Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light....
This is a wonderful festive time of year. A time of year too where food abounds and making healthy choices can be difficult, I have created a Christmas Cake that is not only scrumptious but also a healthy treat... Enjoy.
400gm brazil nuts
175 gm cashew nuts
250gm pitted dates
250gm dried figs cut roughly into 1/2 or 1/3rds
250gm sticky raisins (see NOTE below)
60 gm goji berries
100gm dried pineapple (see NOTE below)
120gm ground almonds
60gm coconut sugar (optional)
80 gm raw honey
1 tsp baking powder
20gm ground chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Firstly mix the pineapple in a small bowl with 1/4 cup boiling water. Spoon honey into the same bowl and set aside for pineapple to soften.
In a large bowl place the brazil, almonds and cashew nuts. To this add the remaining dried fruit (cut the figs into large pieces) as well as the baking powder, ground almonds, coconut sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
In another small bowl, place ground chia seeds with 4 Tbsp water and mix together, this will become a gel-like paste and replaces the need for more eggs. It works as a binding agent.
Add the pineapple mixture along with the chia seeds and eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine. Use your fingertips to ensure the mixture is really well mixed and all the fruit and nuts are moist with the mixture, this is really important to ensure it sticks well together when baking.
Place mixture into a large baking dish that has been lined and greased (using coconut oil). Press down firmly. Use a glass jar and wet hands to press it down, if this is not pressed together tightly, it will fall apart when you cut it later.
Place in an oven at 130C. Bake for 50 minutes initially, then cover with foil and bake for a further 50 minutes. The top will be brown and it should spring back when touched.
Allow to cool fully before cutting.
This cake will last in the cupboard for at last three weeks, and longer if kept in the fridge... although I have to say, it never makes longer than that around here!
Serves 35 pieces
1. Sticky raisins - I use the Sunmaid variety, they have had no sunflower or other oil added to them and are naturally sweet and sticky.
2. Dried pineapple. This can be replaced with organic apricots instead (i often replace the pineapple with apricots as they are easier to source). It is not the glace pineapple.
3. With the proportions of dried fruit these can be altered slightly, I will often use less dates and more figs as I love sticky soft figs, and they create a wonderful flavour in the cake.
If you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below...