and melted coconut oil and stir to form a ball of dough
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of grease proof paper & roll it out until it is the required thickness
- Chill for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove 1 layer of grease proof paper.
- Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the shapes required
- Place each biscuit onto the greased baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.