#Glutenfree #alcoholfree #Christmaspudding recipe


I can’t quite believe am managing to get this post done with all that’s going on in the house and its gone 1am but I made this, and  even though I say so myself, it tasted great, so wanted to share the recipe.

Tris Strover at Tootsie’s nursery kindly gave me his Christmas Pudding recipe way back in 2011. He does all the cooking for Tootsies, and has won the Nursery World Food Award twice, and deservedly so. Anyway it’s one of my most popular posts, this time of year, funnily enough.

I’ve tried making it with gluten-free flour this year but it didn’t quite work. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take the crusts off the bread I used to make breadcrumbs. Anyway, moving on…

I’ve come up with grain-free, alcohol free version. Why do we think it’s ok for kids to eat food with alcohol in it?  If you’re eating this and think you might miss the alcohol,  have a glass of something with it.

Anyway Merry Christmas!!!

Gluten free, alcohol free Christmas pudding

You will need…
1 lb pudding basin
Greaseproof paper
Cotton or muslin
String or wool
150g raisins
150g sultanas
50g candied peel
100g prunes, chopped
50g cranberries or natural glacé cherries
50g flaked almonds
zest and juice from one clementine
150ml maple syrup
90g ground almonds
3 medium sized eggs
level teaspoon mixed spice
level teaspoon cinnamon
level teaspoon baking powder
125g gluten free vegetable suet
1 apple peeled and chopped into small pieces

How to…

  • Mix together all the dried fruit in a bowl.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add the clementine juice, zest and maple syrup and mix well.
  • Add the suet and again, mix well.
  • Add the dried fruit, almonds, spices, baking powder and ground almonds and mix through very well.
  • Pour into the pudding basin.
  • Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit just over the top of the pudding.
  • Cut a piece of muslin or cotton sheet to size cover the top with it, large enough so it falls below the rim where you tie the string around it.
  • Once you have tied the string around the basin, make a handle over the top using two pieces of string, going across the middle from one side to the other, this makes it easy  to take the pudding out of the hot pan.
  • Steam for 4 hours keep adding water, as it can dry out. I had to put mine on a pastry cutter, in my steaming pan.
  • Steam for an hour before serving.


Gluten free mince pie recipe

I’m going to keep this brief as time is short in the run up to Christmas and just wanted to share this new recipe which works well. The result is slightly crumbly pastry and really delicious. This recipe fills a 12 cup baking tray with a little left over. The trick is not to make the pastry too thin, to prevent crumbling. I wonder if my dad will notice the difference?


You will need…
230g of gluten free plain flour (I used Doves Farm)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
75g ground almonds
120g butter
1 medium egg
350g mincemeat*

How to…

  • Mix together the flour, ground almonds and butter in a food processor until they look like breadcrumbs.
  • If you’re doing it by hand use your fingers to mix well. shaking the bowl as you go to get the larger lumps of butter to the top read to be mixed in with the rest.
  • Gradually add the egg and the maple syrup until completely combined.
  • Chill in the fridge in an airtight container for at least an hour.
  • Heat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C in a fan oven/Gas mark 5.
  • Roll onto a floured surface and use cutters to make the bases. gently pushing down into the cups,making sure there aren’t any cracks.
  • Give the mincemeat a good stir in a bowl.
  • Spoon on top of the bases and then use your cutters to make your your top crusts or shapes.
  • Bake in the oven on a middle shelf for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, leave in the tray, remove once cooled as this will help prevent them breaking up!
  • Sprinkle with a little icing sugar.

*can contain gluten in the suet so check if you need to. I wanted to make my own, but run out of time, so maybe next year.

One pot: Organic chicken broth soup



When I told my brother in law about this recipe, he laughed. He’s a good cook, and I think he was laughing because, strictly speaking it’s not really a proper recipe as it’s so simple and something that generations before us have made.

It isn’t just over Christmas that we tend to over-indulge, for many, Christmas preparations, shopping, and all the stuff that comes with having kids, means that in the run up to Christmas, healthy eating gets shunted out in favour of convenience.

However, you can have both. I work from home, and working next to the kitchen can be a temptation. One of the things I’ve found is having something in the fridge i just have to heat up helps me to eat well.

I can make a one pot and have half in the evening and the rest in the next day or even later. I’ve just remembered I’ve got some of this in my fridge left over from Friday, that’ll do me nicely for lunch. Jamie serves it with rice, but why bother, when it adds another level of admin (time) and instead of eating rice you can eat more of the veg.

The key is to make too much and freeze what you know you won’t eat in the next few days.

The temptation to reach for whatever is in your fridge can be made into a virtue if you have a one pot to hand.

And that’s not to say I am “perfect” whatever that is, lets just say I bought my first box of mince pies just before Halloween.

Organic chicken broth soup

You will need…
2 organic chicken legs or 4 thighs*
2 carrots peeled, top and tailed and sliced
1 leek peeled, top and tailed and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 sticks of celery
2 garlic cloves, sliced
thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced
Cavolo nero or curly kale*
handful of chestnut mushrooms
Broccoli flowers or swede or squash

How to…

  • Put the chicken, carrots, leek, celery, onion, garlic and ginger in a pan, cover with water.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1.5 hours if you’re using a whole chicken).
  • If you’re using squash or swede ad 30 minutes into cooking.Add broccoli, leafy veg and mushrooms 5 minutes before the end.

It’s also a great recipe for little people – even if you’re weaning. Just make sure it’s cooled down – I use a big bowl like this to help it cool down quickly.

Keep the bones, to make chicken stock, you can keep them in the fridge or freeze them…more recipes to follow.


*You can make this with a whole chicken just double up the broth ingredients.

**I try as much as possible to use seasonal veg grown in the UK, usually I would use tat soi, choi sum or pak choi, and purple sprouting broccoli in Spring, Summer and Autumn.