Guest Blogger - Sarah Wilson


Confession: I find Christmas hard. I think most of us do. Is it the heightened expectation of joy and poignancy? The mirrors we have to face in our various relatives who reflect back to us what we don’t like in ourselves!? The loneliness? The rich food? The sugar? The food coma after lunch? The guilt the next day when all we want to do is …eat more rich food!

A little bit of all of it, I reckon.

Two years ago I quit sugar. It began as a simple experiment – to see if I felt better off the white stuff. I did. And so it grew and grew. I lost weight (I have hashimotos disease and put on 12 kg from the disease), my energy balanced out, I ate more fat, I put out a few books and managed to convince 60,000 people to give it a crack, too. The best bit? I stopped being so obsessed by food. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine and we’re biologically designed to binge on it as it’s an instant source of fat. This was super when we were cavemen chasing wildebeest across the savannahs. Now, it’s not so good. When I cut sugar out, I found my natural hunger…and my natural sense of fullness. I now eat three times a day only – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which frees me up to do a lot more interesting stuff.

I should share: I did this while living in Byron Bay, on Australian’s East coast. It’s here that I met the Spell girls, Lizzie and Spell. They were part of the journey. They watched it all and ate some of my creations. And our little businesses grew side by side, with regular coffee breaks at The Top Shop.

And so it’s Christmas again. This year, however, I’ve been determined to make Christmas less…heavy. I put together a few recipes my big family and I will be trying out for size on Christmas Day…and assembled them into an I Quit Sugar Meal Plan. Perhaps it might make your Christmas lighter too.
Today though, how about I share one of my favourite recipes with Spell readers…my sugar-free pumpkin pie. Hope you like it. And if you’re wanting to quit sugar, why not check out my I Quit Sugar: an 8 week program.

xxx Sarah


Note: you will need 8 large, shallow coffee mugs or ceramic dishes for this recipe. Seventies chocolate mousse bowls work great!

1 cup almond meal or hazelnut meal (or combination of both, or you can use LSA)
½ cup coconut (shredded or desiccated)
1 egg
·       2 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, softened
·       2 tablespoons rice malt syrup (optional)
·       1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·       1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
½ cup rice malt syrup
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and cloves, ground
rind of 1 lemon
3/4 cup cream
1-2 tablespoons arrowroot (or coconut flour)
1 teaspoon salt
Extra cream, whipped, to serve

Christmas Eve:
Preheat oven to 180C. Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl and mix for a good five minutes with your fingers, preferably. It should be a thick, not-quite-crumbly consistency. Sprinkle onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Cream eggs and syrup then blend in the rest of the ingredients. If it’s a bit too runny, add extra arrowroot. It should be a thin custard consistency. Gently pour the mixture into 8 dishes and bake for about 35-40 minutes. At the same time, place the crumble tray in the oven. After 10 minutes (or when the crumble turns brown) remove the crumble tray. Once the puddings are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before putting in fridge (preferably overnight)…it’s actually nicer the next day when set fully. Put the crumble in a sealed container once it’s cooled and store in the fridge, too.

Tip: If you’re carting these puddings, you can even freeze them. They taste great slightly thawed.
Christmas Day: Dollop a spoonful of cream on each pie then sprinkle with the crumble.

A vegan version: use coconut oil instead of butter, use coconut cream instead of cream. Serve with a coconut yoghurt (you can buy in most supermarkets).

TWITTER + INSTAGRAM FOLLOW TIP: Follow Sarah on @_sarahwilson_