Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding will keep in a cool dry cupboard for at least 6 months, so you can prepare well in advance. The traditional day for making a Christmas Pudding is the Sunday before Advent begins. This day is affectionatly known as “Stir Up Sunday”. Every member of the household should give the pudding a stir and make a wish. My Mum used to put an old sixpence in the pudding. It is believed that whoever found the sixpence on Christmas Day would enjoy wealth and good luck in the following year.

You can vary the fruit amounts between the different fruits, so if you haven’t got enough of one thing then top it up with another. For the sake of guidance however I will list my exact ingredients.

Also the recipe does not have to be gluten free and you could replace the gluten free flour with self raising flour and omit the xanthan gum.

You need to start this the day before you want to complete and cook as you will need to soak the fruit overnight or over a couple of days.

Serve with Brandy Butter

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

A moist traditional pudding for you Christmas Day

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Christmas Pudding
Prep Time 1 day 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 8 portions
Calories 385 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

Flavour development

  • 150 gm Raisins
  • 75 gm Currants
  • 75 gm Sultanas
  • 75 gm Chopped dates
  • 50 gm Mixed peel
  • 80 gm Dried cranberries
  • 1 Large Orange zest and juice grate the orange zest finely
  • 75 ml Cold black tea
  • 100 ml Brandy
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon

Combine the ingredients

  • 50 gm Flaked almonds Toasted and then chopped
  • 2 Eating apples such as coxes grated
  • 100 gm Soft brown sugar
  • 70 gm Dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Treacle
  • 50 gm Gluten free self-raising flour
  • 50 gm Gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 100 gm Gluten free suet Tesco Vegetable Suet is gluten free
  • 2 Large Eggs

Instructions

Flavour development

  1. In a large bowl place and mix well all the ingredients listed under flavour development; dried fruit, spices, orange, tea and brandy. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight - no need to refridgerate. If you are short of time, leave at least 1 hour.

Combine ingredients,

  1. Into the fruit mixture add the grated apple, chopped almonds, treacle and sugar.

  2. In another bowl mix together the flour, xanthan gum, breadcrumbs and suet.

  3. Mix in the eggs until the mixture is smooth and then add to the fruit mixture.

  4. Grease the pudding bowl well with butter and pour in mixture.

  5. Turn slow cooker onto high.

  6. Cover the bowl with baking paper with a pleat in it; then place foil, also with a pleat, over the baking paper. Secure in place with string, make a type of lifting handle with the string which will make it easier to lift the pudding when it has finished cooking. Cut off excess paper and foil.

  7. Using either a slow cooker or a large saucepan, place a trivet in the bottom. This could be an upturned old saucer; a tin jam jar lid, or a small metal pan lid.

  8. Place the pudding into the pan or crock pot onto the trivet. Fill half way up the bowl with boiling water.

  9. Simmer for 8 hours; this would be be same for either cooking pot. Make sure you keep the water level topped up.

  10. Once cooked, remove from the pan / pot and leave to cool.

  11. Turn upside down to turn out, remove all paper and foil and wrap in fresh and store in a cool place.

Serving on Christmas Day

  1. Steam or boil the pudding for 2 hours.

  2. Turn onto a serving plate. Warm some brandy. Pour over the pudding and taking care, set light to it.

  3. Serve with Brandy Butter

Nutrients per portion

Cals 385, Fat 16 g, Carbs 53 g, Protien 4 g

Sweet Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

This week I received carrots and red peppers in my vegetable box. I am not a lover of carrots served as a vegetable, however I quite like them in a soup or raw in a salad or as a crudite.

This soup recipe is very simple; cook the vegetables until cooked and then blitz in the blender. The peppers I used were particularly juicy, red and ripe, which therefore made the soup quite sweet. I added quiet a bit of black pepper to balance the sweetness, but of course this would be a personal choice.

You could also roast your peppers and onions in the oven rather than cooking with the carrots in the stock. This would give a slight baked flavour. Lay on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and cook on 180 / gas 4 for about 20 minutes or until soft and tender. Then add to the cooked carrots and stock, and blend either with a hand blender or liquidizer.

Sweet Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

A sweet full of freshness light soup.

Course Soup, Starter
Cuisine British
Keyword Carrot and Red Pepper Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 portions
Calories 159 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Onion roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 500 gm Carrots roughly sliced
  • 2 Red Peppers roughly chopped
  • 500 ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and Pepper seasoning to taste

Instructions

  1. In the saucepan, heat the oil, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft but not brown.

  2. Add the rest of the vegetables, stir, put the lid on and sweat the vegetables for just a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the stock and a little salt and pepper.

  4. Cook for 20 minutes until the carrots are cooked and soft to the touch of a knife.

  5. I recommend you leave to cool slightly to avoid scalding yourself when blending or to prevent built up steam blowing the top off the food processor blender.

  6. Blend to a smooth consistancy. Check and adjust the seasoning to your own taste.

  7. Soup is now ready to heat when required. Serve with bread of your choice.

Nutrients per serving

Cals 159, Fat 5.4g, Carbs 25.5g (net 18g), Protein 3.5g

Upside Down Peach Pudding

Having made a Peachy Sweet and Sour Chicken I found myself with tinned peaches left over. What to do? I decided that as I had already broken the rule of putting pineapple in the sweet and sour sauce, why not do the same with an upside down cake?

A nice cake to serve hot for pudding with custard. The sponge should be nice and moist for you to also serve cold as a slice of cake.

Upside Down Peach Pudding

A twist on the traditional pineapple upside down pudding

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 portions
Calories 396 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 5 halves Tinned peaches sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 150 gm Self raising flour
  • 150 gm Caster sugar
  • 150 gm Margerine or butter softened
  • 3 medium Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla essence

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C or gas 4

  2. Grease cake tin and line with sliced peaches.

  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over peaches.

  4. In a large mixing bowl place all the other ingredients and whisk until a light cream colour and the mixture is light and fluffy.

  5. Spoon over the top of the peaches and cook for half an hour in the center of the oven.

  6. Check sponge is cooked by inserting a knife or skewer and it should come out clean if the sponge is cooked through fully.

Nutritional information

Cals 396, Fat 22g, Carbs 45g, Protein 5g

Peachy Sweet and Sour Chicken, Slow cooked

So the other day I was off out for the day and I thought I’d put a meal in the slow cooker. I had chicken, a couple of carrots and a green pepper in the fridge but little else; so what to do?

Sweet and Sour came to mind but, no pineapple; a casserole but no veg.

I did however have a tin of peaches (they are fruit, just like pineapple); and so I give you a rather yummy, delightful and very, very simple recipe for peachy sweet and sour chicken. You could of course use pineapple in place of the peaches and peach juice.

If you do not have a slow cooker then this recipe would easily cook in the oven for about an hour on 180 or gas 4.

Peachy Sweet and Sour Chicken

A Chinese spice flavoured sweet and sour chicken meal

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Chicken, Sweet and Sour
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 3 portions
Calories 265 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts Cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 tin Chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 Peach halves from a tin of peaches
  • 2 Tbsp Peach syrup from tin
  • 1 Tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 or 2 Green Pepper Sliced
  • 2 medium Carrots Pealed and sliced

Instructions

  1. Turn on slow cooker, or oven if oven cooking (180 C or Gas 4)

  2. Place all your ingredients in your pot and stir thoroughly.

  3. If slow cooking, then cook for at least 4 hours on low. In the oven cook for an hour.

  4. Serve with noodles or rice or whatever takes your fancy.

Nutrients calculated using Myfitnesspal.com

Cals 265, Fat 4.5g, Carbs 16.4g (14 net), Protein 37g

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash soup is a satisfying, warming wintertime soup. You can serve for lunch with fresh crusty bread or as a starter at a dinner party. Add some cream to enrich and make the taste very slightly smoother.

I do not like spicy hot, so I used just the tip of a thin green chilli pepper and then I place the rest in the freezer to use for another soup or curry dish.

Mild – use just the tip of the chilli without any seeds.

Medium – deseed the chilli and disgard the seeds; chop the whole pepper

Hot – use the lot, seeds and flesh

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

A warming spicy winter soup

Course Soup, Starter
Cuisine British
Keyword spicy, warming, winter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 portions
Calories 169 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green thin chilli chopped Mild - use tip and no seeds, Medium - remove the seeds and use the whole chilli, Hot - use the whole chilli
  • 1 inch Fresh ginger grated
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed or chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 small Potato peeled and cut roughly into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 medium Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly cut into cubes
  • 2 pints Vegetable stock No particular preference. Could use chicken or if no stock cubes, use water.
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in the saucepan and add the onion and slowly cook for 5 minutes without browning. Turn up very slightly and let the onion start to colour, then turn heat down again. Do not let the onions burn and remove from heat if browning too much. If too dry add a little water.

  2. Add the chilli, ginger, clove and cumin and cook for a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the potato and butternut squash, stir them and coat with the gorgeous flavours.

  4. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash and potato are cooked.

  5. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

  6. Blend until smooth in a blender, taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

  7. Fully reheat as and when required.

Nutrients – Calories 169, Fat 4g, Carbs 36g, Protien 3.8g

 

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat

In preparation for Christmas, this year I am making my own home-made Christmas mincemeat. You can store mincemeat in a dark and cool place for up to 6 months. I am using vegetable suet from Tesco so I can use with gluten free pastry to make mince pies; however you can use beef suet or chopped up butter.

I have used half butter and half vegetable suet as I needed gluten free only. I do find with just suet it can be a little dry. The butter caramelises with the sugar giving the texture a much stickier mixture.

Mincemeat pies originated in the middle ages. Originally it is thought they were filled with chopped up meat, fruit and a preserving liquid or confitied in salt and fat. Just like many recipes, these big pies have evolved into the delicate little pies we know and love today.

Mince Pie recipe Christmas Gluten Free Mince Pies

Homemade Mincemeat

Easy fruity mincemeat

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 60
Calories 70 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 100 gm Dried apricots chopped
  • 200 gm Sultanas
  • 200 gm Raisins
  • 125 gm Currants
  • 100 gm Dried cranberries
  • 50 gm Flaked almonds, blanch and roughly chop Dry until slightly brown, then lighlty chop
  • 60 gm Suet I used Tesco vegetable suet as it is gluten free, but you could use beef suet or butter
  • 60 gm unsalted butter You can use all butter or all suet, or half and half.
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 200 gm Light brown or muscadova sugar
  • 1 Lemon Rind and Juice
  • 200 ml Brandy

Instructions

  1. Weigh out and place all the ingredients apart from the brandy into a large saucepan.

  2. Heat very slowly and stir regularly. The suet will melt and coat the fruit. Continue to simmer on a very low heat for another 20 minutes and keep stirring regularly.

  3. Cool completely then stir in the brandy.

  4. Store in sterilised jars. You can sterilise the jars (old jam jars; coffee jars will be fine) by popping in the oven for 20 minutes on 140 degrees, Gas 1. Place the lids in boiling water.

  5. Mincemeat should keep well in a cool dark place for 6 months. Or you can use straight away for Mince Pies.

Nurients per portion

Calories 70,    Fat 1.7g,     Carbs 12g,     Protein .5g

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I had two over ripe bananas in my fruit bowl this morning to use up. I have promised my niece I’d make some cakes for tomorrow, so why not throw the bananas in too. What better to add to bananas than chocolate.

When I was in the Girl Guides, I remember fondly one of our camp puddings (I think it was a treat on our last night); we would slice a banana still in its skin length ways, stuff in the slit as much chocolate as we could using a small Animal chocolate bar; then they were wrapped in tin foil and placed in the embers of the camp fire. Once cooked the bananas were all soft and gooey and of course the chocolate had melted into them. What a treat!

As I have used gluten free flour I have added xanthan gum to help the ingredients combine. If you use flour which is not gluten free then just leave out the xanthan gum too.

Banana and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Made with gluten free ingredients

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 247 kcal

Ingredients

Cupcake Batter

  • 2 over ripe Bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp Baking powder, gluten free sieved with the xanthan gum and flour
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 225 gm Gluten free self raising flour
  • 100 gm Butter or Margerine make sure it's softened
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • 175 gm Caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp Milk or milk alternative
  • 50 gm Chocolate chips, gluten free

Toppings

  • 50 gm Dark Chocolate, enough for 6 cakes
  • 50 gm Butter or margarine, softened butter cream for the other 6 cakes
  • 150 gm Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat oven on Gas 4 or 180 electric (160 fan).

  2. Place 12 muffin/cupcake cases in a muffin tin.

  3. Measure out all ingredients APART from chocolate chips, into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your food mixer.

  4. Whisk ingredients together until all ingredients incorporated and mixture resembles a thick batter.

  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  6. Divide mixture between 12 cupcake/muffin cases. Mixture should be about 2/3 rds of case.

    Level of batter in case
  7. Place in the centre of oven for 25 minutes. You may need to turn the tray around after 20 minutes to ensure an even bake. Leave to cool on wire rack.

Decorate

  1. You can simply melt the chocolate either in the microwave or over hot water; then using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate backwards and forwards across the cake.

  2. Or you can top with butter icing. For the butter icing, simply whisk or hand beat the sugar, margarine and milk until smooth. Pipe or simply spread and fluff with a fork. If they’re a bit uneven, as mine are, then slice the top off.

  3. This is what I have left over from the ingredients listed above.

 

Vegetable Lasagne

A pretty easy vegetable lasagne for you to use up your fresh vegetables and/or frozen vegetables. You can really use whatever vegetables you like; just make sure they are cut small and you fully cook before adding the tinned tomatoes.

I have used fresh lasagne sheets; however you could use dried, you will just need to cook in the oven a little longer.

Included in the recipe is a white sauce; however you could replace with a jar version if you are running short of time.

Serve with a lovely fresh green salad and sprinkle over a spoonful of grated Parmesan and a pinch of black pepper.

Homemade Vegetable Lasagne

Herby tomato and vegetables layered within sheets of pasta and a creamy white sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword lasagne, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 417 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

Vegetable Lasagne Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 medium Courgette Small dice (1cmx1cm)
  • 0.5 medium Butternut Squash Small dice
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 650 gm Frozen Mixed Vegetables Defrosted and cut small
  • 2 tspn Dried Italian Seasoning Or you could use mixed hetbs
  • 1 x 400 gm Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

White Sauce

  • 50 gm Butter or alternative
  • 50 gm plain flour
  • 400 ml Milk or alternative I used Oat Milk

Other

  • 6 Fresh Pasta Sheets
  • 50 gm Grated Cheddar or Parmesan or alternative Optional

Instructions

Vegetable Lasagne Sauce

  1. In a large saucepan heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add onions. Cook the onions without browning for 5 minutes.

  2. Add garlic and mixed herbs and cook for a further minute.

  3. Stir in the courgettes and butternut squash, add a little water if it seems dry; cook with a lid on for 5 - 10 minutes until veg is soft.

  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix well before mixing with the tomatoes. You can bring to a simmer then turn off heat and leave to one side whilst you prepare the white sauce.

White Sauce

  1. Melt the butter or vegetable fat in medium saucepan.

  2. Add the flour and mix in quickly. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

  3. A little at a time, stir in rapidly the milk or milk alternative, bringing the sauce up to boil before adding more. The use of a balloon whisk is useful to beat out any lumps.

Compiling Lasagne

  1. Pre-heat oven on Gas 4 or 180 Electric

  2. Lay half of the vegetable sauce on the bottom of your oven proof dish.

  3. Lay half the pasta sheets on top of this.

  4. Spread half the white sauce across the pasta sheets and then if you require, sprinkle half the cheese.

  5. Repeat these layers again. If you prefer more pasta, then you could make three layers by dividing your sauces 3 ways, but I prefer just 2.

  6. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 25 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook for 45 minutes; just check your top does not become too brown.

Other nutrients as per recipe above including cheese; to reduce fat by 4 gm remove cheese.

Fat                 15 g

Carbs            31 net carbs

Protien         15.5 g

I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrients.

Low Carb Pancakes


As promised here is the low carb pancake recipe……

Who does not like a light fluffly pancake? The recipe will make 2 x 7 inch pancakes; and each pancake are just 3 net carbs each!

Having made the pancakes, you can serve with cream and a few berries. Featured photo, cream and a few blueberries just 7 net carbs. how about  tomato ketchup  and some chopped cooked bacon and rolled up. Oh my word, delicious. 6.5 net carbs.

I will experiment with some other fillings. Then add over the coming weeks as I feel these would be perfect for a pack lunch box.

Low Carb Pancakes

Just 5 ingredients to make these delicious low carb pancakes

Course Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine British
Keyword keto pancakes, low carb breakfast, low carb pancakes, pancakes, quick
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Servings 2 pancakes
Calories 304 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 oz cream cheese full fat
  • 1 oz ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 oz butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan

  2. Place the eggs into the bowl and whisk them until fluffy.

  3. Add the almonds, cream cheese and baking powder and whisk together

  4. Pour half the mixture into your hot frying pan and let it spread.

  5. Cook for about 2 minutes. Check with spatula that the underneath is browning and flip to other side. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition

Calories                      304

Fat                                   27 g

Net carbs                         3 g

Protein                           12 g

 

Tomato Sauce with Bacon

My Tomato Sauce Recipe with added Bacon can be added to low-carb pasta, Zoodles or cauliflower rice to make a lovely hot or cold healthy lunch.

For a healthier version then instead of the olive oil use a1 cal spray oil and a drop of water to cook out the onions.

The recipe below is only 9g net carbs, perfect for a satisfying lunch or supper. Sprinkle a little grated Parmesan over just before serving. To make it even healthier serve with a lovely crispy green salad.

If you prefer a smooth sauce then just blitz in a food processor. You could omit the bacon as a vegetarian option or just to give you a nice healthy tomato sauce. Add a little Worcestershire Sauce for a further punch.

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