Fabulously Free: Have a Holly Jolly GF Christmas!

I recently fell off the gluten-free, sugar-free wagon, having gone on holiday to a place with very little in the way of choice and a bakery around the corner from our villa… Suffice to say, for the first time in almost a year I ate baguettes and sugary cafe au laits…and boy did I notice a difference.

Because I was away from my normal routine, all of my good habits were blown off course, and I discovered that without certain things in place I too quickly reverted back to having bread, milk and sugar every day. Headaches returned, energy levels plummeted and my skin lost its shine.

So in time for the Christmas holiday, I’ve decided to make a bunch of gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free snacks so that if I’m tempted to indulge in a bit of Milk Tray because it’s in the office, I can easily instead grab a homemade treat that’s delicious and good for me.

My favourites at the moment are chocolate-almond-protein energy balls, goji berry-pecan chocolate bars (c/o Deliciously Ella – a DELICIOUS recipe!),turmeric-ginger tea, tamari almonds and candied pecans.

Goji Chocolate

Chocolate-Almond-Protein Balls:

mix together 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1/2 raw cashew butter, 1/4 cup raw cacao powder, 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey, 1 TB maca or moringa powder, 3 TB sugar-free protein powder (I like the Super Green ‘detox’ one), 2 TB sugar-free coconut flakes and 2 TB chia seeds. When it’s good and mixed, use your hands to form little balls. If you need more dry ingredients try adding gluten-free oats to the mixture. When they’re formed, roll the balls in chia seeds, crushed nuts or seeds or cacao powder. You can keep them in the freezer and eat them whenever you need a pick-me-up. Delicious!

Candied Pecans:

Heat up 100ml maple syrup with 1 TB organic coconut oil and 1 tsp cinnamon till thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture over 1 cup roughly chopped pecans and bake in the oven at 200 degrees C for 10 minutes, giving them a good mix halfway through. Take them out and leave them cool till they’ve hardened. Then chop them up and they’re ready add to whizzed-up frozen bananas (aka vegan ‘ice cream’), a topping for a savoury salad… or even a handful of amazingly delicious pecans as a movie night treat. They’re better than almost anything I’ve tried!

Tamari Almonds:

I love these toasted almonds which are roasted with gluten-free tamari (interchangeable with soy sauce). Using raw almonds with skins on, cover a cookie sheet with the nuts and sprinkle on about 1-2 TB of tamari or soy sauce. Mix thoroughly and roast in a hot oven for about 10-12 minutes. They’re delicious warm but they get yummier and crunchier when cool!

Toasted Almonds

Turmeric-Ginger Tea:

(This is a powerful anti-inflammatory and really charges you up. I’ve been having a cup each evening after work and it’s kept me feeling perky for hours. I love this though the taste of turmeric is strong if you’re not used to it.)

2 cups water heated up with several chunks of fresh ginger and 1 tsp turmeric. When slightly cooled, squeeze in half a lemon and 1tsp raw honey (or stevia) to sweeten if you need it, and enjoy!

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Ondine Barry
The author:

Ondine is a passionate fan of gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free eating and writes our Fabulously Free blog