Vegan Mince Pies, Virtual Classes & A Jolly Good Book - China Fleet Country Club
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Vegan Mince Pies, Virtual Classes & A Jolly Good Book

Hello, Debbie here, and a warm welcome to our festive, December edition of your monthly Live. Better blog!

December has finally arrived and so have all the festivities, shopping, cooking and parties that come with it. So now I am trying to find ways to up my fitness in the run-up to Christmas and trying to reduce my stress levels, I have decided to try something new and am giving the Les Mills virtual classes at the Club a go!  Most of these classes are only half an hour to 45 minutes long which means I can sneak into a class during my lunch break! The perfect excuse for a mince pie afterwards!

While I am trying to be good but love mince pies, I have come across this fantastic Vegan Mince Pie recipe, which I would love to share with you, why not give it a go!


Virtual Classes at the Club

In addition to the popular instructor led fitness classes I enjoy, I am really excited to have virtual classes at the Club now too. The timings for the Les Mills virtual classes are great for everyone wanting a good workout before or after work or even, like me; a sneaky lunchtime one. We currently have Core, BodyPump, Grit Strength, Grit Cardio, Grit Athletic and Barre. Plus, without an instructor, you have more room to jump around, and if you are like me you can cheat and miss out on the bits you don’t like!!!!

Become a member and enjoy the classes, if you are trying to stay fit over Christmas, if not and after all the stress, all you want to do is relax then indulge yourself in the Aqua Spa. While you are here why not take some time to enjoy a spray tan or manicure/pedicure – get Christmas ready! 

Read on to find out more.


Vegan Mince Pies

Bake these tasty vegan mince pies with a cherry and hazelnut filling that everyone will love.


1 large apple, peeled and grated

200g mixed dried fruit

390g jar black cherries in kirsch

100g chopped hazelnuts

1 orange zest & juice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp allspice

150g dark brown sugar

For the pastry

400g flour

200g coconut oil, straight from the fridge (as solid as possible)

20g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

50ml non-dairy milk, for brushing


Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Tip all the mincemeat ingredients into a casserole dish or roasting tray – add half the kirsch from the jar of cherries. Mix everything together, then cover with a lid or a sheet of foil. Bake for 35-40 mins until all the sugar has melted, the mixture is bubbling slightly at the edges and the liquid has reduced slightly. Set aside to cool completely. 

To make the pastry: tip the flour and coconut oil to a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and pulse to just combine, add 2-4 tbsp ice-cold water and pulse until the pastry is just coming together. Add another 2 tbsp water if a little dry, then tip the dough onto a clean surface and pat into a disc with your hands. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Take the pastry out of the fridge. Cut off one-third of the pastry & cut the rest into five chunks. Roll out on a well-floured surface to a thickness of 0.5cm. Cut out circles using a 9cm cookie cutter and line 18 holes of two 12-hole cupcake tins. 

Put a heaped spoonful of mincemeat in the middle of each circle. Take the remaining pastry and roll out to 0.5cm thickness. Use an 8 cm cookie cutter to cut out nine circles, then use a star cutter to cut out the middle. 

Bring the mince pies out of the fridge and top half of them with the stars and the other half with the stamped-out circles. Use your fingers to seal the tops and bases, then brush the tops with milk. Bake for 30 mins until the pastry is crisp and the tops are golden. 


One less present to buy!

We all know that Christmas can be a very challenging time for a lot of us, me included, that is why I try to remain positive by working out and trying where I can to stay fit, exercise also mentally prepares me for Christmas shopping!

We have some fantastic books (for adults and children) to give away this month which will make perfect stocking fillers. If you win our competition then that is one more thing ticked off your Christmas list!

When you enter let me know which book you would REALLY like!

The Magnificent Book of Sharks  – This beautifully illustrated book takes you across open waters, into coastal seas, through warm tropical reefs, and deep into the murky ocean depths where sharks live. 

The Magnificent Book of Dragons – This magical menagerie will lead you on a thrilling journey through the fantastical realm of dragons. Meet fire-breathing monsters, ferocious serpents, wise and gentle giants, and multi-headed beasts.

The Magnificent Book of of Treasures: Ancient Egypt – This beautifully illustrated book is full of ancient secrets, glittering gold, priceless treasures, and Egyptian stories from more than 3,000 years ago. Stunning artworks and intriguing facts combine to mesmerize.

Little Moments of Light – this beautiful book tells a story through vibrant and heart-warming illustrations, offering an encouraging hug through stressful times

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Christmas, see you next month, or rather next year, for more latest health news, stories and tips that inspire healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy lives.

Enter for your chance to win HERE

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