‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la’ … Well almost! I am sooooooooooo excited for the festive season!!! I love Christmas!! I mean really love Christmas!! It is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. What is there not to love? Spending time with family, presents, cwtching in front of the fire, trashy tv, celebratory nights out (usually as a teacher celebrating the fact we’ve survived another year!!), and FOOD! Oh all the glorious food!At no other time of year is it as socially acceptable to eat as much amazing goodies as it is at Christmas time (except maybe birthdays (oh and Thanksgiving for any American friends)). Every Christmas my Dad is in charge of savory and I’m in charge of sweet, and I take this role very seriously. Preparation usually starts in about October where my Pinterest boards and recipe books start to take a serious hit with festive cakes, biscuits and breads. By December I am bouncing off the walls with excitement at finally being able to make and eat some of the recipes I’ve been staring at for months!
Some highlights over the last couple of years have included cardamom and raspberry swirl bread, salted caramel profiteroles, banoffee cake, carrot cake, chocolate mud cake, nutella macarons and gingerbread houses. One thing all these bakes have in common? They all contain so much sugar they would give the Buddy the elf a toothache!
So since this year I decided to live as refined-sugar free as possible I’ve made my Christmas sweetness mission considerably harder! So over the next few weeks, most of the Living Energetically posts are going to be focusing on how I’m going to make Christmas a sugar-free zone (What have I let myself in for!!).
Essentially there is only one place I can start with my mission and that’s with the very first Christmas tradition – Advent Calendars! Each year my Dad buys my mother and me a delicious Thornton’s advent calendar with little white chocolate snowmen truffles, and a little personalised chocolate plaque. It is an amazing way to start Christmas off on December the 1st. This year however this is also going to have to be the first thing to go (Sad face!), but I simply can’t start Christmas off with no advent calendar.
Now these days there are plenty of sugar-free chocolate advent calendars available and are a brilliant option, but following years of having my chocolate truffle advent calendars I just don’t think a generic sugar-free calendar is going to cut it!
So step one of the Christmas mission is to develop a delicious advent calendar that compensates for my missing Thornton’s one. First things first, I need an advent calendar to put the chocolate in… cue my very talented grandmother. A couple of years ago she made my mother and I matching fabric advent calendars and filled them with random little presents and chocolates. This is perfect as it can be refilled with whatever you chose. Refillable calendars like this (although not lovingly homemade) are widely available and are perfect for this project. Next step – the chocolate; I needed delicious chocolate which is also sugar-free. Below are 3 different chocolate recipes that made the final cut, all of which I’ve included in my calendar for this year. These chocolates are all delicious (I thought it would be irresponsible not to make a couple of extra chocolates to try before posting them. I mean really it’s my responsibility, duty even to check that these chocolates aren’t poisonous or something – trust me they aren’t, 8 chocolates later and I’m still standing!)
The only problem with home made paleo chocolate is that it only really sets in the fridge, which is not ideal to leave in an advent calendar.
*The chocolate has to the kept in the fridge!*
But going in the fridge each morning and taking a chocolate out does take away from the fun a little, so my next solution is ‘Advent Calendar Inserts’; little cards to put in each window so each morning when I wake up I can still get a little surprise.
Each card then also tells my which of the 3 types of chocolate I can have.
Below I’ve included 3 different types of printable inserts (and are fully editable if you want to make just one type of chocolate). Themes include –
- How do they say Merry Christmas?
- Christmas Fitness Jokes
- Random Christmas Trivia
All of which are worth a read, even if your not making your own calendar (especially the Christmas Fitness jokes!).
Print these out double sided and each morning you will get a Christmas themed fact or joke and it will also tell you which chocolate to get from the fridge; this way not all the magic of an advent calendar is lost!
The 3 chocolates are:-
- Chocolate Caramels
- Fruit & Nut Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Caramel Cup
Just follow the above links to each individual recipe. Each recipe shows you how to make 8 of each so you have an equal amount over the festive season.