Tasty Christmas Recipes

Low GL Christmas Cake

I look forward to making this cake every year!  The recipe was devised for those with blood sugar or digestive problems like IBS, but it is also a great tasting cake, that is less rich and heavy than the traditional Christmas cake recipe. As it's low in sugar and alcohol, it is not one to keep for ages, but will last for a week, and can be frozen.

170g pitted prunes

115g dried apple rings

115g dried apricots

50ml brandy or tea

1 small apple, washed and grated

zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1 dsp vanilla essence

170g soft butter

85g xylitol 

4 medium eggs

85g ground almonds

85g rice bran (or wholemeal flour)

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

The day before you make the cake, chop the dried fruit into a bowl and pour over the brandy/tea, leave overnight, stirring occasionally.
Line a 20cm deep cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper. Set the oven to 150 C fan assisted or 160 C if not (gas mark 2).
Cream the butter and xylitol, then stir in the choped fruit, grated orange zest and grated apple. Add the vanilla and spices and beat the eggs one at a time. Don't worry if it looks a bit curdled, it will be fine.
Stir in the ground almonds, rice bran and baking powder thoroughly. Finally stir the juice from half the orange to start with, adding more if necessary to make a soft consistency.
Pour the cake into the tin and level the top. Bake for 1 and a half hours - 2 hours until a skewer comes out clean. If the top is getting too dark, put a piece of foil over the top and leave until completely cold. This softens the top of the cake.
Remove from the tin oven and wrap in a double thickness of foil. 

Smoked Salmon Pate - serves 2

200g smoked salmon

200g cannellini beans, drained

juice of 1/2 a lemon

a drizzle of olive oil or 1 tbsp yoghurt to loosen the mixture if it is too thick

1 tbsp each of chopped fresh parsley and chopped fresh dill

freshly ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture is really smooth then chill and serve with vegetable crudites and/or thin slices of toasted pitta bread or oatcakes.

Halloumi Kebabs  - serves 2

This recipe, which uses fahita spices, combines the Cypriot cheese with vitamin-packed veg. It's a good party dish, as the kebabs can be made in advance.

2 tbsp fahita spices

1 tbsp olive oil

200g (7oz) halloumi cheese, cut into bit size cubes

1 red or orange pepper, cut into similar smaller aquares as the halloumi

1 courgette, cut into bite chunks

 6 cherry tomatoes, whole

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5 and soak 4 wooden skewers in a bowl of water for at least 5 minutes to stop the wood from splitting in the oven. Alternatively use metal skewers.
Tip the spices and oil into a bowl and mix to form a paste. Add the halloumi and vegetable chunks to the bowl and stir to coact evenly in the paste
Spear the chunks evenly on the 4 skewers and place on the baking tray
Bake for 12-15 minutes 


Chocolate Dipped Nuts - serves 2

This is a delicious sweet treat that is positively good for you!  The nuts are high in protein and minerals, and dark chocolate is low in sugar and rich in magnesium. You can double the recipe and store in the fridge for up to 10 days.15g (1/2 oz) good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

25g (1oz) shelled mixed nuts (such as almonds, macademia nuts, hazlenuts, brazil nuts or cashews)

Line a baking tray with non stick paper
Gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally
Tip the nuts into the melted chocolate and stir to coat. Place the nuts on the baking tray, making sure they are spread out.
Place the tray in the fridge to let the chocolate harden completely.

Recipes from The Low GL Diet Cookbook, by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce