I don’t know about you but for some reason I’m enjoying the festive season even more than ever this year.
Maybe it’s got something to do with this Xmas being the last one of this decade!
Maybe it’s got something to do with having little children (that help you to become aware and be in awe of every little thing).
Maybe it’s because I don’t have a giant 8.5 month preggie belly like I did last year and in 2015 (so I can do cool and ‘dangerous’ things like ice skating!)
Maybe it’s the giddy thought of our forthcoming flight to California and spending Christmas Day the American way with my best friend, aka Lake’s Godmama.
Maybe it’s the ecstatic feeling of making New Year’s Eve plans with my sister and the thought of seeing more of her in 2020. (A very Russian belief says that the people you’re welcoming in the new year with are the people you’ll be spending a lot of time with over that new year. It may be superstitious but I’ve always enjoyed choosing my NYE crew thoughtfully- you’re guaranteed a great party if nothing else).
Maybe it’s because I finally feel like I got my health back and I’ve lots of energy and extra hours in my day to enjoy being alive! (Thanks to LMS Wellness for all the advice and to my fellow Hay House author, Medical Medium for all the info on celery juice, which I’m now drinking for the forth week in a row).
Or maybe it’s all because of our Christmas tree in The Living Room.
Or the fact that this is the only month of the year, that we're holding not one, not two, but three Festive In The Wild Afternoon Teas.
Or maybe it's the fact that I had a stall at my first ever (which also happens to be my favourite ever!) Christmas Market this year. Walton Street Market was seriously the best! Reindeer, camels, owls, jazz, traditional organ grinder, the Xmas carols quire, hot kombucha, my cheezecakes not melting, festive vibes for dayzzzz!
Or maybe it's because 1st of December landed on a Sunday this year and we kicked off the 2019 festivities at a Christmas lunch with special friends.
I made this nut-free Mango Chai & Lime Cheezecake on a Gingerbread Base and it was a hit and a half! Now you too can make it...
Mango Chai & Gingerbread Lime Cheezecake
(nut free, dairy free, gluten free, raw)
1 cup (90g) jumbo oats
1 cup (100g) desiccated coconut
1 cup (150g) pitted dates
1 tbsp grated ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
-Process all the ingredients except maple syrup until completely broken down.
-Add maple syrup to the food processor and process some more until a large ball develops.
-Transfer to a 7 inch springform tin and press using your hands or the back of a spoon.
GINGER LIME LAYER
1 cup (240ml) hot boiling water
3/4 cup (135g) xylitol
1 block (200g) creamed coconut
3/4 cup (155g) extra virgin coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
1 ripe avocado (150g of flesh)
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice, approx. 2-3 limes
2 tbsp grated ginger root
1/2 tsp spirulina powder, optional
-Dissolve xylitol in boiling water, inside a blender jug. Chop up the block of creamed coconut and add it to the blender, then blend on high using a tamper rod.
-Add all remaining ingredients and blend again until creamy.
-Pour over GINGER BREAD BASE and smooth out the surface with back of spatula.
MANGO CHAI LAYER
1/2 cup (120ml) cold water
1 tbsp agar-agar flakes
200g ripe mango flesh, approx 1 mango
8 soft pitted dates or 3 medjool dates, de-stoned and soaked if too dry
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp spice mix (mine had cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom)
-Pour water into pan, sprinkle with agar-agar flakes and heat without stirring until boiling. Reduce heat, simmer and stir occasionally for 5-10 mins until flakes are completely dissolved.
-Transfer the agar water and all remaining ingredients into a blender. Blend using a tamper rod until smooth.
-Pour over GINGER LIME LAYER and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
-To set, transfer to the fridge overnight or to the freezer for 4 hours. Store refrigerated at all times and serve cold.