Xmas Recipes, Additive Free

Melanie Avery – Author of ‘Let’s Party Additive Free‘ and her newest book ‘Let’s Celebrate Christmas, Additive Free‘ – has generously shared the following recipes for Christmas. This latest book includes some important facts to be aware of when choosing additive-free products, as well as:
• A breakdown of common store-bought Christmas foods, their ingredients and the possible reactions to these ingredients.
• Ideas for creating your own family traditions.
• Fun trivia facts and decoration tips.
• Delicious recipes for all Christmas celebrations.
• Shopping lists for store-ready Christmas food as well as recommended ingredients for recipes.
• Details of complementary resources.

Scroll down to read about Melanie and her motivation to educate parents on additive-free cooking for children.

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

2 ½ cups organic mixed dried fruit, finely chopped
½ cup organic sultanas
1 tbsp orange zest
½ cup 100% orange juice
250g pure butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups rice crumbs (gluten free bread crumbs can also be used)
1 cup almond meal
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Homemade Custard to serve


  1. Combine dried mixed fruit, sultanas, orange zest and orange juice in a bowl. Cover and stand overnight.
  2. Grease and line a 5 cup capacity pudding basin.
  3. Use electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the dried fruit mixture, rice crumbs, almond meal, xanthin gum, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon into the prepared basin and cover with baking paper and foil. Tie around the rim of the pudding basin with kitchen string and secure tightly.
  5. Stand the pudding on a trivet (a baking or cooling rack can work as well) and place in a deep saucepan or stockpot. Fill with enough water to come halfway up the sides.
  6. Cover and cook for 4-4 ½ hours over a medium heat. Top up with water as needed.
  7. Remove the basin from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. Serve with Cyndi’s Homemade Custard.

TIP: The pudding can be made ahead of time if needed. When the pudding has cooled, cover in foil and the place in a snap lock bag in the refrigerator until required. To reheat, remove from the bag and place on a low – medium heat in the oven for ½ – 1 hour.

Agar Agar Jelly


1 ½ tablespoons agar agar (I like to use flakes available at health food stores)
½ cup of hot water
2 cups 100% fruit juice (of your choice – think of the colours you would like)
1 -3 cup of diced fresh fruit or additive free tinned fruit (drained, with the juice contributing to the 2 cups being used – this is optional)


  1. Put the cubed fruit, if using, into some small moulds. Little plastic wine tasting cups are a good size for little children as are snack cups. Alternatively, one large jelly can be made if you prefer but this will take longer to set.
  2. Put the agar agar into a pan with the hot water, bring to the boil & simmer rapidly for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Pour the agar agar into the fruit juice & mix. Pour over the cubed fruit in the moulds & refrigerate until set.
  4. ENJOY!

TIP:  Make jellies with pure 100% fruit juices. Red jelly can be made using grape juice and mixed berries, orange jelly using orange or mango juice, green jelly using kiwi fruit juice, yellow using pineapple juice and so on.


Gluten Free Gingernut Biscuits (Egg, Nut & Gluten Free)

125g pure butter, softened
¼  cup brown sugar
¼  cup pure honey
½  tsp natural vanilla essence
1 cups white rice flour
1 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
¼  tsp ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 180oC / 160oC fan forced. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Place the flours, baking powder and ginger into a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Roll the mixture into small balls and place the balls, 2cm apart, on baking trays. Gently flatten with a fork.
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on the trays.


Passionfruit Rounds

125g pure butter, softened
1/3 cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp natural vanilla essence
1 passionfruit, halved
1 cups plain flour
¼ cup rice flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 160oC / 140oC fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the passionfruit pulp and then the flours.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and place on the prepared trays. Flatten the balls with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden. Leave the balls to stand on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

TIP: these can be iced to look extra special – combine 1 cup pure icing sugar with 1 tbsp water and stir until smooth. If the icing is too thin, add a little icing sugar, a tbsp at a time. If the icing is too thick, add a couple of drops of water at a time. Add a squeeze lemon juice for some zing in your icing.

Additive Free Christmas Pudding


Makes a 2.75 litre pudding

Be sure your dried fruits are 100% fruit with no additives such as sulphur. Choosing organic helps.

melted pure butter for greasing
900g organic mixed dried fruit
75g finely chopped dried dates
200g organic currants
200g chopped organic dried apricots
250g pure butter
115g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
175ml water
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
3 eggs, lightly beaten
170g SR flour
90g plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ginger

5 tablespoons whiskey (no additives)


  1. Grease a 2.75 litre pudding basin / tin with melted butter and line the base with baking paper. Mix together the dried fruit, dates, currants, apricots, butter, sugar, syrup and water in a large, heavy based pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes (or until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the bicarb soda and set aside to cool completely.
  3. Transfer the fruit mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the eggs, flours, spices and whiskey and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin/tin and smooth the surface. Place a piece of baking paper over the top of the pudding mixture, cover with foil and then with the pudding basin/tin lid.
  4. Place the basin on a trivet (I just used a small plate) in a large saucepan or otn. Add enough boiling water to come two thirds up the side of the basin/tin. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and boil steadily for 5 hours, topping up with boiling water as required.
  5. Carefully remove the basin/tin from the pan and let it cool completely. Remove the foil and baking paper and wrap the basin/tin  tightly in foil. Store the pudding in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. (I took my pudding out of the tin and wrapped it in foil as I was making more).
  6. To serve, remove the foil and cover the surface with baking paper, foil and the lid and simmer on a trivet in a large pan of boiling water for 2 hours (I reheated mine in the microwave – without the foil of course!). Serve with cream, homemade ice cream or homemade custard.


About Melanie Avery

Melanie Avery is the owner of online business Let’s Party Additive Free and author of two self published book titles, ‘Let’s Party! Additive Free’ and ‘Let’s Celebrate Christmas! Additive Free’ and one eBook title, ‘Let’s Visit! Additive Free’.

Three years ago, her family embraced an additive free lifestyle, putting the focus back on real foods. In a nutshell, the change was made due to one of her children having digestive and emotional issues but since eliminating these additives, she found that all family members have achieved great health benefits.

When birthdays arrived, Melanie faced with the challenge of creating a birthday party that was still fun and colourful but without the artificial ingredients. She came up with many ideas on how to decorate cakes, party tables, take home treat bags and create an awesome birthday party. These ideas formed the basis of her first publication, ‘Let’s Party Additive Free’ and business, which is continually expanding.

‘Let’s Visit! Additive Free’ has been designed to help the carers of children who live additive free, provide appropriate food choices. The most recent title in the series, ‘Let’s Celebrate Christmas! Additive Free’, is a guide for creating a joyous, festive and additive-free Christmas.

‘Let’s Party Additive Free’ has been developed to provide parents worldwide with access to valuable information about food additives, health and wellbeing for their families. It is my belief that all families should have access to simple, cost effective and informative resources and tools, enabling them make the best choices possible for them and to in turn create an amazing, healthy and fun lifestyle for their family and friends.




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