It is the season to be jolly – parties, food and lots of fun! Yes, it is already that time of the year again, one were many of us put their balanced diets on hold for a few weeks while promising themselves that come January 2nd, they will eat nothing but soup and salads to shed off any excess weight gained. Seriously! Who can blame them for not wanting to miss out on all those chocolate delicacies? However, there’s no need to send your blood glucose levels skyrocketing, or make your digestive system work overtime while trying to squeeze into those jeans that fit you perfectly a few weeks before.
Have a Gluten and Dairy Free Christmas
All the recipes shared here are gluten and dairy free, but they are ones which can be enjoyed by anyone, from the very young to the very old, even if you’re lucky enough to be intolerance free!
The popular Christmas log, or ‘buche de Noel’, which dates back to the 19th century, is a Christmas staple in many homes, and since you will probably be having friends and relatives around for tea or drinks, you will need to have some extra slices to dish out. For this reason, I like to prepare small bite-size versions of the log, but you can also go ahead and prepare a large log.
If you have any homemade chocolate leftovers after decorating the log, you can pour it into small moulds, refrigerate it, and enjoy healthy homemade chocolates as a snack whenever your sweet tooth strikes. If a Christmas log doesn’t tickle your fancy, a slice of cashew coffee cream pie may be just what the doctor ordered after a hectic day of Christmas shopping. Washed down with a nice cup of cinnamon coffee, it is light, healthy and satisfying. You can even make it a day or two in advance and serve it after a rich Christmas lunch.
Gluten and Dairy Free Christmas Log
FOR THE LOG
• 120g rice flakes (gluten free)
• 120ml water
• 260g cashews, ground
• 140g Medjool dates, pitted
• 90g walnuts
• 90g hazelnuts
• 60g dried cranberries
• 5 – 6 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 – 2 tbsp honey (optional)
FOR THE FROSTING
• 5 tbsp cocoa powder
• 5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
• 1 to 2 tbsp maple syrup
• Pinch of Himalayan salt
• Pinch of ground cinnamon
• Desiccated coconut, to decorate
1. Soak the rice flakes in the water for 1 minute. Stir then microwave for 1 minute. Stir well after microwaving to ensure an even consistency; it should look slightly like uncooked porridge. Set aside.
2. Ground the cashew nuts in a high-speed blender until they resemble coarse flour.
3. Add the dates to the ground cashews and mix at slow speed until the mixture resembles a ball of dough.
4. Add the hazelnuts, walnuts, cranberries and cocoa powder and mix at low speed until all the ingredients have been incorporated in the mixture. Make sure the nuts and cranberries do not end up being finely ground.
5. Shape the mixture into a log or many bite-size logs and refrigerate.
6. Prepare the chocolate by mixing all the ingredients listed in a small bowl apart from the desiccated coconut.
7. Take the logs out of the fridge, cover in chocolate, decorate with desiccated coconuts and refrigerate for another two hours.
Gluten and Dairy Free Cashew Coffee Cream Pie
FOR THE CRUST
• 150g raw hazelnuts, or roasted
• 2 tbps cocoa powder
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 4 – 5 large dates, pitted
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
FOR THE CREAM
• 300g roasted or raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
• 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
• 3 tbsp honey
• Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
• ½ cup of boiling water
• 3 tsp coffee
For the caramel
• 2 dates, soaked in water
• Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1. Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours but preferably more.
2. Blend the ingredients for the crust together until a sort of chocolate dough forms.
3. Add the 3 tsp of coffee to the 12 cups of boiling water and stir well.
4. Blend all the ingredients for the cream together including the brewed coffee until a smooth cream forms.
5. Soak the dates in the water for at least an hour, then blend the dates with 3 tbsp of the water until a thick consistency forms. You can add a pinch of salt if you like.
6. Line a small dish with the crust and top with the cream.
7. Refrigerate the pie for preferably a day, along with the caramel sauce.
8. Drizzle the sauce over the pie and decorate with frozen fruit and nuts before serving.
© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Rebecca Bugeja
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