‘Wellberries’ Holistic Health Coach Recommends: Antioxidant–Packed Christmas for All with These 3 Spice-Packed Recipes

Guest Post by Tuulia Järvinen (Wellberries)

The Christmas time is finally here, and for me it means Christmas songs played over and over again, candles and Christmas lights everywhere and, of course: baking, baking, baking – the best of all.

I’m a huge fan of spices in general and tend to use heaps of them every day – all year around. Not only because they taste so good and make a great difference when cooking, but also because they’re a girl’s (and a boy’s as well!) best friend when it comes to antioxidant levels, or ORAC-values, as some prefer to say. So basically, when we’re adding lovely Christmas and other spices to our food and treats, we’re actually making them a lot healthier, too, as we’re adding and enhancing the taste. Not a bad deal at all, don’t you think?

Cloves are one of my favourite spices, and many tend to use them only during Christmas time. Cloves are one of the world’s strongest antioxidants, and they are strongly anti-inflammatory. Same actually applies to all our favourite Christmas time spices, such as cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger as well!

These spices are quite strong, but they play well together, and make almost anything taste like Christmas in a heartbeat. While you’re enjoying the divine taste of winter treats, you are actually protecting your body from free radicals that may cause all sorts of health challenges. Win-win, for you!  In addition, according to research, cinnamon also has the ability to help you keep your blood sugar levels under control, but I recommend you to choose Ceylon cinnamon that has lower levels of coumarin.

Below you can find three recipes that are easy to turn into Christmas treats and are filled with lovely spices. Wishing you a merry, antioxidant-packed Christmas!

1. Licorice-date Bliss Balls

(gluten free, dairy free, vegan, nut and soya free)

  Licorice-date Bliss Balls / Image: Wellberries

Licorice-date Bliss Balls / Image: Wellberries

Ingredients:

15 soft medjool-dates, pitted

2-3 tbsp strong raw licorice powder

5 tbsp sunflower seeds

5 tbsp pumpkin seeds

For Christmas-edition add:

0,5 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

0,25 tsp ground, dried ginger

0,25 tsp cloves

For coating:

raw licorice powder ( or beetroot juice powder, other berry powders)

1. Spoon the seeds into a blender, and ground them.

2. Add the pitted dates and spices. Mix until smooth.

3. Spoon the dough into a bowl and put into a freezer for about 20 minutes. It’s ready when you can easily make small balls out of it.

4. Coat the bliss balls with powders you have chosen. Eat right away, or store in fridge/ freezer. If you keep them in the freezer, take them out for a while before serving them. Enjoy!

2. Lovely Christmas Date Cake 

(gluten free, dairy free, vegan, nut and soya free)

  Lovely Christmas Date Cake / Image: Wellberries

Lovely Christmas Date Cake / Image: Wellberries

Prepared in a 20cm cake mold (with a removable bottom)

Ingredients:

200 g pressed dates

1,5 dl water

2 dl virgin coconut oil, melted

1 dl coconut sugar

2 dl sweet potato puree (from about 300 g piece of sweet potato)

1 dl coconut milk

2 dl rice flour

1,5 dl coconut flour

2 tbsp psyllium

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp ground dried ginger

1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

1 tsp cardamom

1-2 dl chai tea (or other spiced tea)

Frosting:

2 cans of oat cream cheese (gluten free)

2-3 tbsp lucuma powder (sweetener)

0,5 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

0,5 tsp cardamom

(optional: 1-2 tbsp maple syrup)

1. Heat the oven to 175 degrees. Cover the cake mold with parchment paper and oil it lightly. Prepare the sweet potato puree: peel and chop the sweet potato, and boil until done. Pour the water out and cool the sweet potato pieces down with cold water. Mash them with a fork. Boil some water for the chai tea, and prepare it. 

2. Mix the flours, psyllium, soda and spices together. Crumble the dates into a kettle, and boil with water for a couple of minutes, until the dates are soft and mixed with water. Add the coconut oil and sugar, sweet potato puree and coconut milk. Mix well, until the oil has mixed with the batter. 

3. Add the flours into the batter and mix well again, until it’s smooth. Then add the chai tea, and mix once more, until the batter is smooth and delicious – taste it, it’s so good!

4. Spoon the batter into the cake mold and bake around 45-50 minutes, until the cake is done. Wait until the cake has cooled down before frosting or tasting it – this is important. 

5. While you wait for the cake to cool down, prepare the frosting: mix the ingredients, add sweetener if needed. 

6. When the cake is done, you’re ready to frost it. Decorate it as you wish, and enjoy!

3. Chickpea Blondies with Lucuma

(gluten free, dairy free, vegan, nut and soya free)

  Chickpea Blondies with Lucuma / Image: Wellberries

Chickpea Blondies with Lucuma / Image: Wellberries

Wet ingredients:

about 300 g of ready-to-eat chickpeas

about 200 g sweet potato

20 pieces fresh medjool dates, pitted

0,75 dl ghee or coconut oil (if vegan)

0,75 dl plant-based milk

Dry ingredients:

about 0,5 tsp vanilla powder

about 0,5 tsp salt

about 0,5 tsp cardamom

0,5 dl sorghum flour (or other gluten free flour)

0,5 dl lucuma powder

1 tl baking powder

0,5 tl salt

For Christmas edition add:

about 0,5 tsp ground ginger

about 0,5 tsp cloves

Lucuma sauce (caramel sauce):

n. 0,5 dl virgin coconut oil (melted)

n. 0,6 – 0,75 dl lucuma powder

hint of salt

For Christmas edition add:

about 0,5 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

about 0,5 tsp cardamom

coconut cream for serving

1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Make the pureed sweet potato: peel and boil the sweet potato pieces. When ready and soft, rinse with cold water and add into a blender (a powerful hand blender will do just fine as well). Rinse the chickpeas well, and add to the mix in the blender, along with melted oil and plant based milk. Pit the dates and add them to the blender too. Mix until smooth.

3. Mix the dry ingredients and the add the wet ones to them mix smooth.

4. Put a parchment sheet paper into a oven pan, spoon up the dough into it and bake for about 45 minutes or so.

5. Let the treat cool down well (important and the hardest part!). While it’s cooling down, you can prepare the lucuma caramel sauce: just melt the oil and add lucuma powder and salt, mix it and it’s ready!

6. Serve the gluten free chickpea blondies with whipped coconut cream and lucuma sauce. Please notice, that coconut oil gets hard in under 25 degrees, so if you put it into the freezer, it’ll get hard. Store it in a bowl that is easy to reheat, or eat it all at once!