I can’t believe that its Christmas Eve tomorrow! It seems to have come round very quickly and I’m very much looking forward to it. This weekend has been pretty fantastic and filled with Christmas cooking, shopping and generally chilling out…

Photo 21-12-2012 20 16 35Bailey’s Irish Cream with ice by candle light

With setting up the businesses, blogging and studying these last few months have been pretty intense for me – I’m not complaining at all (I love it!), but I’ve been working on something almost every single day for the last 5 months, so having some time to really relax is taking a bit of getting used to! I’ve made the decision not to force my workouts over Christmas either. I know that runs contradictory to what I’ve been blogging about in some of my healthy Christmas posts, but for where I am in my healthy living journey my body and mind need that break.

Relaxing for me includes time in the kitchen, and I’ve got a bit creative with some new recipes which I thought would be nice to quickly share:

Photo 22-12-2012 14 54 19Christmas granola, Amaretto Chai Stewed Christmas Fruits, Cran Apple sauce and sheep yoghurt

Amaretto Chai Stewed Christmas Fruits (makes about 1 1/2 cups of fruit compote)

  • 4 dried figs (the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference brand are lovely)
  • 10 dried dates
  • 1/3 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup of dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup of Amaretto liqueur (or a few drops of almond extract)
  • 1 cup of strong chai tea (I used Clipper Indian Chai)

Chop the figs and dates and then add all the dried fruit to a pan. Brew your tea and then add it with the amaretto or extract to the dried fruits. Bring the pan to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes then leave to cool. The fruit will absorb the liquid and plump up to create a jam like consistency. Store in the fridge and it should be good for a week.

Christmas Granola (makes about 4 cups)

  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup of almonds
  • 1/3 cup of pistachios
  • 1/3 cup of hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup of pecans
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil melted
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves

Pre heat the oven to 180. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Pour wet into dry and mix well. Spread mixture out on to a couple of greased or lined baking sheets and bake for 10 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally until golden brown and crisp. Store in an airtight glass container to keep fresh.

Photo 21-12-2012 14 54 33

Cran Apple Sauce (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 200g of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • juice and zest of two oranges
  • 2 apples (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 tbsp of coconut sugar

Wack everything into a pan and simmer for about 7-10 minutes – the cranberries should burst. Leave to cool and it should thicken up. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

All of these taste so good and are very quick and easy to make. The amaretto fruits are particularly good!

Yesterday I also made a big pan of soup – a cross between my Thai Sweet Potato and Leek soup and my Thai Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup:

Photo 22-12-2012 12 05 55

Finished off with a swirl of coconut milk and it was delicious! I also made some of my amazing Veggie Loaf, amongst a few other tasty treats…

PicMonkey Collage

Thai green kabocha and soya bean curry // some kombucha I’d bought in Brighton months ago liberated from the back of the fridge // cherry smoothie topped with chocolate peanut butter sauce and salted almonds // veggie loaf topped with wensleydale cheese with cranberries and served with roast greens // coffee at Starbucks before the shops opened // oranges and dark chocolate // coconut flour and milk pancakes with tahini, honey and figs // caramel peanut butter apple oats

Well all the presents are wrapped, the fridge and cupboards are full to bursting, the flat has been cleaned top to bottom and is looking fabulous and I have my Christmas eve and Christmas day outfits sorted. I think I’m ready now!

I hope you all have a truly wonderful joy filled and peaceful Christmas!

Lots of Love

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