If you find that you have a little more time to make something special during the festive period, why not make something different from the usual? You can enjoy delicious desserts this holiday season with these festive recipes that will help you to feel amazing throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Not only that but you will also avoid feeling sluggish, bloated and “guilty” while you indulge!
These three dessert recipes are gluten-free, refined sugar-free and some are dairy-free, making them fantastic options for those who have intolerances and/or if you want something different. Plus, the ingredients are nutritious and contain foods that will help with feeling energised and good on the inside without the bloat and sluggish feeling so many people associate with desserts over Christmas.
‘Tis the season to be jolly after all…
Here are the 3 festive dessert recipes to satisfy that sweet urge you might have when cosying up with family and friends.
Chocolate & Pistachio Cake with Salted Caramel
- 250 g (9 oz) plain dark chocolate (minimum 70%)
- 225 g (8 oz) butter
- 100 g (3½ oz) ground unsalted pistachio nuts, plus 3 tbsp to serve
- 100 g (3½ oz) dates, stoned
- 6 eggs
- 300 g (10½ oz) unrefined brown cane sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt, plus an extra pinch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) milk (oat, rice, almond or coconut)
- Unsweetened raw cacao or cocoa powder, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (355 ºF). Grease and line a 9 inch loose bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water.
- Whilst that is melting, add the pistachios to a food processor and blitz until finely ground. Remove to a bowl.
- Add the dates and 2 eggs to the processor and blend until the dates are finely chopped. Remove to a separate bowl and whisk in the remaining 4 eggs. Set aside.
- When the chocolate and butter have completely melted, whisk in 200g (7 oz) of sugar and sea salt, keeping the bowl over the simmering water. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and egg mixture. *Make sure to whisk very quickly and continuously until the eggs have fully incorporated which will result in a thick shiny mixture.
- Add the pistachios to the bowl and mix everything together.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until the cake is set.
- Remove and leave to cool completely. Then remove from the tin.
- For the caramel: place a saucepan with the milk and remaining sugar over a medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, then reduce the heat. Add a large pinch of sea salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir until a thick caramel sauce appears.
- To serve: dust the cake with the cacao/cocoa powder, then pour over the caramel and sprinkle with pistachios and a pinch of sea salt.
Carrot Cake Bites
Makes 12 to 14
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 150 g (5½ oz) dates, stoned, roughly chopped
- 250 g (9 oz) pecan nuts
- 50 g (1¾ oz) raisins
- Finely grated zest of 1 clementine
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 50g (1¾oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut
- Squeeze any excess liquid from the grated carrot.
- Place all the ingredients, apart from the coconut, into a food processor and blitz until the mixture combines together into large clumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Line a plate with greaseproof paper.
- Take 1 tsp of the mixture, roll into a ball and place on the paper.
- Repeat to make 12 to 14 golf ball sized bites.
- Put the coconut into a bowl and roll each ball in the coconut to coat.
- Place the balls on the plate and refrigerate overnight.
Coconut, Mango and Chia Pudding
- 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin of coconut milk
- 115 ml (4 fl oz) coconut water
- 115 g (4 oz) chia seeds
- 1 to 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 mango
- Place the coconut milk, coconut water, chia seeds and sweetener into a bowl and stir vigorously.
- Leave to stand for approximately 15 minutes.
- Peel and cut the mango into cubes. Save some to use as a garnish. Stir the remainder into the coconut mixture.
- Squeeze the skin of the mango over the pudding and mix in any juice.
- Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill and set. *The pudding will get creamier the longer is stays in the fridge.
- When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and garnish with the rest of the mango.
With these festive desserts you can satisfy that sweet urge whilst feeling amazing and enjoying a delicious bite (or two) glowing with healthy glee!