Nancy’s Mince Pies! gluten and dairy free!


It’s mince pie time again! whoop! It’s so hard to find plant-based, dairy and gluten free mince pies that don’t taste like cardboard so I decided to make my own and boy are they good! I could eat these by the dozen… and in fact I do!

This recipe has been posted here before but has recently been featured over at Pure Form Fitness Kitchen so I thought I’d repost for you 🙂

and here’s a little video of me making them too :

For the Pastry:

4 oz Buckwheat flour
2 oz ground Almonds
5 tbsp Agave nectar
Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the Mincemeat:

3 oz Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped
6 oz Mixed dried fruit (I prefer raisins, currants, cranberries and apricots)
1 oz Vegetable suet
2 oz Raw sugar (coconut palm or dark raw muscovado)
Juice and grated zest of half an Orange
1 level tsp of ground allspice
1 pinch ground Cinnamon
1 pinch ground Cloves
1 pinch grated / ground Nutmeg
1 small handful chopped Almonds
1 tbsp Date syrup

Make the pastry first. Put the buckwheat flour and ground almonds in a processor and add the agave. Pulse and gradually add the water until it forms a dough. You may find you need more or less water. If it is too wet add a little more flour. Once it is forming a firm dough remove, wrap in cling-film and place the mixture in the fridge. You can do this by hand if you prefer – just ensure you mix the flour and almonds thoroughly.

Put all the ingredients for the mincemeat into a saucepan. Cook on a low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the apple is soft and the mixture is thick – it may take some time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 6.

Lightly oil a mini muffin tin with almond, coconut or hazelnut oil. Remove pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it as thin as you can – a few mm. Use a round biscuit cutter to cut out the bases. Place them in the tin. Place in an oven to blind bake for 5–10 mins. Keep an eye on them – this pastry browns quite fast. Once the edges are brown and the middle is firm remove them. While the cases are in the oven take a smaller star shaped (or any shaped) biscuit cutter to cut out the “lids”.

Roll and cut out the pastry cases and lids

Roll and cut out the pastry cases and lids

 

 

Place a generous helping of mincemeat in each of the cases and place your chosen “lid” on top. Lightly oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and raw sugar.

Fill the cases and add the lids

Fill the cases and add the lids

Place the pies back in the oven and bake until golden (5 – 7 mins but check regularly). Keep a careful eye on them. You want the tops to brown but be careful the bases don’t burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

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Frangipane Mince Pie tarts


I know Christmas is over, but I never tire of mince meat! I did actually create these before the big day but didn’t get a chance to post the recipe until now. This was created on request from a special friend for her discerning hubby, and they seemed to go down well … in his words “this is the best thing you’ve ever baked”…! 🙂

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So if you have some leftover mince meat then give this a go! These include a layer of marzipan which is optional but I think adds a fab extra almondy loveliness! Make your own (recipe here) or buy a block of plain marzipan – but do buy the good stuff (Neideregger is a great brand).

The frangipane does contain egg but I’ve also posted an egg-free version below too! 🙂

If you fancy making up a batch of mince meat specially then the recipe is here

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For the pastry you will need:

4 oz Buckwheat flour

2 oz ground Almonds

5 tbsp Agave nectar

Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the frangipane you will need (this will be enough for 4 small tarts – 5 – 6cm diameter):

65g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

100g Ground almonds

1 Egg

50 ml Almond oil (you can use mild Olive oil if you prefer)

1/8 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 tsp Almond extract (if you have it)

Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Flaked almonds (for decoration)

125g Marzipan (optional)

Make the pastry first. Put the buckwheat flour and ground almonds in a processor and add the agave. Pulse and gradually add the water until it forms a dough. You may find you need more or less water. If it is too wet add a little more flour. Once it is forming a firm dough remove, wrap in cling-film and place the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 175 C.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out as thin as you can. Line mini tart cases (or one large flan/tart tin) with the pastry (you will probably have spare pastry left over). Brush with a little almond oil and then place in the oven to blind bake. They only need a few minutes – just until they start to brown very slightly at the edges.

Meanwhile make the frangipane. Pop the sugar and almond oil in a bowl and mix well together. Add the egg and extracts and mix again. Gently fold in the ground almonds until well mixed.

Once the pastry cases are starting to brown a little remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then spread a thin layer of mince meat (enough to cover the base). Thinly slice the marzipan and layer over the top.

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Then cover with a generous layer of the frangipane.Sprinkle flaked almonds over the top and a dusting of cinnamon. Then place in the oven for 15 – 20 mins or until the frangipane is cooked and a lovely golden brown.

Delicious served with custard or soya yoghurt at any time of year! 🙂

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Egg free frangipane recipe:

6 tbsp Coconut Oil (don’t melt it)
2/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar / Unrefined Raw Sugar
1 and 1/4 cup Ground Almonds
2 tbsp Cornflour
pinch salt
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2/3 cup Almond Milk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract

Put the coconut oil, sugar, ground almonds, cornflour, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined and all crumbly. Slowly add the almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract whilst still pulsing the food processor until it forms a thick batter. This frangipane takes a bit more baking than the one above so keep an eye on the tarts and just remove when done.

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Mince Pies! Gluten and Dairy Free!


It’s mince pie time again! whoop! This year I’m trying out some mini ones – almost as I type! 🙂 (pics to follow) but for now I thought I’d post my recipe for mincemeat and gluten and dairy-free pastry in case you fancy making a batch this weekend 🙂

This recipe was originally posted over at Colette’s Fitness Kitchen 🙂

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For the Pastry:

4 oz Buckwheat flour
2 oz ground Almonds
5 tbsp Agave nectar
Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the Mincemeat:

3 oz Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped

6 oz Mixed dried fruit (I prefer raisins, currants, cranberries and apricots)
1 oz Vegetable suet
2 oz Raw sugar (coconut palm or dark raw muscovado)
Juice and grated zest of half an Orange
1 level tsp of ground allspice
1 pinch ground Cinnamon
1 pinch ground Cloves
1 pinch grated / ground Nutmeg
1 small handful chopped Almonds
1 tbsp Date syrup

Make the pastry first. Put the buckwheat flour and ground almonds in a processor and add the agave. Pulse and gradually add the water until it forms a dough. You may find you need more or less water. If it is too wet add a little more flour. Once it is forming a firm dough remove, wrap in cling-film and place the mixture in the fridge.

Put all the ingredients for the mincemeat into a saucepan. Cook on a low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the apple is soft and the mixture is thick – it may take some time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 6.

Lightly oil & flour a 12 muffin tin with almond, coconut or hazelnut oil. Remove pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it as thin as you can – a few mm. Use a round biscuit cutter to cut out 12 bases. Place them in the tin. Lightly brush with oil and use a fork to prick the base. Place in an oven to blind bake for 5–10 mins. Keep an eye on them – this pastry browns quite fast. Once the edges are brown and the middle is firm remove them. While the cases are in the oven take a smaller circular biscuit cutter to cut out the “lids” or you could use star shapes/ holly leaf shapes/lattice pattern – whatever takes your fancy 🙂

Place a generous helping of mincemeat in each of the cases and place your chosen “lid” on top. Lightly oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and raw sugar. Place the pies back in the oven and bake until golden (10–20 mins). Keep a careful eye on them. You want the tops to brown but be careful the bases don’t burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack.

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Healthy, sugar-free ice lollies


Now that the sun is finally shining here I fancied something cold and yummy, so I thought I’d make these up again 🙂 The original recipe was one I posted on Colette’s fitness kitchen, but here it is again 🙂

Cool off with one of these delicious lollies

In the hot weather everyone fancies an ice cream so why not whip up one of these delicious, healthy versions to get you through those warm afternoons.

Pineapple Bliss Lolly

3 Bananas
1/3 Pineapple
1 Apple (or an equivalent amount of fresh apple juice)
Coconut milk (adjust quantity to suit taste and consistency)
Handful of fresh Mint leaves

Put all the ingredients in a blender apart from the mint. Blend until smooth. Chop the mint leaves and add to the mix. Stir well then put into lolly moulds and freeze. The coconut milk adds a lovely creaminess to this, but if you want something even more ice cream like then add in a scoop of vanilla Pure Protein Powder – divine!

Berrytastic Lolly

1 Banana
1 Apple (or equivalent amount of juice)
Handful of Grapes (8 – 10)
4 – 6 Strawberries
4 – 6 Blackberries
4 – 6 Raspberries
20 – 30 Blackcurrants

Put all the ingredients in a blender (you can add whatever fruits you have to this) and blend until smooth. If you want something a bit creamier add some coconut milk or vanilla Pure Protein Powder, and for an added health boost add in the contents of 1 – 3 Acai Berry Plus capsules and some Organic Green Power Powder – yum!

Pour into lolly moulds and freeze! Then go and enjoy the sunshine 🙂

A bit of savoury baking! Grain-free pizza! :)


I blogged this over at Colette’s Fitness Kitchen but wanted to share it with you all too 🙂 It’s divine! 🙂

Here’s the original post – Grain-free Pizza Recipe and I’ve copied the recipe for you below 🙂 This is a definite winner and I’m really pleased with how it turned out 🙂

I’m always on the look out for grain-free alternatives and had heard a lot about using cauliflower as a pizza base so I thought I would give it a go. I’m thrilled with the results – it’s absolutely delicious and really easy to make too! I whipped this up in about 30 mins! You can make this dairy free or vegan too if you want to (options below) 🙂

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For the base you will need:

1 large Cauliflower

a handful of fresh Basil leaves

a handful of fresh flat Parsley leaves

1/2 tsp dried Oregano

1/2 tsp Garlic salt

Himalayan rock salt and black pepper to taste

1 Egg OR 1 tbsp ground flax seeds/linseed soaked in 3 tbsp water

Optional – 1 cup of grated hard cheese (goat’s cheese, vegetarian parmesan, mozarella – whatever you like)

For the pizza topping you will need:

Pasata or tomato purée

Toppings of your choice – I used mixed peppers, onions, mushrooms, baby plum tomatoes and feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 220 C.

Remove the central stalk of the cauliflower and cut in to florets. Place in a food processor and pulse until it is chopped up nice and small. Pop it in to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and microwave on full power for 3 – 4 minutes (until tender). Allow to cool (unless you have asbestos fingers!) and then tip in to a clean tea towel. Wrap it up and then wring the life out of it! You want to get rid of as much water as possible. Place the wrung out cauliflower back in the bowl and add all the other base ingredients, with the egg or egg substitute going in last.

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Mix together well (hands work best). Once it’s all well mixed tip it out on to a lined, greased pizza tray (or baking tray) and press out in to a pizza shape. You want it to be well squished down and thin but not too thin – a couple of mm thick. Place in the oven and cook for 7 – 10 minutes until it just starts to colour.

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Remove and add your pasata or tomato purée and your pizza toppings. I like to pre-cook my peppers and onions in a frying pan before adding them as it means they are super tender. Once you’ve added all your toppings place it back in the oven for a further 7 – 10 mins. Remove, drizzle with some chilli-infused olive oil and serve with a side salad! 🙂

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Scrumptious Carrot Cake


Everyone loves carrot cake!

I’d been asked to make a “normal” carrot cake by my family so I decided to try to do the dirty on them and see if I could create a carrot cake that tasted like the full fat, full sugar, dairy-filled version but didn’t have any of that stuff in it. So  I came up with this dairy free, low gluten version using unrefined sugar and they didn’t even notice! In fact they said it was the best carrot cake they’d tasted – I almost didn’t have the heart to let them know it was a healthy version 😉

The apple puree as an egg substitute keeps this cake super moist. You can buy the pureed apple but it’s so easy to make I wouldn’t bother – just peel, core and slice some bramley apples and whack them in the microwave with a spoonful of water and blitz until soft 🙂 This recipe’s been featured on www.pureformfitnesskitchen.com 🙂

sticky, moist and simply delicious 🙂

175 g Coconut palm sugar (or other raw, unrefined sugar)

175 ml Almond oil (or other neutral oil e.g. olive oil, hazelnut oil etc)

9 tbsp of Apple puree – homemade

140 g grated Carrots

100 g Raisins

grated zest of 1 large Orange

175g Spelt flour

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Ground cinnamon

½ tsp Grated nutmeg (freshly grated is best)

For the frosting:

1 cup Silken tofu

2 tbsp Almond oil/coconut oil/olive oil

2 tbsp Lemon juice (to taste)

3 – 4 tbsp Maple syrup or Agave nectar (to taste)

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Valencia orange extract (optional – to taste)

Preheat the oven to 160 C / gas 4. Line an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment and lightly oil with almond oil.

Put the sugar, oil and apple puree into a large mixing bowl and mix gently with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange zest.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and spices into the bowl and gently mix all the ingredients together. The mixture will be fairly runny. Pour this into the tin and bake for 40 – 45 mins, until it feels firm and springs back when you press it in the middle, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn it out and cool on a rack. This cake can be frozen at his point, or go on and frost it and eat it now!

For the frosting – blend all the ingredients together. Adjust maple syrup, lemon and orange extract to taste. If you find it is not sweet enough add 1 tbsp of unrefined golden icing sugar. Once blended spread on to the cooled cake and enjoy! 🙂