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Gluten-Free Pistachio + Orange Shortbread Cookies

gluten free pistachio orange shortbread

Every year my family goes away for a week at Christmas. It’s always been a week of indulgence filled with chocolates, shortbread biscuits, more chocolates, fruit mince pies, more chocolates, leftover dessert.. you get the idea. For a few years I’d indulge too and write it off as a once-a-year binge.

But the more I learnt about health and how what we eat effects how we feel, the more I realised that having a full-on blowout that left me feeling awful for days wasn’t really how I wanted to spend the holidays. And so over the years I’ve added in more and more healthy substitutions and alternatives to the menu (without anyone really noticing I might add). This year I will be aiming to have a mostly* clean Christmas. *full disclosure: there’s no doubt some champagne + trifle will be enjoyed!

Once I decided that I would start taking control of every food-related situation I found myself in, this became SO much easier to do. Rather than the situation happening to me and having to ‘just go along with it’ – the xmas party, the family BBQ, the holiday, the friend’s birthday bash etc – I would find ways to give myself choices in the situation and gain back some control. Sure, I could indulge in some birthday cake if I wanted to, but I also had a healthy alternative to eat instead. Or I’d eat beforehand so I wouldn’t be starving and have no choice but to dive into the fried food to avoid passing out (or even worse….getting hungry in public). Or I’d bring along a plate of something that I could eat (which is always appreciated by the host).

So, with this approach, this year I’m taking a lot of my own food on our family holiday so I feel like I have a choice and I don’t feel bad for saying no to what everyone else is eating (if I’d prefer not to eat it). Of course I hate missing out on delicious treats as much as the next person, which is why I have been playing around with a healthy gluten free shortbread cookie recipe which I will bake and take along to enjoy when the mince-pies and shortbread come out. Read more

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Sugar Free Xmas Brownies

sugar free xmas brownies

These brownies are probably my all-time favourite treat! And they are so much healthier than the original that I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty devouring a big slice!

The sweetness comes from the natural sugars in roasted sweet potato and honey – nothing processed – and it’s completely gluten-free as well. Win-win!

I’ve tweaked my original recipe to give it a Christmas vibe, as this would be the perfect healthy dessert to indulge in over the festive season. If you’d like some other ideas for a healthier Christmas this year, you can check out my 16 Ways to Have a Healthier December post.

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Healthy banana bread with pear

Healthy-Banana-Bread-with Pear

If you’re after a healthy Sunday afternoon treat, look no further than this quick, easy and totally delicious healthy banana bread with pear! It’s both gluten and dairy-free and full of fibre and good omega 3 fats.

In the spirit of seasonal eating, I wanted to include some seasonal fruit in this healthy banana bread recipe and I’m glad I did! Pears are out in abundance at the moment, and for this recipe I used beautiful golden Beurre bosc pears which work really well in desserts. 

Using flaxseed is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which can be inflammatory to the body, and the combination of coconut flour, flax AND pear makes this a fibre packed delight!

Why it’s good for you:

  • Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 which maintains the healthy functioning of the nervous system and manganese which is important for everyday skin health and blood sugar regulation. 
  • Pears are high in fiber to maintain Read more