3 Healthy Christmas Treats

3 Healthy Christmas Treats

Posted by May Simpkin | 1 December 2017 | Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Magazine

Fun fact… Christmas isn’t the same without the goodies! Here’s 3 guilt free recipes to get you through the festive period.

A Cinnamon Kick To Start Your Day

This Butternut Squash Cinnamon Granola is packed with…

  • 90g ground almonds
  • 170g flaked almonds
  • 100g unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 175g pumpkin seeds or mixed sunflower, sesame & pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed – ground
  • 50g chia seeds
  • 200g pecans, chopped
  • 90g oats
  • 130g coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 190g butternut squash (baked and then pureed) or pumpkin  (Alternative: use tinned pumpkin)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt

[Using organic ingredients, where possible, will reduce the nasties and will enhance the taste of the granola]

Here’s How…

Preheat the oven to 180oC and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine coconut flakes, almonds, pumpkin seeds and pecans, ground almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, oats.

In a blender, combine the pumpkin/butternut squash, coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon, vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly coated.

Spread the granola in a thin layer on a baking sheet.

Cook for 30 mins stirring occasionally to prevent burning.


A Chocolate Fix Fuelled With Energy 

To make these energising Bliss Balls, you’ll need….

  • 50g Almonds, whole or ground
  • 50g Cashews, whole
  • 100g pitted dried Dates (can use mixture of dates and dried figs)
  • 30g raw Cacao
  • 30g Chia seeds
  • 60g Oats
  • 85g Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Desiccated coconut – toasted for coating (optional)

Here’s how…

If using whole almonds and cashews, start by blending them in a food processor to a course texture. Then add the dates along with all the other ingredients and pulse until well combined and finely blended. Start with 3 tbsp coconut oil and if the mixture is still crumbly and difficult to form into a ball after combining, use a little more. I usually have to scrape down the sides of the blender a couple of times to ensure a good consistency.

They are now ready to roll into small balls. Put the toasted coconut onto a small plate and roll each ball around until fully coated.

Refrigerate for a firmer texture for an hour before serving.


A Rich Dessert Packed With Nutrients


  • 300g whole raw beetroot (2-3 medium beets) or ready-made vacuum packed beetroot
  • 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin
  • 250g bar plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
  • A large handful of walnuts for the top

Here’s how?

  • Boil the whole beetroot (if using raw) until tender. Top & tail and peel once cooled but still warm, using gloves to avoid staining
  • Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4. Line a 20x30cm baking tin.
  • Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes.
  • Put the beetroot into a food processor or blender with the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Whizz until the mix is as smooth as you can get it. The chocolate and butter will melt as you do this.  [If using vacuum packed beetroot, you will need to melt the chocolate and butter gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water]
  • Scrape down the sides and add the sugar,  eggs, ground almonds, cocoa, baking powder and cayenne (if using) into the mixture and gently whizz until combined to make a smooth batter.
  • Pour into a prepared tin, lay out the walnuts on the top and bake for 30-35 mins or until the top is set but it feels soft in the middle.
  • Cool completely in the tin, then cut your Nutrient-Rich Chocolate Beetroot Brownies into squares.


About The Author

May Simpkin

Qualified nutritionist May is passionate about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Her no-nonsense approach focuses on realistic, practical and achievable advice to improve health and wellbeing.

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