Dessert

Mince Pies

Here we have a recipe for one of the most classic festive treats, the mince pie. Put in the effort and make your own pastry and pie filling and the results are delicious, homemade wins every time!

Ingredients:

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 350g almond flour
  • 30g room temperature butter/coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the mince filling:

  • 2 apples finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 oranges & zest of 1 orange
  • 100g cranberries
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g sultanas
  • 2 TBSP honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml water

Instructions:

For the filling:

  • Add all the ingredients to the pan and simmer for roughly 30 mins. The apples should be soft and the mixture should be nice and sticky once done.

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease a muffin tin with butter or coconut oil.
  • Add all the ingredients to the food processor and blend until it forms a dough.
  • If the dough is quite soft and sticky you can store it in the fridge for a bit to make it easier to work with.

Assembling the pies:

  • Roll the mixture out on a flat surface covered in flour. When about 1cm thick cut out circles using a pastry cutter, you can also use the top of a glass.
  • Place circles into the muffin tin and press into the edges.
  • Add a scoop of the filling into each pie, you can fill them right to the top.
  • With the leftover pastry you can cut out the tops for the pies. We used a tree-shaped cutter but use whatever you have.
  • Bake in the oven for roughly 12 minutes. They should start to turn a golden brown colour.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

 

Nutritional Information:

Almonds:

  • Great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper andmanganese.
  • Great source of a number of B vitamins;
    • Rich in folate which is vital for a healthy pregnancy.
    • Rich in riboflavin which helps with red blood cell production, body growth and to process carbohydrates.
    • Rich in niacin which is often used to improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risk.
    • Rich in thiamin which helps the body to process carbohydrates and protein.
  • Great source of unsaturated fats
    • The high levels of unsaturated fats are great to help ease inflammation (great post exercise) and may also improve cholesterol levels.
  • It might be an energy dense food but there is no need to avoid it.
    • A review of 20 clinical trials showed no weight gain or even weight loss individuals consuming 1 -2 cups of nuts a day
    • Possibly due to the amino acid arginine which may boost fat burning.
  • Consuming nuts considerably reduces the risk of developing diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

Oranges:

  • As most of you know, oranges are packed full of vitamin C! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body against free radicals. Free radicals can lead to cellular damage which is a common pathway for cancer, especially colon cancer, aging and a variety of other diseases. It is also required for proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Oranges contain over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which has demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting effects.
    • As a result, a diet high in citrus fruit is linked to a lower risk of cancer, stomach ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and arthritis. Some studies have shown up to a 50% reduced risk in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
    • A phytonutrient called limonin is currently being researched due to its possibly potent anti-cancer properties.
  • The levels of folate, potassium and also vitamin C, provide protection against cardiovascualr diseases.

Cranberries:

While dried cranberries offer a wide range of health benefits, they are a  more concentrated source of natural sugars compared to natural fruit so it is important to consume less.

  • Great source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body against free radicals. Free radicals can lead to cellular damage which is a common pathway for cancer, especially colon cancer, aging and a variety of other diseases. It is also required for proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Good source of fibre;
    • Maintains bowel health.
    • Binds with bile acids & reduces cholesterol.
    • Also binds to secondary bile acids which has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
    • Aids weight loss & stops sharp spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Bursting with a huge range of phytonutrients;
    • One type of phytonutrient, proanthocyanins, is likely to be responsible for cranberries protective benefits against urinary tract infections and possibly stomach ulcers.
    • Provide protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
    • A diet rich in cranberries has been linked to a reduction in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and and an increase in HDL cholesterol.

Raisins:

  • Have been shown to help control blood insulin levels after a meal.
  • They contain a considerable amount of iron, B-vitamins and copper which help in blood formation and treat anaemia.
  • The presence of antioxidants called catechins help to scavenge free radicals in the body and reduce the risk of cancerous cells forming.

Ginger

  • Relieves gastrointestinal distress and has been shown to prevent motion sickness. Also helps relieve the symptoms of morning sickness experienced during pregnancy.
  • Contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols.
    • Helps reduce pain in those suffering with arthritis.
    • May protect against colorectal cancer and induce cell death in cancerous ovarian cells.
  • Promotes healthy sweating which is helpful when suffering from a cold or flu.

Cinnamon:

  • The essential oils found in the bark have many unique healing abilities that include anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
  • Cinnamon also slows the rate at which the stomach empties after a meal, which reduces the rise in blood sugar levels and may also improve type 2 diabetics response to insulin.