Enjoy making and eating homemade goodies this festive season, but with my 3 top tips it can be a little more nutritious.



1 Pick a lower sugar recipe

I’m always on the lookout for healthier recipes and at this time of year we love mince pies in our house so I found a  much healthier version of the traditional filling of mince meat.

This recipe doesn’t just rely on dried fruit, there’s apples as well to add sweetness and moisture, as well as vanilla, spices and orange juice.


Ingredients for the mincemeat

Makes enough for 12 mince pies
• 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (or I used 140g of apples; can be cooking apples or eating apples)
• 3 teasp of vanilla extract
• 300g of dried fruit
• Juice of 2 oranges (or I have used apple juice)
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground ginger



Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and place on a medium heat.
Simmer for 30 minutes, until the fruit is nice and soft

This recipe is from Deliciously Ella’s Mince pies

2 Reduce the sugar

Often recipes can have lots of sugar and taste very sweet so why not try reducing the added  sugar a little?


Reducing the amount of sugar in cake recipes by up to one-quarter to one-third may have very  little effect on the overall result.


In this gorgeous bake by Donal Skehan for Sticky Maple, Apple & Ginger Cake

I reduce the sugar by 50g

I use a little less coconut sugar instead of brown sugar (for a richer flavour)

I increased the fresh grated ginger (for a more ginger taste)


3 Reduce the white flour

Most baking recipes use white flour that has been refined so very little nutrition remains.


One of the easiest ways to make baking more nutritious  is to use replace some of the white flour with wholemeal or whole-wheat flour. Start slowly if you haven’t tried this before and gradually build up to a third or  half the total amount of flour.  


 This is a lovely recipe  for gingerbread cookies and I always use 50% wholemeal flour and 50% white flour.


·  1 cup flour (I use half plain white flour and half wholemeal flour)

·  1/2 teaspoon baking powder

·  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

·  1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or more if you would like a stronger ginger taste, I use nearly 1/4 teaspoon)

·  1/8 teaspoon allspice or mixed spice

·  1/8 teaspoon salt

·  2 tablespoons maple syrup

·  1 tablespoon molasses

·  2 tablespoons milk

·  1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)



  • Place all ingredients into a bowl and use your hand to mix together to form a dough; gently but thorough to incorporate the butter into the dough. (If the dough still seems a little too dry, you can add another tablespoon of milk but go easy on the liquid as more will make the dough stickier). It’s ready when it holds together when you try to form it into a ball.

  • Make a flattened disc of dough. Optional: Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. This will make the dough a little less sticky for rolling out, but it works okay to skip this step too if the kids don’t want to wait. 

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Roll the dough about ¼-inch thick between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap. (You can do it on a lightly floured surface, but I always find this easier. You’ll want to use parchment paper if you skipped chilling the dough so it doesn’t stick.)

  • Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. (Keep an eye on them after 8 minutes since the edges can brown fast.)

  • Remove from the oven, let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and decorate with icing.

Recipe courtesy of yummytoddlerfood

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