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Have Yourself a Happy Gut Christmas.

December 13, 2018 Food & Beverage No Comments Email Email

The festive season is often a time of over-indulgence.

It’s a familiar sight. Reclined on the lounge, hands resting on bloated stomach, sighs and moans of regret (and a little satisfaction, let’s be honest) after a big Christmas meal.

For those of us who don’t want to scrooge on the delicious food, but would prefer to avoid the bloat, Hemple Nutritionist Liv Kaplan shares cleaner twists on classic festive recipes and a few helpful tips.

Liv’s tips:

1. Keep routines and the right motivation…

For many the holidays is an excuse to let health go out the window. While I’m all for letting go, when your motives for making healthy choices are in the right place you’ll find you naturally make good (or at least better) choices. This means eating well because you want to feel healthy and happy, and not to reach any specific weight or follow any diet.

2. Make gut friendly alternatives…

These days with so many amazing gut friendly foods available, that taste amazing too, it’s so easy to say no to desserts and foods that may set off digestive issues. Since most of the time we’re celebrating with food, bring a platter of your favourite gut friendly desserts. What does this look like? Well for optimal gut health you want something free of gluten, wheat and refined sugar. Even better is to keep natural sugars like dried fruit to a minimum. Stuck for ideas? How about our gluten and dairy free Raw Vegan Mince Tarts, Christmas Hemp Halva Slice or Hemp Blinis for appetisers!

3. Keep calm and don’t stress…

Easier said than done I know, but I think many if not most of our gut symptoms can be attributed to the mind rather than the plate. So relax! Focus on the fun times spent with friends and loved ones and stop stressing about food.

4. Breathe deeply…

For optimal digestion, we want our bodies to be in the “rest and digest” state rather than the “fight or flight”. Unfortunately lots of stress, caffeine, lack of sleep and disrupted circadian rhythms leave us in this state constantly! It’s no wonder gut distress is at an all time high. So what do you do? Of course slowing down, less caffeine, yoga and meditation help. But immediately? Just 10 deep belly breaths is enough to take us out of fight or flight and into rest and digest. You’ll find your digestion is far better after doing just this one, simple thing!


Raw Vegan Mince Tarts
Serves: 12
Prep time: 30 mins
Typically a sugar-filled treat, Liv’s gluten-free version of a Christmas favourite, mince tarts, brings all the flavour of the original, plus plant protein and a low GI.


1.5 cup almond meal
1/2 cup Hemple Raw
1/2 cup dried inca berries 6 dried figs chopped Zest of one orange
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil

Avocado frosting

2 avocados
3⁄4 cup coconut yoghurt
20 drops liquid stevia
1⁄4 cup raw cacao powder (for the chocolate flavour)

For serving:

Fresh raspberries
Dried orange slices
Hemple Hearts
Cacao powder


1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a sticky dough forms.

2. Using your hands, press into a silicone mini muffin tin, or a normal mini muffin tin lined with paper cases. Place in the fridge to set.

3. To make the frosting place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! For the green version of the frosting, omit the cacao powder. Or divide frosting into two and make one green and one chocolate!

Christmas Hemp Halva Bites

Serves: 20-30
To up this dish’s health cred, the traditional sesame seeds are swapped for omega 3 and 6 balanced hemp. This raw, vegan, gluten and sugar-free recipe has the nutty sesame-like flavour of the original, and since it’s Christmas, Liv adds all-natural plant pigments for a festive finishing touch.


5 cups dessicated coconut
2 cups Hemple Hearts
20 drops liquid stevia
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 tablespoon beetroot powder


1. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend the coconut and Hemple Hearts until the texture is smooth and liquid.

2. Add in the stevia and vanilla and combine.

3. Split mixture into two bowls. Reserve one aside. Stir beetroot powder into the other bowl and pour into loaf tin lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge to set for 1 hour.

4. When set, remove from the fridge and pour in the other bowl. Place back into the fridge to set completely. Slice to serve.

3 Ingredient Hemp Blinis

Makes: 8

A light bite that’s gluten and dairy free, easy to digest, high in bioavailable protein and tastes even better than the original.


1/4 cup Hemple Raw
1/4 cup hemp or nut milk
1 medium egg
1 pinch sea salt Coconut oil for cooking


  1. To make the blinis, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
  2. Heat a large pan over a medium heat and grease with a little coconut oil. Pour in two tablespoons worth of the mixture for each blini.
  3. Leave to cook and wait until bubbles appear, about 2–3 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook on the other side for 2 minutes.
  4. Top with your favourite toppings to serve!
  5. For avo and hemp seed, top with sliced avo, Hemple Hearts, Hemple Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil and salt and pepper.
  6. For the salmon, top with smoked salmon, red onion, fresh dill, capers and coconut yoghurt. Drizzle with Hemple Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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