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What’s Christmas without mince pies? This recipe from The Groovy Food Company boasts a whopping 15 plants (nine of which are fruit), so you’ll be satisfying both your taste buds and gut bacteria.

What would Christmas be without mince pies? By 18 December, you’re having them for breakfast, as pre-workout snacks, post-exercise fuel, desserts, aperitifs…

But if you want to make them yourself, they’re not as complicated as you might think. And even better, they’re probably way healthier than you think. This recipe couldn’t be more plant-packed: it contains nine different fruits, as well as a load of nuts – making it one of the most gut-friendly things you could cook up.

If eating 30 plants a week is on your resolution list for 2023, then this is a great lesson in the fact that you don’t have to rely on salads and smoothies for better gut diversity. Dried fruits, fresh fruit juice and nuts all count towards the goal – and when encased in pastry, taste even better than usual.


  • Serves: 8
  • Prep time: 30 mins
  • Baking time: 30 mins

To make the fruity mincemeat

225g sultanas

225g raisins

60g dried cranberries

225g dried apricots

110g dried figs

110g dried dates, pitted

Apple juice or boiling water

110g chopped almonds

3 dessert apples, washed, cored and chopped

2 pears, washed, cored and chopped

3 lemons, juice and zest

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

75ml rum or brandy, optional

100ml Groovy Food Agave Nectar Rich and Dark

To make the shortcrust pastry

200g plain flour, sifted

100g unsalted butter

25g ground almonds

50g icing sugar, sifted

1 egg, beaten

To make the glaze

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp milk


First, make the fruity mincemeat

Wash the dried fruit.

Chop the apricots, figs and dates into small pieces with scissors.

Place all the dried fruit in a large bowl and cover with apple juice or boiling water. Leave to soak for an hour.

Drain well and mix the dried fruit with the spices, fresh fruit, lemon zest, lemon juice and nuts and place in batches in a food processor.

Pulse gently to chop the mixture but do not over-process.

Warm the agave nectar slightly with the rum (if using) and add to the mixture making sure to mix well.

If making ahead of time, store in airtight containers or jars and refrigerate or freeze in batches.

Now, make the shortcrust pastry

Place the flour, butter, almonds, sugar and egg in a food processor and whizz until it comes together to form a ball.

Knead gently on a lightly floured work surface then cover in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

What’s Christmas without a mince pie… or 8? This recipe is absolutely packed with gut-loving plants.

Finally, put the mince pies together

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and stamp out rounds to line a bun tin.

Fill each case with mincemeat.

If covering with a top, cut out slightly smaller rounds of pastry and dampen the edges. Press these on top of the pies and seal the edges well. Alternatively, stamp out little pastry stars and place on the top of the pies.

Mix the egg and milk together and brush over the pies to glaze.

Prick the lids with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve warm.

Image and recipe courtesy of The Groovy Food Company.

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