Four Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free Yummy Christmas Treats

img_2880Some of these recipes are a couple of years old, so most of you won’t have seen them. These were a big hit when I first made them and I thought I would provide the links again so you can take a look and see if they’re worth trying. Containing no refined sugar, they are healthier alternatives to commercial Christmas treats and can make lovely gifts.

Christmas Truffles

These are a similar recipe to the raw Christmas pudding (see below) but have been adapted to make into small treats and present as gifts if you so wish. They have walnuts and dates in them. They are made in the food processor and then rolled in whatever topping you like.


This raw Christmas pudding is full of dried fruit and nuts, can be sweet or tangy, is very filling and satisfying – you only need a small serving – it will keep well in the fridge or freezer and is yummy with vanilla coconut yogurt or cashew cream.


Spiced & Fruity Vegan Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding!


Spicy Orange Fruit Balls are made with figs, apricots, coconut/almonds (can be nut-free) orange zest and cardamom, a real taste of Christmas and a hit with everyone who tried them, even the Tweens! Children like making them, too, with supervision. They make a lovely gift and a change from sweets or sugary commercial chocolate.

I’ve saved the best till last:


GoGo Berry Fudge: So Decadent, It Should Be Illegal!

These are so chocolatey and luxurious, but they are raw and full of nutritional goodies. They make an excellent gift in a decorated tin or jar.

I devised this recipe for The Raw Chocolate Company

Unfortunately, they no longer sell the goldenberries, although they had a few raw chocolate-covered ones left at the time of writing (4/12/17), but you may be able to get them elsewhere. They are quite tart, but you can use other dried fruit, maybe try apple juice-infused dried cranberries or apricots? The fudge is sweetened with maple syrup.

Oh, and this recipe comes with a video by Belinda Carlisle’s GoGos to sing along to while you make them!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Raw Chocolate Orange Christmas Pudding Bites

img_2454I put a picture of these on Instagram as soon they were ready so as to have a record of the ingredients until I had time to write them down – it was a very busy day in terms of administration, phonecalls etc – and I very swiftly received a message saying ‘early!’ So I’m holding back this post for a couple of weeks, I don’t want to spook the horses (but as I write, we are only 5 weeks away and preparation is everything!)

We’ve used leftover almond nut pulp, but you can use alternative milk pulp or if you have a nut allergy, use ground sunflower seeds or similar, it will alter the flavour slightly . (See How To Make Almond Milk for the nutritional benefits of almonds).

These are healthy raw treats, full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fibre and protein and contain no refined sugar.

Some people may find the golden berries a little tart, you can substitute for more gojis or dried apricots. See also Choco Almond Truffles for a sweeter version with coconut and maple syrup.


1 Cup Almond Milk Pulp, squeezed dry (or any other nut/tiger nut pulp or ground sunflower seeds)

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/4 Cup Goji Berries, soaked in a few drops of the orange juice*

1/4 Cup Golden Berries*

1/4 Cup Dried Mulberries*

Juice and zest 1 1/2 small Mandarin Oranges

1 Tbsp Cacao Powder*

1 Tbsp Melted Raw Cacao Butter (4 Pulsin’ Cacao Butter Buttons)

Blend all of the above in a food processor until it will come together and roll into balls.

Roll into balls and place in the fridge to firm up while you prepare the topping.

For the raw chocolate topping:

Melt approx. 1/3 bar of Pitch Dark or Orange Raw Chocolate*

with 2 Pulsin’ Cacao Butter Buttons (about 1 Tsp melted)

and a squeeze of the remaining mandarin orange

(do this in a bowl over a pan of hot but not boiling water)

Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and top with a goji berry moistened with a drop of orange juice.

Leave to set and keep in an airtight container in the fridge.


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Christmas Truffles

img_2880These are similar to the mix for the Spiced Fruity Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding  The method is a little different, however. You may want to make individual treats for a gift or if you don’t need a whole pudding. They keep well in the fridge or freezer.

As always, measurements are approximate, substitutions are encouraged so long as they are like for like. If you don’t have enough dates, use some raisins or figs to make it up. The recipe contains no refined sugar.

The mix is vegan, gluten-free and all done in the food processor, so it’s easy-peasy lemon squeezy!

Different combinations of tart or sweet berries will give you a different balance of sweetness.

The fun bit is that if you really want, you can scoop out small amounts of the mixture and try them with a different combination of spices, or dust with a different powder eg cacao, lucuma powder, fine tiger nut flour,** finely ground sweet apricot kernels or almonds, and you can test as you go along: add a bit of this or that, see what you prefer and then next time do it all for real with your preferred combination!

Good for getting the kids involved rolling them in different ingredients and trying them out.

They also make a great gift.

So put on some Seasonal music – my antidote to all the shopping centre Christmas muzak: Miley Cyrus, Permanent December – and off we go!


Half Cup Sweet Apricot Kernels (or almonds, roughly chopped) pre-soak them while you get everything else ready
Half Cup Walnuts
Half Cup Dates
Half Cup Goji Berries
Half Cup Dried Mulberries
Zest and Juice of Half an Orange (or apple juice if you prefer a sweeter flavour)
Zest of Half a Lemon
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
Or whichever spices you prefer, adjust amount according to taste


Pre-soak the Sweet Apricot Kernels
Soak Berries in the Orange Juice (or apple juice if you want it less citrusy)

Drain Kernels and process
Add remainder of ingredients
Process & Stir, Process & Stir, it will take a while, until you arrive at your preferred consistency.

Scoop spoons of the mixture and roll into balls in your hands.
Refrigerate to firm up.
Lightly dust with Raw Lucuma Fruit Powder or whatever else you fancy. It has a slightly malted flavour and is rich in healthy nutrients.

You could also dip them in melted raw chocolate, add a little raw cacao butter to make it dip easier and prevent it being too brittle when it sets.
Place in truffle cases, decorate with holly and gracefully accept all the compliments!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Spicy Orange Fruit Balls – A Taste of Christmas


These raw treats are loved by everyone who tastes them, including the sceptical male Tweens in the family! They are moist, sweet and fruity and will keep for ages in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. They are quick and easy to make and would be a lovely gift if placed in pretty cases and a suitable box, decorated with colourful ribbon or string.

They provide a wealth of nutrients and make an excellent afternoon pick-me-up, a lunchbox treat or after-school energy hit.

Depending on the size, makes about 15.

All measurements are approximate.

Vegan, Gluten-Free & Organic.

Can be nut-free if you have a nut allergy.


10 Dried Figs, stems removed, chopped

6 Soft, Sulphur-Free Dried Apricots, chopped

(You can substitute other dried fruit but the overall flavour will be different)

1 Tbsp Orange Zest and a small squeeze of juice

1 Cup Desiccated Coconut or half and half with Almonds, freshly ground

1 Tsp Organic Maple Syrup (optional)

1/2 Tsp Ground Cardamom Seeds

A little Desiccated Coconut and/or ground Raw Sweet Apricot Kernels* or Almonds, Raw Cacao Powder*, Tiger Nut Flour* for dusting.


Process the dried fruit, then add the rest of the ingredients and process again until it all comes together.

(Here comes the lovely messy bit!)

Scoop up about a rounded tablespoon of the mixture and using your hands, shape gently into balls.

Next, roll some of them in Dessicated Coconut, ground Raw Sweet Apricot Kernels, Almonds or a little dusting of Raw Cacao Powder or Tiger Nut Flour.

Refrigerate to firm up and keep chilled in an airtight container or if they aren’t going to be gobbled up at once, keep them in the freezer.

Lick your fingers!


Ps You might also like Ginger & Lemon Bliss Balls with a Bite!

*The Raw Chocolate Company

*The Tiger Nut Company

 Copyright: Chris McGowan