I cannot believe Christmas is on Sunday! I am like a child opening up an advent calender counting down the days until I can open the big prize at the end. For me, that would be a wonderful day with my mum, dad, family and friends. I am so grateful to have my lovely parents here for a whole month! My mum and I have already been cooking up a storm. Yes, I will be sharing the fruits of our labour over the coming months!
Those of you who were following me this time last year might remember me explaining our family Christmas traditions, where we spend every second year with my mum's extended family hosting a four-day-feast in a different Australian city. On the alternate year, everyone spends Christmas with their in-laws. My sister Kara and her husband Leigh, and their two children, Alexandra and Sullivan are spending Christmas with Leigh's family. So mum and dad have flown over to be with me in America. Next year I will fly back to Melbourne, where it is our turn to host the Fisher family extravaganza. My mum is already planning! Ha!
But back to 2011, where we begin making new "American-style" Christmas traditions. We are heading up to Sacramento and San Francisco for Christmas to spend a few days with Scott's family and friends. We are going to enjoy some American Christmas food prepared by his mother (who is an excellent cook), as well as make some Aussie favourites. Mum and I are in charge of making all of the sweet treats to line the Christmas table; and no Christmas would be complete without a double dose of mum's famous brandy sauce! I posted a vegan version of this classic family favourite last year.
Kara and Leigh sent over a delectable pudding they made at their annual "pudding-making-party", where they make Christmas puddings with their friends using Emily's incredible recipe. Her and her mother and sisters are AMAZING cooks and started this tradition many years ago. The group grow in size every year. I don't know how they manage eveything! I cannot imagine the pounds of fruit they go through! But who cares. I swear it is the best Christmas pudding I have ever tasted in my life!
Alas, I am not sharing that recipe with you today. I know, that is very cruel in light of my introduction. But their recipe contains wheat, gluten, dairy and other little colon-clogging nasties that fear would not digest well for sensitives foodies even on Christmas day. I was going to modify their phenomenal recipe in order to make it more forgiving. However, about two weeks ago some fellow healthy foodies Donna and Tora posted their grain free healthy Christmas pudding on my facebook page and I was so taken with them and their website, that I wanted to celebrate them and their recipe this Christmas. I love connecting with other Australians in the blogosphere and wellness arena, and these ladies are fabulous! Mum and I just made this delicious Christmas pudding, and as I type this post my parents are enjoying a mini pudding with brandy sauce as we plot tomorrow's holiday cooking schedule! Mmmm.......
This wonderful recipe was created by Corinna Kovner, an Australian who trained as a chef (French gourmet style) but moved into personal training a few years ago and recently teamed up with Donna and Tora, when they started their company this year. Donna (a Kiwi) was 30kgs/70lbs overweight and Tora (a pom) was 20kgs/45lbs underweight with an eating disorder. They have both now been at their ideal weight for over 15 years now and are on a mission to help others do the same with healthy whole foods and a sensible exercise regime. They believe that weight control, rather than weight loss is the key to success. They have been facilitating workshops in Sydney, Australia (where they both live) and are developing an online componant in orer to reach a worldwide audience in 2012. Check out their wonderful website.
Thankyou Donna, Tora, and Corinna for allowing me to post this wonderful recipe here. This healthy grain free, gluten free, dairy free Christmas pudding is moist and has a wonderful flavour that is not too rich and overpowering. I also love making mini-puds! This Christmas pudding is quick and easy - a great last-minute life saver this Christmas. Give it a go and let me know what you think!
Many of you have emailed me asking which recipes I would recommend for Christmas. Here are some of my favourite Christmas sweet treats that we will be making this holidays season: For cookies, you can't beat the chocolate hazelnut shortbread, the cranberry raisin oatmeal cookies, the chocolate cashew cookies, or the klaicha cookies. For other sweet morsels, the chocolate fruit balls and mango coconut balls are spectacular for lining the Christmas table. If you are looking for quick easy desserts, try the sweet potato pudding, cranberry orange mousse, the lemon cranberry cheesecake, or the blender pecan pie. For festive drinks, the ginger lemonade, cherry limeade and eggnog never go astray.
I wish each and every one of you a very happy holidays with loved ones making wonderful memories around spectacular food!
This recipe published here with permission from Donna and Tora.