Give the Gift of Food This Christmas

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Christmas is a great time of year but can be a very stressful few weeks for some. There is a huge amount of pressure on people regarding money in the form of presents, parties and feasts to be prepared.

After nearly a year away travelling, I’m almost broke and don’t have the money for presents. This year instead I’m giving my time to others – by simply calling in to catch-up with friends, making a cake or some treats, inviting a gang over for food or deliver one of my homemade gifts to someone special in my life.

Here are some of my favourite things to make and give to others. So, if you are stuck for a gift for someone with limited money why not try one of these recipes? You will probably have half the ingredients in the cupboard already and the remainder will cost less than €5. But it’s not about the cost, it’s about the love and time you put into creating this unique gift just for your chosen person.

Sticking to a food or fitness routine can be difficult at Christmas. Check out my top tips that featured this week on the WellFest blog.

Christmas Food Gifts; Delalicious

Granola – Save the cooking for later in the day and start Christmas morning by munching on granola with some yoghurt and fresh fruit.  Homemade granola is a great gift as it will keep fresh for ages in a jar. Fill the biggest jar you have at home with granola, tie a ribbon and tag on it and another present is off your shopping list. Add a little more Christmas to the granola by adding some cinnamon or all spice, dried cranberries or apricots or some fresh orange juice to the oil.20170702_111432 - Copy (2)

Sweet Chilli Sauce – This is such a versatile sauce that is literally made in minutes. If your friend likes a little or a lot of spice you can tailor the sauce to their needs. This sauce will keep fresh for 3 months once stored in a cool place.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Oat Slices – Christmas is all about a little bit of decadence and these white chocolate oat slices are just that. Pop a few slices into a bag, tie with ribbon and you instantly have a fancy homemade gift ready for any unannounced visitors or last minute gifts.White Chocolate, Cranberry & Apricot Oat Slice; Delalicious

Homemade Pesto – I don’t think I’ve met a person yet who doesn’t like pesto! All you need is a bit of elbow grease (food processor, coffee grinder or pestle and mortar will also work well), herbs (coriander, basil, nettles), seeds or nuts (pumpkin, sunflower, almonds, cashews, pine nuts), garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and some parmesan. Keep fresh in the fridge for at least 1 month once covered in oil.

Dark Chocolate Oat Truffles – If you’re shopping for a health conscious minded person or a lover of energy balls then look no further! You will have these chocolatey oat truffles ready in minutes. No need for gift wrap just pop the truffles into a jar or resealable bag, add a little ribbon and their edible healthy food gift is ready.20171214_143511-01

Happy Cooking and Merry Christmas,

Sinéad

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Remember to add #Delalicious to all your cooking, baking & treat making on social media posts. 

Blueberry, White Chocolate & Coconut Muffins

Treats

Muffins are the perfect treat, they are so easy to make and a real crowd pleaser.

The inspiration for these muffins came about whilst completing one of the New Zealand Great Walks called the Routeburn. These walks are generally greater than two days in length where your sleeping options are either to camp or share bunk-style huts. Either way everything you need for the hike has to be carried by you. As food is quite heavy, your meals need to be light. Oftentimes, the first day is the hardest as you adjust to your pack, being on your feet walking for hours on end and scaling repeated heights. This is where I tasted one of the most delicious muffins of all time as my friend who waved me off at the start had packed a surprise treat. 

Here I’ve tried my best to recreate it to share with you.

Makes 15 medium sized muffins.

Blackberry, Coconut & White Chocolate Muffins, Delalicious

  • 325g wholewheat flour
  • 195g plain flour
  • 130g dark brown sugar
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp coconut, threaded or dessicated
  • 150g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g butter, melted
  • 130g blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 150ml milk
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C fan and oil silicon muffin trays or line metal muffin trays.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir through the lemon zest, coconut and white chocolate.
  4. Add the eggs, butter, blueberries and milk to the bowl and stir to combine – try not to overmix.
  5. Spoon the mix evenly into the prepared muffin trays.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire-rack.

Berrylicious

Treats

I don’t know about you but I love raspberries!! It is possibly due to the fact that my home in Tipperary is usually filled to the gills with raspberries around this time of year. We have 40 year old raspberry bushes growing in our garden that deliver a whopper crop of berries every year. If you were to open the fridge at home you would be confronted by bowl after bowl of freshly picked berries. More importantly you wouldn’t be able to leave the house without a box of raspberries.20170629_191943.jpgAs I’m travelling away from home, I’m not able to help out this year with the picking, eating, preserving and creating of treats. I’ve decided to share with you my favourite tried and tested raspberry recipes.

Raspberries are at their best right now so find your nearest locally grown crop and taste the goodness of fresh berries. Freezing raspberries is a great option too to allow you keep tasting the goodness all year long.

img_5558-1Chocolate Avocado Mousse Cups – a light chocolate mousse topped with the freshest raspberries.

cheesecakeWhite Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake – ever so decadent but also very delicious.

img_5111Berry & Oat Muffins – any berry is good in these muffins filled with oats.

img_6154Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake – the perfect summer celebration cake.

img_6263Berry & Oat Recharger – whizz up some raspberries for the perfect post-exercise recovery option.