Christmas Time. Part 1.

Although we celebrate Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas in January, we still respect traditions of the country where we live, that’s why we celebrate Christmas in December too.

It’s hard to explain your 3 year old, why everybody have a holiday, get presents and she doesn’t. It’s easier to follow  local traditions and holidays.

Anyway, Christmas is the birth of Jesus, and if you believe, it doesn’t matter what day or what time you will celebrate it.

We have our own Christmas traditions and rules:

1.get Christmas dinner ready before the first star appears in the sky. It means, as soon as you see the first star the Jesus is born, so you can start eating and celebrate.

2. You should make 12 special dishes for Christmas Eve ( all of them are plant based, with no animal products). These twelve dishes represent the twelve apostles who shared the last meal with Jesus Christ.

3. You should make a special Christmas dish-koliva (boiled rice with raisins, poppy seeds and honey). This is the symbol of Ukrainian Christmas.

4. Kids, people go to everybody’s house on Christmas Eve to sing Christmas Carols. For that they get sweets, treats, presents etc.

I made some dinner at Christmas Eve, unfortunately didn’t make the koliva.

Earlier that day we made some cookies for Santa. To be honest, we spoiled our Santa this year, because we made different sweets for him:

1. Healthy sugar cookies:

It’s super easy recipe. You just use the alternative healthy ingredients instead of the regular one. They turned out very delicious.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil melted (or grass-fed butter at room temp)
  • ½ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all wet ingredients together and combine well
  3. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well
  4. Drop a tablespoon of dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  5. Bake cookies for 8-10 mins (until edges are golden brown)
  6. As cookies are cooling, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar after baking if desired
  7. Cool cookies for at least 5 mins before serving
  8. (Alternatively, if you are cutting out shapes, refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour and then roll out using a rolling pin and additional almond flour and bake the same way)
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2. Raw Chocolate Almond Cookies.
These were the bomb!!!! They taste even better the next day. Santa ate all of his.
Ingredients:
 1 1/2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups medjool dates
1 heaping tablespoon maca powder
2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea saltFrosting:
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut nectarTo make the cookies: throw all the ingredients in your food processor and process until it all sticks together. Form into balls and press into cookies on a baking or dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for 2-4 hours, or “bake” at the lowest temperature in your oven, until they hold together. Alternatively you can leave them as is and put them in the fridge. Up to you. Ain’t nuthin’ but a texture thang.To make the frosting: mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Frost your cookies.

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 1 cup any kind of nuts ( I used pecans)
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
½ cup cocoa or cacao powder
zest of two oranges
juice of half an orange
 Add the nuts in to a food processor, and then process until ground in to a dense flour. Add the remaining ingredients, and continue to process until the mixtures starts to come together like a dough.
Use your hands to form small balls. You can dip them in water to prevent the mixture from sticking.In a separate bowl, add the extra cocoa powder.  Roll the balls in the cocoa until just coated, then transfer to a plate. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to set.
The truffles can be kept at room temperature, but they are best kept in the fridge.
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Santa was pretty happy, because he didn’t even leave us the crumbs.
To be continued…..
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