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So it seems this year i am actually 100% on schedule for getting this whole christmas thang going. Cue a few cups of good, fresh coffee and some Bert Jansch, a “few” hours in the kitchen and hey presto- homemade, gourmet gifts, all jarred and ready to rock.

Yep, half a day is all you need to get yourself on the homemade, healthy, high vibe gift wagon. Each of these preserves is delicious, full of love and full of nutrition. Thats right, we’re making nutrition decadent this year.

How about the stunning, whiskey kissed chutney? Onions are fantastic for ridding free radicals, reducing imflamation, are anti- oxidants and enhance your immune system. Vinegar has anti bacterial properties and the chia seeds pack heaps of omega fatty acids.

The jam is packed with anti oxidants, immune boasting minerals and vitamin C. The dates a fantastic souce of fibre and again, chia seeds bringing the omega party.

The compote, rammed with amazing flavours that are wonderful for easing digestion, full of fibre and vitamins that reduce blood pressure.

All in all, not what you’d usually expect from luxurious Christmas conserves. Guilt free, health giving and incredibly tasty. Give your loved ones something they’ll not only enjoy but also won’t cause any clogged arteries or expanded waist lines!

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Ginger, Cardamom & Fig Compote:
(Makes 5 jars, Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free)

  • 24 Figs, soft dried, roughly chopped
  • 6 inch thumb of Ginger, finely chopped
  • 8 Pears, cored, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp Cardamom, freshly ground
  • 600g Apples, cored, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp Water
  1. Pop all the ingredients into a large, heavy based pan
  2. Cook for 40- 60 minutes until the fruit is very soft (you may even mash it up a wee bit)
  3. Carefully spoon into sterilised jars, leaving an inch free at the top, cover each jar with parchment and replace the lids
  4. Pop the jars into a large pan with enough water so that the compote is fully submerged (with the tops of the jars above the water line)
  5. Boil for 10 minutes to reseal the jars

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Caramelised Onion & Whiskey Chutney:
(Makes 5 jars, Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free)

  • 12 Red Onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 3 Red Chili, finely chopped
  • 8 sprigs of dried Thyme, crumbled
  • 300ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 300ml Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Whiskey (Single Malt is preferable)
  • 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
  1. Pop the oil in large, heavy based pot, heat on a medium/ high heat
  2. Immediately after, add the onions, thyme, salt and chilli
  3. Cook for 30 minutes or until the onions are very soft
  4. Add the whiskey and both vinegars, cook for 40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half (you’ll want to turn down the heat after about 15 minutes)
  5. Stir in the chia seeds and spoon into sterilised jars (sealing again as detailed above)

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Leith’s Blackberry Jam:
(So called because the fruits were foraged just up the road but you could use any berry of choice, makes 5 jars, Raw (except for the sealing process) Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free)

  • 6-8 cups Blackberries
  • 2 cups Dates, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 cup Water (use that which you soaked the dates in)
  • 4 tbsp Chia Seeds
  1. Blend all the ingredients, except the chia seeds until pretty uniform but still with some whole berries
  2. Stir in the chia seeds and let sit for 20 minutes
  3. Spoon into sterilised jars and reseal as above
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