A tasty, tummy-friendly and healthier alternative to mince pies.

The pastry, butter, refined sugar (and lots of additives if eating shop-bought) in mince pies can often lead to an upset digestive system.

This recipe is made with a jar of good quality mincemeat (good rule = first three ingredients fruit, not sugar).  It’s an easy option to sling together.

 

Free-From

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Vegan.

(applies to the brand of mincemeat below – please check other brands)

Yield: Makes 16

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

 

50g/⅓ cup (when solid) coconut oil

50ml/¼ cup maple syrup

40g/¼ cup tahini

200g/2½ cups oats

100g/¾ cup sunflower seeds

300g jar good quality mincemeat (I like The Authentic Bread Company Luxury Mincemeat with Cognac)

  1. Gently melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then take off the heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 180ᵒC/gas mark 4 and lightly oil (with a small amount of the melted oil) a 22cm x 22cm flapjack tin (no need to oil if using silicone moulds).
  3. Stir in maple syrup and tahini to melted oil. Mix oats and sunflower seeds in a food processor to form fine crumbs.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add mincemeat and mix again.
  4. If using a silicone mould, place onto a flat baking sheet. Place mixture into tin/mould, lay baking parchment over the mixture and press down firmly with your hands to make firm and level, then score. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and just firm.
  5. Leave to cool for 30 minutes. Cut into 16 portions, then place onto a wire rack until cool. Store in an airtight tin in a cool place.

Options

  • Nut free option if you choose a mincemeat brand without nuts.
  • Sorry this can’t be Low FODMAP – the dried fruit & tahini is a no no.

Nutritional Highlights

  • Coconut oil is a digestive-friendly oil, stable at 220⁰C and won’t turn into a trans-fat. It’s also anti-viral, making it a protective festive choice.
  • Maple syrup is a natural sugar that is packed with minerals manganese & zinc, the latter being immune-supportive.
  • Tahini (sesame seed paste) is a nutrient-dense food – a rich source of protein, B vitamins, minerals (including calcium), antioxidants, fibre & essential fats. It is useful for digestion, particularly constipation.
  • Oats are a great source of soluble fibre which may aid constipation.
  • Sunflower seeds are a fabulous non-nut protein source full of essential fats & vitamin E.

Mincemeat warning:  Dried fruit can upset sensitive tummies.  Like most rich foods, it is often dose-dependent – therefore one flapjack with a cup of mint tea may be perfect.  But three swigged down with hot chocolate or mulled wine may just be too much for your digestive system to cope with!

Please note: American cups do not give accurate measurements, but I like to give both as they offer a quick way to prepare.