Love a good old fashioned mince pie? Whilst we’d never encourage you to completely abstain – after all, it’s one of the things some of you most look forward to enjoying on Christmas day! However, if you’ve recently converted to veganism or raw; are trying to convert your friends to healthy eating or simply want to wow your guests this festive season, we have some London-based alternatives that we promise are just as delicious as their conventional counterparts. First up, a treat you can try at home with a recipe for ‘raw’ mince pies from one of our favourite places to stop for a break, Retreat Café.
RETREAT CAFÉ RAW MINCE PIES
Makes 8-12 in small cupcake/muffin cups
- 1 cup of soaked dates – energy boosting, fibre, calcium and zinc
- ½ cup of desiccated coconut
- 1 cup of almonds – brain food with loads of vitamin E
- A pinch of sea salt
- Whiz up the soaked dates in a food processor until they show a paste like consistency
- Add the coconut, almonds, salt and mix again for a few minutes until you can form a ball with the mixture
- Take a tablespoon portion size of the mixture and place into the cupcake molds, pressing the mixture against the mold to form a crust then place in the freezer to set while you make the filling
- 1 cup of sultanas
- ½ cup of dried figs – lower heart disease
- ½ cup of dried cranberries
- ½ tsp of cinnamon – anti inflammatory
- ¼ tsp of nutmeg
- ¼ ginger
- 1 large orange (zest & juice)
- 1 medium size apple
- Add all the ingredients except the apple into the food processor and pulse a few times, until chunky.
- Chop the apple into small pieces and place into the food processor and pulse a few times to mix it into the filling
- Take the crusts out of the freezer and fill the middle with the filling – a teaspoon size usually works
- Place back into the freezer with the mince pies … now it’s time for the icing
- 1 cup of cashews – fiber and contains loads of antioxidants
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil – brain food, antibacterial and boosts your immune system
- 1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice (try coconut nectar, but you can use raw honey or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- ¼ cup of warm filtered water
- A pinch of sea salt
- Place everything in a food processor and mix until you have a creamy texture. Remove mince pies from the freezer and place ½ to 1 teaspoon of icing on the top of the pie
- Optional: decorate with a sprinkling of nutmeg or some lemon zest
- Now you are ready to impress your family & friends with this healthy RAW version of traditional mince pies – filled with nutritional benefits. You can also find these delicious treats at THE RETREAT CAFÉ in Soho.
Not so keen to spend time in the Kitchen? We’ve found some festive treats you can pick up on the go. First, we caught up with another of our favourite raw cake crafters, Mr Prempy’s. The boys have been busy at Prempy HQ with a quest to whip up the nearest thing to a giant mince pie, whilst still meeting their criteria of being free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and eggs. The result is their very own Mince Pie Cake, lovingly dubbed: Blixem Pie. Below we asked them to fill us in on what makes Blixem Pie so special….
“The key ingredients we use in our very own Mince Pie blend includes walnuts, apricots, raisins, orange zest and a lot of mixed spice (we throw in a hefty amount of ginger, cloves and cinnamon). Firstly, all of the sweetness comes from the vine fruits used – we don’t add anything else to sweeten the filling! Secondly the concoction of orange zest and spices provides anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits, and finally, there’s a good amount of manganese in each serving thanks to ingredients like cloves and cinnamon. Manganese is a trace mineral that helps metabolise fats and carbs, regulate blood sugar and absorb calcium. It also helps the body form strong bones and connective tissues. Lastly, thanks to the simple ‘whole’ ingredients, your appetite will be satiated far quicker than the conventional variety!”
Want to sample the Blixem Pie for yourself? You can pick up a piece from Mr Prempy’s stand at the Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and Alexandra Palace/Chiswick on Sundays.
If you live in London and are keen to explore more healthy Christmas treats, the following places are the perfect healthy hubs to refuel on busy days of present shopping. First up, the range of festive smoothies and winter warmers at The Detox Kitchen and LabOrganic are not to be missed. Alternatively, if you’d prefer something the whole family can enjoy on Christmas Day, Juice Baby’s Christmas box features an entire array of raw, organic, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free recreations of your favourite Christmas classics – we are ordering ours now!
Recipe and Image Credit: Jennifer Hepton @ The Retreat Café & rawandrestore.tumblr.com