Non-Alcoholic Paleo Christmas Cake

I’ve once again teamed up with a fabulous bunch of free from bloggers, to bring you a wonderful selection of free from Christmas food this year. Please check out the links at the bottom of this post for more details. 

My family has been eating the paleo way for almost six years now. We aren’t perfect eaters, and subscribe to the 80/20 principle, which gives our life a healthy balance. By and large however, this means that we do not eat any grains (of which gluten is just one, but the most publicised one), or refined sugar. We do eat a little dairy in the way of raw milk, cheese, and home fermented goat milk yoghurt and sour cream, but steer clear as best we can of commercial dairy.

Between eating like this, and my recent leap into teetotalism, I wanted to create a non-alcoholic paleo Christmas cake. One that we could all enjoy and doesn’t have the excess sugar, unnecessary ingredients and alcohol you would usually find in a traditional version.

Sugar is sugar people!

Unrefined or not, dried fruit is exceptionally sweet, and the icing alone on most Christmas cakes (especially shop bought) amounts to diabetes on a plate. Apart from anything else, my Hubby is not a fan at all, so I had to put my thinking cap on, and get creative. 

non-alcoholic paleo christmas cakeDid you know that the purpose of soaking the dried fruit (and nuts if you’re using them like I am) in alcohol is to make them super moist? Feeding the cake with booze is partly for preservation purposes, but also for flavour. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tea which has been brewed and cooled down works just as well to soak the fruit and nuts overnight. Not using booze also means that you don’t have to make the cake too far in advance, and can leave it until the week of Christmas. Also it’s best to use organic dried fruit, because it will be sulphite free which is always a good thing! 

I have used Earl Grey tea, because it gives the cake and wonderful smell and flavour. For some reason, bergamot reminds of the beach, and elicits happy memories of far flung holidays and adventures. Not exactly Christmassy, but it makes me smile so I’ll call that a win.   

If you really want a boozey cake, then you can substitute the tea for alcohol of your choice, make it a month in advance and feed with 1-2 tablespoons each week. 

Non-Alcoholic Paleo Christmas Cake that is free from all Grains (including Gluten), Dairy and Refined Sugar

Ingredients for a very large cake, approx 20 servings  
250g grated carrot
200g chopped dried dates
200g sultanas 
200g cashew nuts
100g chopped dried apricots
100g ground nuts (almonds or pecans work great)
non-alcoholic paleo christmas cake100g coconut flour
120ml coconut oil
250ml cool brewed Earl Grey tea
4 large free range eggs
tbsp vanilla

Method
– Get a large bowl and add the dried fruit, cashews and carrot
– Give it a good mix, then pour over the cold tea 
– Cover the bowl and leave the mixture to soak overnight
– In the morning preheat your oven to 150C and prepare a large cake tin by greasing it well and lining with baking paper
– When you’re ready to start cooking add the ground nuts and coconut flour to your bowl of soaked loveliness  
– Give it a big mix
– In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla and coconut oil together
– Pour the wet mixture all over the bowl of other ingredients and give it a good stir
– Pour the batter into your tin and brush with a tbsp of coconut oil 
– Bake for an hour, ensuring that the cake is completely covered in baking paper
– Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely
– Store in an airtight cake tin and decorate as you please on the big day 

non-alcoholic paleo christmas cakeCheck out the other #FreeFromChristmas posts from these fabulous bloggers

Dairy Free Kids

Easy Peasy Foodie

Free From Fairy

Free From Farmhouse

Glutarama

Gluten Free Alchemist

Intolerant Gourmand

Julie’s Family Kitchen

Le Coin de Mel

Paleo Crust (aka Modern Food Stories)

The Adventures of an Allergy Mummy

The Peachick’s Bakery

**I created this recipe for non-alcoholic paleo Christmas cake myself, but would like to say a huge thanks to the wonderful people at Unsplash for the gorgeous photos**  

These delightful little pumpkin pie cupcakes are a throwback to Polly’s egg allergy. During those desperate days, I spent too much time wondering what on earth I’d feed my child. Thankfully we’re in a much better place now, but I learnt how to be creative back then. 

I remember trawling the internet searching for recipes that were not just grain free, but egg free too. It was much harder than I thought it would be, so I did what I always do. Got out my apron, and started chucking ingredients together until I was happy with the taste. 

Need a healthy guilt free treat? You’re in the right place! 

The pumpkin/butternut squash base make these cupcakes a truly guilt free bake. Flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla, they are dense and fudgey, and super moreish. The best thing of all is that they won’t leave you feeling meh afterwards, as they’re free from grains and refined sugar. The icing is made primarily from cashew nuts, which sounds a bit random, but trust me, it’s absolutely delicious. Overall they’re a win for any time of the day. 

I had a bit of an epiphany while I was trying to take photos of these cakes over the weekend. I’ve known for a long time that my sweet treats will never look as good as their sugary/gluteny/buttery counterparts, but I’ve made my peace with that. My food is all about the flavour, and the fact that it’s great for my family. If you’re in need of healthy inspiration, you’re definitely in the right place. Take a look at this Pinterest board for more yummy recipes.  

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Sweet Icing. This recipe is free from all grains (not just gluten), dairy, egg and refined sugar.     

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Sweet Icing (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)Ingredients to make 12

(for the cupcakes) 400g pumpkin or butternut squash
120ml coconut oil
40g coconut flour
40g ground almonds
40g ground flaxseed
2 tbsp water
1-2 tbsp honey
Tbsp cinnamon
Tsp vanilla
Tsp bicarb of soda
(for the icing) 200g cashew nuts
60ml coconut oil
2-3 tbsp honey

Method

– two hours ahead of baking, put the cashew nuts into a bowl and cover with cold water. Soaking the nuts will make them easier to blend, and also easier to digest  

– preheat your oven to 170c and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cases

– peel and de-seed your pumpkin/butternut squash and cut into small chunks. Place in a saucepan with the cinnamon and water. Bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for about 40 mins until it is fork-mashable

– tip the contents into your blender or food processor, along with all the other cake ingredients and whiz until well combined. Sweeten the batter to your taste, one tablespoon of honey is enough for us, but you might want to add a little extra

– divide the batter between the cases and bake for 25 mins

pumpkin pie cupcakes– allow to cool completely before icing them

– to make the icing, drain the cashews and tip them into your blender or food processor

– blend the cashews, along with the coconut oil and 2 tbsp of honey, adding more honey to taste if needs be

– you’ll now be ready to ice the cakes, get the piping bag out if you’re feeling fancy otherwise use a knife to spread over the cakes 

– serve immediately, or make in advance and store in a cake tin. They are particularly delish after they’ve been in the fridge 

It’s not even Easter yet, but are you sick of the sight of chocolate eggs already?

Does the idea of sugary fondant baked inside sweet brownies make you want to vom?

Do you prefer healthy treats when they’re on offer?

Do you have a condition which means you need to watch your sugar intake? 

Have you answered yes to any of the above?

Then you’ve come to the right place! I’m pretty sure you will adore my hazelnut balls. 

hazelnut ballsRecipe: Paleo Hazelnut Balls (gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, very low sweetener) 

Ingredients for 12 little balls
250g roasted hazelnuts
1/4c cocoa/cacao powder
1/3c coconut oil
1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Method
– put all ingredients into your blender or food processor

– whiz together for a minute or two until it all comes together

– tip onto a plate, then roll into balls

– store in the fridge

Watch me make them live on Facebook, and see for yourself how easy it is.

I also explain how to make home made nutella, and give you a cheat to make this process even faster!

***Huge thanks to my lovely friend Mel of Le Coin de Mel for the gorgeous photos!***  

Ultimate Gluten Free Dairy Free Pancakes (GAPS, SCD, Paleo)

With Strove Tuesday just around the corner, I’ve teamed up with some fabulous foodie bloggers to bring you a vast array of free from pancake recipes.

Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing our favourite recipes, and hopefully you’ll be well and truly inspired to try something new on the 28th.

We eat pancakes most days in our house, and you’re about to find out why!

These are real little beauts. Not only are they super delicious, they’re full of nutrients, which makes them a win win for any meal time. Although the ingredients couldn’t be further from a regular recipe, please don’t be put off!

The grain free, dairy free, sugar free batter couldn’t be easier to knock up, and they fry just as well as any other pancakes you will have made. The exact same rules apply to these, you don’t need to do anything fancy while cooking.

The main ingredient is butternut squash, a wonderfully versatile root vegetable, which is very low in starch (which Ultimate Gluten Free Dairy Free Pancakes (GAPS, SCD, Paleo)  means that it’s low carb). Butternut squash is also full of vitamins A, B6, C and magnesium. I cut the squash into small chunks and roast in coconut oil on a 175c for around 45 mins to an hour.  

Next up we have eggs, which really don’t need an introduction. Providing you aren’t allergic to them of course, eggs are a wonderful source of nutrition. Loaded with vitamins D, A and B12 as well as iron and calcium, they provide the body with a great energy boost.

I would strongly suggest finding a reputable source for your eggs. I buy mine from my local greengrocer, and they come from a truly free range farm, ten miles from my house.    

Last, but by no means least, we have cashew nuts, which are full of vitamin B6, iron and magnesium. . Did you know that it’s largely believed cashews contain anti-depressant properties? Next time you’re feeling the winter blues grab a handful and see if they cheer you up.

Ultimate Gluten Free Dairy Free Pancakes (GAPS, SCD, Paleo)  Ingredients for six 

200g cooked butternut squash
1/4cup cashew nut butter
3 large free range eggs, or 4 small ones
1/4tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tsp of extract
1/4tsp bicarb of soda
Oil for frying, I use coconut oil

Method

– put all the ingredients into your blender or food processor and whizz on a high setting, until a thick but runny batter is formed  

– get your non-stick pan nice and hot, add a little oil, then add a thin layer of batter 

– cook for a minute or two, and flip to the other side once you see bubbles forming 

– cook on the second side, then put on plate for serving 

– repeat until they’ve all been cooked 

– garnish with your favourite toppings. My kids love raw honey, with cocoa and cinnamon sprinkles 

2 min tutorial on YouTube

Check out these awesome free from recipes, from your #FreeFromPancakes team

Gluten Free Jam Jar Pancakes from The Free From Fairy

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free Pancakes from The Intolerant Gourmand  

Gluten Free Apple and Cinnamon Pancakes from Glutarama 

Gluten Free Vegan Chia PancakesUltimate Gluten Free Dairy Free Pancakes (GAPS, SCD, Paleo)   from Free From Farmhouse 

Vegan Banana Pancakes from Le Coin de Mel

Paleo Banana and Almond Pancakes from Paleo Crust

Paleo Coconut Pancakes
from Cherished by Me

Dairy Free Lemon and Sugar Pancakes
by Dairy Free Kids

Coconut and Lime Vegan Pancakes from The Peachicks Bakery

Oat Almond and Banana Pancakes with a Berry Compote
from Easy Peasy Foodie

Low FODMAP and Low SYN Pancakes from Hijacked by Twins 

Beetroot and Buttermilk Pancakes from the Gluten Free Alchemist 

nutrient dense chocolate mousseAt almost three, Freddy is without doubt my fussiest eater. He comes out with statements such as ‘I only eat smoked salmon, bananas and chocolate,’ then refuses to even eat the salmon half the time.

I’ve had to seriously park my principles regarding what I thought I believed in pre-baby #3. I gave up on the ‘no dessert until you’ve eaten your mains’ mantra long ago. It simply does not work on this one and he’d rather go to bed on an empty stomach.

What it’s meant is that I’ve learned to be very crafty in the kitchen. This ensures that his food is as nutrient dense as it can possibly be, whilst disguising the fact that it’s good for him.

My chocolate mousse is always a winner, and is positively bursting with goodness

nutrient dense chocolate mousse

The base is good old potassium rich banana and the ridiculously under rated avocado. This amazing fruit is a fantastic natural fat, and is loaded with vitamins B5, B6, C, E and K, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Coconut oil comes along providing awesome antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Then a handful of dates joins the party to add sweetness, and at around 30% fructose, they are much better for you than refined sugar. Finally a big whack of pure cocoa gives more than just a nice chocolatey taste. Is it said that cocoa offers anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities. What’s not to like?

I also chuck in a handful of roasted veg, to bulk it up even more. This particular recipe has sweet potato in it, but I’ve been known to use roasted butternut squash, carrot, parsnip and even beetroot. If all this isn’t enough, the mousse is free from the top 14 allergens!

nutrient dense chocolate mousseI’ve teamed up with a wonderful bunch of food bloggers this Christmas, to bring you some fabulous free from inspiration. Thankfully the days of free from food being boring and super complicated are well and truly over!

Check out the links at the bottom of this post.

This recipe is free from: Gluten | Dairy | Eggs | Soya | Lupin | Sesame | Celery | Sulphites | Mustard | Fish | Tree Nuts | Peanuts | Molluscs | Crustaceans

Ingredients for 6 mousses

nutrient dense chocolate mousse3 or 4 pieces of roasted sweet potato, butternut squash or other root veg
large ripe avocado
small ripe banana
100ml coconut oil
100g dates
2 tbsp cocoa
Optional berries on the top

Method

– put all ingredients into your blender or food processor and whiz on high until well combined

– serve immediately, or spoon into bowls/glasses

– store leftovers in the fridge

nutrient dense chocolate mousse– tastes absolutely delicious with a drizzle of free from cream over the top

For more free from inspiration, check out these wonderful recipes

Le Coin de Mel’s Gin Brined Chicken or Turkey and Healthy Chocolate Brownies 

The Free From Fairy’s Roast Carrot & Cumin Dip and Breadsticks and Twix-like Biscuits

The Intolerant Gourmand’s Cranberry Crumble Bars

nutrient dense chocolate mousseFree From Farmhouse’s Tear ‘n’ Share Christmas Tree  

Paleo Crust’s Bite-sized Courgettes in Blankets

Cherished by Me’s Chilli Lime Chicken Skewers

My Fussy Eater’s Gingerbread Ice Cream 

Eats Amazing’s Garlic & Rosemary Baby Roast Potatoes