As you know I have made changes to my health and diet over the last year. So for this festive time I wanted to make something that reminded me of the spices in Christmas mince pies and Christmas cakes which I traditionally ate but have decided not to eat this year. I don’t feel hard done by because I know how these edible goods make me feel and I no longer want to put up with feeling sick. (If, like me, you are looking for creative ways and support for weight loss and eating healthier food during this festive season you can also listen to Dani Spies’s talk posted on Clean and Delicious WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS VS. COMMITMENTS How Important Is The Scale. I like her posts as she has an encouraging manner and knows the weight loss journey as she has personally faced it herself.)
Getting back to the Christmas spice rusks, I decided to adapt my Buttermilk and Aniseed rusk recipe that I usually make. I had already been experimenting with the type of flour used as I avoid, as much as possible, eating wheat flour and with a few exchanges had created a healthier version. All I had to do now was add some extra ingredients to make it especially tasty with a unique Christmas spice flavour.
Ingredients (for both recipes)
I have shown both lists of ingredients so that you can compare them but to be clear you would only be using the list in the second column for the Christmas spice rusks.
|Original buttermilk and aniseed rusks||Christmas spice rusks|
|5 cups self-raising flour||2 cups flour |
2 cups maize meal
1 cup mixed seeds and nuts
1cup cake mix
1 cup chopped glaceed ginger
|5 cups digestive bran or nutty wheat flour||2 cups nutty wheat flour |
3 cups oat flour*
|1 ½ cups sugar||1 cup brown sugar |
½ cup molasses
|1 ½ cup oil||½ olive oil |
220 g butter
|2 tsp. baking powder||9 tsp. baking powder (because I did not use self-rising flour)|
|3 eggs||4 eggs (because of the added seeds, nuts and fruit)|
|1 carton buttermilk / 2cups||2 cups milk |
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
|½ tsp. salt||1 tsp salt|
|2 Tbsp. Aniseed||15 g mixed spice|
*To make your own oat flour put the required amount of rolled oats in a blender and process until it is as fine as you need.
You can go to the Buttermilk and Aniseed rusks recipe if you need the original recipe and method.
Method for Christmas spice rusks
Mix the dry ingredients together, including the spices, nuts, seeds, ginger and cake mix;
rub the butter into the dry mixture next;
in a separate dish beat together the eggs, oil, milk and lemon juice;
add liquid to dries to make a soft dough.
Put into baking pan, either: shape into tennis ball size balls and arrange so that they are touching or the whole mixture in.
Bake at 180 degrees C for +- 30 minutes, and then decrease the heat to 100 degrees C until golden and cooked.
Remove from the oven and whilst hot cut into rusks (finger slices) and allow steam to escape. Stack on wire shelves or trays so that air can circulate and return to the warm oven (70 degrees C) to dry out. It takes quite a while to dry and I use my sun-room on sunny days and arrange the trays on my washing dryer with netting covering it to dry them out.
The mixing and baking do not take long but the drying takes time. Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think of it. Do you have any secret treats that you enjoy at Christmas time that do not contain flour?
Warm wishes to the Northern hemisphere and cool salutations to the Southern hemisphere.