Our new 4 week series:
Keeping it Real: The Christmas Tree question
There’s nothing like the scent and impact of bringing a real tree into your home at Christmas, but if you’re concerned about the environment, or simply don’t have the space, there are always inspiring alternatives!
Hiring living Christmas tree might cost less than buying a cut tree, and when Christmas is over, the tree gets planted back in the earth! Find your local service in seconds by doing a quick search for Christmas tree hire in your area!
No space? No problem! The tree is about bringing life into the home in the darkness of winter. Sometimes that can be achieved with something as simple as a sprig of Rosemary and a nice bright candle!
Keep your focus on creating a magical atmosphere (smells, brightness, contrasts), and maybe a new tradition with a gorgeous and simple craft.
Why not try DIY spray branches? Go stylish white, go sparkling silver and gold – go really wild with fake snow and berry-beads! With warm yellow LED lights costing less than £5, you don’t need a huge tree and a big budget to create a stunning effect…
Simplicity makes a nice balance at this time of year.
Healthy alternatives to the festive favourites
Whilst Debbie can’t tailor the recipes on a blog to every individual’s conditions and body the way she does with her clients, she does hand-select the recipes based on healthy ingredients put together in the most inspiring ways. Inspiration is the best step towards embracing genuine nourishment!
You MUST make sure that all ingredients you use are compatible with your own individual medical conditions, medications, allergies and goals.
For The Pastry:
- 60g vegan butter, plus extra for greasing
- 4tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract
- 85g rice flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g chickpea flour (gram)
- 60g cornflour
- 1/4tsp xanthan gum
- a pinck of Himalayan pink salt
- 3tsp water
For The Filling:
- 60g unsweetened dried blueberries
- 100g unsweetened dried cranberries
- 70g sultanas
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
First, make the pastry. In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, xanthan gum and salt. Pour the flour mix into the butter mixture, add the water and use your fingers o mix it together to form a dough. Knead, for a minute and then roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and pulse until you achieve a rough consistency.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease a 12 hole muffin tin with vegan butter
Dust a work surface with some rice flour and roll out the pastry until 3mm (1/8 in) tick. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out 12 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings and cutting again; keep the remaining pastry aside. Use the rounds to line the base and sides of each muffin ‘hole’.
Fill each pie with 1tbsp of the ‘mincemeat’ – don’t overfill or it will bubble out during cooking.
With the remaining pastry, roll out to a thickness of 3mm (1/8 inch) and using a shaped cutter (I like to use a heart or star), cut out 12 shapes that will form your pie lids. Place over the filling, pushing the edges of the lids down to beet the bottom pastry rim. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool and transfer to a wire rack. Then, dust with some rice flour or agave powder and enjoy while still warm.