There are so many challenges of the holidays, not the least, is the temptation to eat lots of lovely food that’s sure to flare gut symptoms and slice our energy further. I’m just not strong willed enough to avoid holiday food altogether, instead I try to make my own versions that limit the damage. It’s great that so many of them can be made in advance. I start with xmas puds as they are always best when they have a couple of months to mature.
- Chop the prunes, dates, figs and apricots to roughly the size of the other dried fruit.
- Combine all the dried fruit.
- Add the spices, the juice and rind of the lemon and orange and the booze. (I like to use a mixture of sherry and brandy)
- Mix them up well and leave to soak overnight stirring occasionally (I often find I leave them several days until I can find the energy for the next stage)
- Peel and grate the carrot and the apple and mix them in.
- Add the ground seeds, ground almonds and chopped pecans. (I grind my own seeds in a coffee grinder but you can buy ready ground seed mixes. You don’t have to use the exact same combination I’ve chosen)
- Whisk the eggs and melt the coconut oil and mix it all up together.
- Grease pudding bowl and press the mixture in, careful to push out any air pockets. (I made 4 small puddings (2-4 servings) and 2 very small ones (1-2 servings) but this mixture would also make at least 2 large family sized puddings.
- I have lids for most of my pudding pots but for those I don’t I cover with a layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil, with a tuck in it to allow expansion. I secure them with elastic bands.
- Steam for 2-3 hours depending on size, until the mixture is darker and firm to touch. My steamer needs topping up with water every 45 minutes or so, so I make sure I keep resetting an alarm to remind me. When I’ve made just one large pudding (about half the quantity above) I’ve steamed it in a pressure cooker for about 45 minutes. You can also microwave them for about 3 of 4 minutes but it’s harder to get the cooked evenly through.
- Store in a cool dry place. They will often last several months but don’t always make it unscathed to the next xmas if we don’t eat them all up. (I make several to share as gifts and to take with me if invited to eat with family or friends)
- To serve, steam them for another 20-40 minutes or microwave for 2-3 minutes
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