Category Archives: food

My 5 must have foods for Chirstmas

My 5 must have foods for Chirstmas

I know, it’s only just mid November and I’ve said the C-word. But I have a reason! Not only is it Holiday Food the topic of this week’s Friday 5 hosted by Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy, but this weekend is Stir Up Sunday, the traditional day when Christmas puddings are made. And if we’re talking about holiday food then you need time to work out what pudding to make!

So without further ado here are my 5 festive favourites.

5 festive favourites that happen to be #vegan. Click To Tweet

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding
By Matt Riggott from Edinburgh, Scotland, via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without this spicy, fruity, steamed dome of deliciousness, and it is what you should be making this Sunday! I don’t really have a recipe that I use every year but it must contain a lot of spice, different dried fruits and alcohol of some sort. It’s usually brandy or rum but I have been known to use orange liqueur as well.

One thing that will be different this year, and hopefully a lot easier, is that I will be steaming it in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. Most recipes call for 3-5 hours of steaming to cook the pud. Since I had an unfortunate incident where I let the pan boil dry and ruined a good saucepan, I’ve usually put a timer on every 20 minutes to remind me to check the water levels. And that means 3-5 hours of not being able to get on with anything else.

Now I have a pressure cooker with a steamer function it’s going to be a lot easier! Most guides say an hour will steam a large pudding. You put it on steam without pressure for half the time and then put the pud under pressure. So no more jumping up and down every 20 minutes and no more steamy kitchen.

If you don’t want to make your own pudding then there are a lot of ready made puddings out there and many are suitable for vegans. Just check the ingredients!

Mince pies

3 jars of homemade mincemeat.

Well to make mince pies, you need mincemeat! And I just so happen to have a great recipe right here on the blog. Mince pies are Christmas to me, it’s what was left out for Father Christmas along with a glass of cherry brandy, and eating the first one signals the start of Christmas!

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine (c) rpavich on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpavich/
Mulled Wine (c) rpavich on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpavich/

There is nothing better after being on a walk with the pooch on a crisp wintery afternoon than coming home, lighting the fire and having a glass of mulled wine. Even better if you have a mince pie with it!

Mulled wine is just so Christmassy. I used to make mine by warming wine on the stove, adding spices, orange juice, brandy and sugar. But I now have a cheats way and use mulling syrup!

This Gourmet Mulling syrup is on my Christmas shopping list every year. It has just the right combination of spices and isn’t too sweet if you follow the proportions they recommend.

Brussel Sprouts

Now on to the one that divides families up and down the country. The dreaded Brussel sprout. For many people, me included, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a sprout on the plate but a lot of people hate them. This hatred may be due to either having to endure soggy sprouts or rock hard demons each Christmas.

For those of you who are sprout haters I challenge you to try a roasted sprout. This is how I now have my sprouts every Christmas. Roasting them brings out a nutty, caramelised flavour and my favourite way of cooking them is with hazelnuts as instructed by Chloe Coscarelli.

Bread Sauce

bread sauce
Bread Sauce, recipe and photo on the Tesco website

I only ever make bread sauce at Christmas. I don’t know why as it is simple to make and very tasty.

I used a traditional recipe and just veganise it by using plant based milk such as soya or oat milk and vegan margarine instead of butter. A lot of recipes call for a tablespoon or two of cream but I just leave that out. But one thing I don’t skimp on is the nutmeg, it’s the freshly grated nutmeg that makes the sauce for me.

This bread sauce recipe is very close to what I do except I use regular white bread, not gluten free.

What are your top festive foods?

 

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