Christmas Pudding

It’s that time of year again where we all get together with our family or closest friends to eat to excess and feel sick and bloated for the rest of the day while drinking our choice of beverage. Don’t you love it!

It is a day of overeating and expanding waistlines. But for those fearful of destroying their diets and gaining weight that they have worked so hard to lose (or for me, only a few weeks out from an ultra!), there are healthier, and still very tasty options for you.

Now I love Christmas Pudding, it is one of my weaknesses and tend to go back for extra servings every time it is on offer. So here is a recipe that I will be using to make a healthier version of it, all thanks to Teresa from the Healthy Chef.

Christmas Pudding

Ingredients

  • 450g pitted fresh medjool dates
  • 1 whole sweet orange –  including skin.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or good quality melted cultured butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • ½ cup (250g) raisins
  • 2/3 cup (250g) organic dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 cups (300g) almond meal (see notes)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2  tsp ground ginger
  •  pinch sea salt

 Instructions

  1. Soak the raisins and apricots in the orange juice for a few hours or overnight – this will help them become plump and moist.
  2. Steam the whole orange for 1 hour until softened then cool.
  3. Preheat your oven to 160C fan forced  or 180 C (no fan).
  4. Lightly oil 2 x 750 ml pudding moulds and line with baking paper – alternatively if you’re making individual puddings, lightly oil 12 x ½ cup dariole or pudding moulds.
  5. Combine dates and whole steamed orange (chopped) into a food processor.
  6. Process for about 30 seconds – 1 minute or until the dates have combined with the orange and a paste has formed.
  7. Add eggs, olive oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and ginger.
  8. Process again until the batter is smooth and creamy looking.
  9. Transfer to a large bowl.

10. Drain the orange juice from the soaked dried fruit and discard.

11. Add sultanas, apricots, almond meal and mix well.

12. Divide between pudding / dariole moulds.

13. Place into a deep baking dish.

14. Pour enough freshly boiled water to come half way up sides of pudding bowls.

15. Cover with a layer of each baking paper and foil, pressing around edges of pan to completely seal.

16. Bake large puddings for 1 hr 30 mins.  Bake small puddings for 1 hour 10 minutes – test each to make sure they are fully cooked through before removing from the oven. The puddings should still be lovely and moist in the middle – but not wet or undercooked.

17. Invert puddings onto a serving plate.

18. Serve with thick cultured Greek Style natural yoghurt. Enjoy

 

Run Well and Happy Christmas

Chris O’Driscoll

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