Christmas Canapes the FoodSpa way – Indulgent but Healthy
Impress your Friends and Family with these
delicious guilt free Canapés.
These recipes are designed especially for those that love Canapés but want to know that what you are eating is healthy and not full of fats, sugars and poor quality ingredients.
Buying high quality ready-made canapés can be very expensive and making your own can be so much more economical and impressive –and I think much tastier.
You will need a baking tray especially for tiny muffins and tarts. There are various brands, I use one from Chefs Kitchen sold in various stores and websites, there are many on the market – they normally have 24 casings.
You will also need something to cut the pastry circles – it should be 6.5 – 7cm, can use a glass if you don’t have a cutter.
All the following recipes can be made with or with a food processor, but I try to do most by hand as this does the least damage to the ingredients. A hand mixer can be very useful for the muffins. You may want to consider some large plastic containers with some paper towels to absorb moisture, to store the canapés or large plates with foil cover, as the following recipes will produce quite a few. These are really good for those Christmas drinks parties, or to start your Christmas day dinner.
I have used some alternative ingredients to what you might
normally find in recipes.
They are chosen for their health promoting properties and wonderful taste.
Rapa Dura Sugar is raw cane sugar and full of nutrients including iron, calcium and magnesium. As it is super sweet, less is needed to sweeten foods; it is also a mix of different sugars, which is much healthier for the body. Why not make your sugar a natural mineral supplement. You can purchase from health stores or even online.
Coconut Butter is a great alternative to processed vegetable fats and cows butter. Also perfect if you are avoiding dairy. It is a saturated fat so should not be heated to too high a degree, and the actual product should state ‘cold pressed’. Heat and processing can damage the fat structure changing it into an unhealthy fat.
Goat’s butter – delicious tasting with less cholesterol and casein proteins
Olive oil – instead of butter in pastry.
Oat milk – instead of milk.
Arrowroot thickener – instead of flour (can get from health stores or order on line).
Spelt flour – instead of normal wheat flour – easier to digest and much less gluten. If you are avoiding gluten altogether – try alternative flour like millet and use arrowroot to thicken sauces.
Seasoning – Pink Himalayan Salt, contains all necessary minerals and iodine, has a nicer flavor than normal salt and more health benefits. Organic finely ground black pepper. Use in moderation – salt can always be added later
Bite size muffins and tartlets –
create the perfect Christmas Canapés
Dairy free (or can use Goat’s butter)
Ingredients – makes 24
70g Coconut Butter (or Goat’s butter)
70g Rapa Dura sugar
100g White Spelt Flour
3 x Eggs
20g Cocoa powder, can use raw cocoa (half the amount for a lighter chocolate taste)
Half teaspoon of baking powder
Half cup of desiccated coconut
Place coconut butter and Rapa Dura sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly, add the eggs and whisk. Gently mix in flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add half the desiccated coconut and mix in.
Fill the muffin tray level off mixture so flatter surface.
Cook for 15-20 minutes on 160 degrees – test the middle ones with a skewer to check if fully cooked. Remove while still warm, smooth a very small amount of coconut butter on top of each one with a knife and press the rest of the desiccated coconut onto the top. It should stick – place in a fridge or leave to cool.
Store in sealed container.
Goat’s Cheese and Shallot Tartlets
185g flour – half whole grain spelt and half white spelt
Cold pressed olive oil – gives more flavor than light – but needs to be cooked on lower heat to avoid damaging the fat. Approx half a cup
Seasoning – Pink Himalayan Salt or sea salt, ground black pepper
A little filtered water
Heat oven to 160 degrees
Place flour in a bowel with seasoning and add olive oil slowly, stopping and rubbing it into the flour with fingers, add more until like light crumbs, now add a little water at a time until the crumbs seal together to make a dough – this should not be too dry as it will be difficult to roll or too wet, add more flour if needed.
Roll out dough on a small amount of flour to prevent sticking, cut 24 rounds out and gently push down into the tray. See picture.
Place in oven for 15 minutes until partially cooked, remove from oven.
3 x eggs
3 x shallots
Half a cup of grated goat’s cheese
Fresh herbs options: Tarragon, parsley or basil
Whisk the eggs and season
Finely slice the shallots – for a stronger flavor, you can leave raw – or cook in small amount of olive oil on a low heat until soft but not brown.
Grate the goat’s cheese
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Fill each pastry cup to brim
Place back into heated oven for 15 minutes until all egg cooked.
Allow to cool slightly and remove from tray.
Prawn and Spinach tartlets – makes 24
Pastry- same as mini Quiche – but allow cooking the cups for
5 minutes longer to become crisper.
1 cup of small cooked prawns (stronger flavour)
Half a finely lemon grass stalk finely chopped
2 x cups of chopped spinach leaves
3 x finely chopped spring onions (or can use finely chopped leek)
Teaspoon of arrowroot powder
A little water
A little olive oil
Seasoning if required
Place a little olive oil in a heated pan, add lemon grass, spring onions and prawns, heat for 2 – 3 minutes stirring. Lower heat. Sprinkle the arrowroot on top and stir in, pour a little water in until there is a small amount of watery sauce (which will be thickened by the arrowroot), add the chopped spinach leaves stir in for 1 minute until leaves are wilted. Remove from heat. Place a teaspoon full of mixture into each pastry cup. Serve warm or cold.
Chicken and Mushroom tartlets – makes 24
Pastry – create the same way as Prawn and Spinach tartlets.
Half a chicken breast or whole thigh – finely chopped – can be cooked or raw
3 large Portobello mushrooms – finely chopped
1 whole medium leek – very finely chopped
1 x desert spoon of finely chopped parsley
A little olive oil
1 x Teaspoon of arrowroot powder
Place olive oil in pan and add chicken and mushrooms stir until chicken well cooked if raw.
Lower heat and add leeks. When softened sprinkle the arrowroot powder and stir in, then slowly add some oat milk until a creamy consistency sauce develops. Add parsley and seasoning.
Take off heat and cool a little. Add a teaspoonful to each pastry cup. Serve warm or cold.
Instead of chicken, double the amount of mushrooms. You can also add different herbs like tarragon or basil.
Christmas mini Muffins – Makes 24
120g Softened Goat’s butter
20g Rapa Dura Sugar
2 x large eggs
70g Whole grain Spelt
70g white spelt
(Or can use all whole grain spelt)
Pinch of baking powder
Half cup of chopped prunes (organic)
Half cup of Raisins or Sultanas (organic)
The rind of one finely chopped or ground fresh organic orange
Handful of sunflower seeds.
Heat oven to 160 degrees.
Place softened butter in a mixing bowl, add Rapa Dura sugar mix in, and then whisk in eggs. Fold in flour, spice and baking powder. Add all the chopped fruit, sunflower seeds and orange rind. Fill each cup in baking tray to brim and any extra leftover add a little more to each cup.
Place in oven for 20 minutes and check if cooked with skewer – if not leave for a further 5-10 minutes.
Remove from heat allow to cool slightly, and remove from tray. Store in airtight container so they don’t dry out if you are storing them for later use.