I usually only post once a week but as Christmas is coming and I don’t want all you healthy eaters or those with food intolerances to feel deprived I’m stepping up the pace for a week or two.  This pudding, adapted from the recipe in Rose Cousins “Cooking Without”, is fabulous.  It’s lighter in texture than standard pudding and is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.  If you have a problem with eggs, it can also be made egg-free.  These quantities make 3 puddings each serving 4 people.  I make these in advance and stick them in the freezer until Christmas Eve.  On occasion I have eaten the last Christmas pudding at Easter and its still lovely…

Don’t forget to check “larder & shopping” section for unusual ingredients

1 portion Xmas Cake recipe (posted separately last week)
20ml/2 level dsp gluten-free baking powder (GF baking powder is usually free from nasty anti-caking agents made from aluminium so is much healthier)
2 large carrots, finely grated
225g cooking apples, peeled & grated (eating apples don’t give a good texture)
A little oil (eg light olive oil, coconut oil) to grease your pudding basins
Greaseproof or silicon paper to cover the pudding basins with, and string to secure
Ceramic pudding basins

1. Mix the Christmas cake as per recipe.
2. Mix in carrots, apples, baking powder.
3. Divide into greased pudding basins, depending on the size of pudding you require.
4. Steam or pressure cook.  The 4-person pudding takes 3 minutes in a pressure cooker, 2 hours over boiling water or (if you must) 12 minutes in a microwave.

To reheat your (thawed overnight) puds when you need them:
Steam for 1 hour or microwave (if you must) for 5 minutes on high.  I have to admit to heating my puds in our seldom-used microwave just to save hassle on Christmas day.  Microwaving causes changes to food that damages your DNA* but when it’s only once a year I think, what the hell…

Why this recipe is better for you:
Although the large quantity of (naturally sugary) dried fruit means this pudding can never be a vitality enhancing food it IS better for you than the normal one.  It is free from refined sugar.  It is also aluminium-free (as it uses GF baking powder), good news for your long-term brain and digestive wellness.  Cooking apples are a rich source of pectin, which helps mop up and neutralise toxins in your gut.  Pectin is a soluble fibre that feeds beneficial bacteria.  Carrots are a rich source of beta carotene, which helps give your skin a beautiful, natural golden glow.  Beta carotene from orange/red foods in your diet also helps prevent against acne and digestive disorders.  Using macadamia, or even light olive oil for cooking means your pudding is not laden with toxic trans fats.  Trans fats are generated when polyunsaturated oils (eg. “vegetable” oil, sunflower, rapeseed and other nut/seed oils) are processed by the manufacturer or heated by you.

*Damage to DNA initiates premature ageing, cancer, ME/chronic fatigue syndrome and more.  That is one of the reasons why microwaved food is never a health-enhancing choice.