Christmas is just around the corner and here at CTH the festive excitement is building. In order to start the celebrations we have come up with some easy recipes for you to enjoy making with your little ones. As always our recipes are free from refined sugar and processed flours. We hope you enjoy them.

Maple and Cinnamon Popcorn

Popcorn is a great snack for children and takes no time at all to make. This recipe makes a huge bowl, perfect for sharing under a blanket whilst enjoying your favourite Christmas film. Cinnamon is wonderfully festive, and is also naturally sweet and can help to maintain balanced blood sugar levels.

Ingredients:

  • 50g popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (for cooking the corn)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method:

Place a medium sized saucepan (with lid to hand) on a low to medium heat and add the coconut oil. Allow to melt. Add the popcorn kernels and place the lid on securely. Keep the heat low to medium as you don’t want the kernels to burn. You will soon start to hear the familiar popping noise and before you know it the pan will become alive with pops. Occasionally give the pan a little shake (with the lid on) and when the popping subsides take it off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. Resist the temptation to open the lid as you don’t want hot popcorn out!

In a small pan heat up the coconut oil, cinnamon and maple until it forms a syrup. Pour the syrup over your cooked popcorn and stir through. Serve whilst warm.

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Christmas Pudding Bites

These are such fun little bites and taste just like little mini mince pies. They are ideal to make with your little ones and make a perfect festive gift, free from refined sugar and made with love.

Ingredients:

  • 35g blanched almonds
  • 25g walnuts
  • 50g dates
  • 20g sweetened cranberries
  • 50g apricots
  • Grated clementine zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 20g white chocolate
  • A few dried cranberries for garnish

Method:

Simply place the blanched almonds, walnuts, dates, cranberries, apricots, grated clementine and cinnamon into a blender and blitz until the mixtures comes together and forms a dough.

Roll the dough into balls (it should make about 10).

Place the balls onto some non-stick baking parchment.

Melt the dark and white chocolate seperately. Drizzle a little dark chocolate onto of each mini mince pie and then carefully spoon a small amount of the white chocolate on the top (see photo as a guide). Garnish with a dried cranberry and allow to cool and set.

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Festive Gingerbread Cookies 

Everyone loves to make gingerbread and this is a lovely low gluten (for Spelt) or gluten free healthier recipe. It is very robust and brilliant at holding its shape which is ideal for using fun festive cookie cutters. You can even make small holes in the top of your shapes and once cooked thread ribbon through the holes and hang them on the Christmas tree as fun decorations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 200g white spelt flour or gluten free flour
  • 40g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 40g honey
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Festive cookie cutters

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Place the butter, maple, honey, sugar, vanilla paste and egg into a bowl. Sift over the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, ground cloves and cinnamon and mix all together to form a dough. Bring the dough together into a disk and place in the fridge to rest. After at least 30 mins (it needs to be chilled or will be too soft and sticky to roll) roll the dough out onto a floured surface nice and thin – roughly the depth of a pound coin.

Cut out the shapes using festive cutters and place onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment. Chill for 10-15 minutes until cold. Place the cookies straight into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and firm. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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Cooking them Healthy Hot Chocolate –

When it is cold outside we love nothing better than snuggling up together with a delicious hot chocolate. Here is our favourite, yet healthy hot chocolate recipe, just perfect for a lazy winters day. It is a healthy version of sugary hot chocolate.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 300ml Koko coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Cocoa powder
  • 1 -2 teaspoons Maple Syrup or honey
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg

Method:

Simply mix the cocoa, honey and milk together and heat – sprinkle with a little cinnamon and serve.

By Cooking Them Healthy

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About The Author

Chef Georgie Soskin set up Cooking them Healthy with her sister Minnie and nutritionist Jo Saunders. They create child friendly recipes in accordance with modern nutritional advice (less gluten and dairy, more grains, fresh fruit and vegetables) whilst at the same time keeping them achievable and most importantly delicious. Cooking Them Healthy feels passionately about using ingredients to heal and strengthen and therefore they specialise in recipes which can be used to help common childhood complaints and conditions. With 7 children between them (and one on the way) Georgie, Jo and Minnie are also fully aware of the challenge of cooking inspiring, time efficient meals for a growing family and this has had a large influence on the recipes and helpful tips they specialize in.

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