Healthy alternative: Pete Evans' raw Christmas pudding. Photo: Mark Roper
Because of my passion for nutrition and everything healthy, I follow a paleo-inspired diet that is wheat, gluten, refined sugar, dairy and grain free.
I enjoy reworking classic recipes to give them a healthy makeover by removing the unnecessary nutrient-poor ingredients that lead to weight gain, inflammation and ill health.
I thought the time-honoured Christmas pudding would be a wonderful challenge for me to recreate.
I loved the idea of developing a mostly raw Christmas pudding, which could be literally thrown together and be ready to serve and eat in less than 30 minutes.
This is also a recipe that the kids can join in and easily help to make. They can even leave one or two of these healthier options out for Santa and his reindeer.
This has all the ingredients that define a scrumptious Christmas pudding, from the spices to the dried fruit. Yet the only cooking required is to heat the cocoa butter for a minute or two to form the frosting, if you want to garnish the pudding elegantly.
The mixture itself is also perfect for rolling into little Christmas bliss balls, which make ideal homemade gifts for friends and family. You can dip them in the frosting or just roll them in coconut or some toasted nuts and seeds.
Raw Christmas pudding
60g dried figs
2 tbsp orange zest
50g flaxseed meal
2 tbsp dried sour cherries
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
100g dried apricots
250g fresh dates, pitted
170ml almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ cup orange juice
1 tbsp coconut oil
100g raw organic cacao butter, chopped
100ml coconut cream
40g maple syrup, good quality
1. Line 8 small 5cm (2-inch) diameter dariole moulds or 50ml capacity small cups with plastic wrap.
2. Combine all the ingredients, except for the orange juice and the coconut oil, in a food processor and blend until the mixture forms into a crumb-like consistency. Remove from the food processor, place in a large mixing bowl and add the orange juice and coconut oil. Knead the mixture until it comes together into a large ball.
3. Divide the pudding mix into 8 portions and pack into the moulds firmly. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm. Remove from the moulds, peel off the plastic wrap and place on a tray.
4. Meanwhile, to make the frosting, place the cacao butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until completely melted. Remove from the heat and then mix in the coconut cream and maple syrup until well combined. Cool at room temperature to thicken the frosting, stirring occasionally.
5. Spoon the frosting over the puddings and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes or until the frosting is firm.
6. Decorate the puddings with some fresh raspberries and serve.