Recipe of the Month – Vegan, Gluten Free Orange and Almond Cake

Vegan Orange and Almond Cake Only Natural
We’re particularly excited by our recipe suggestion this month because we hope you’ll also be seeing it in print quite soon. It’s part of Only Natural’s submission for a book which our supplier Wholefoods plan to bring out soon (hopefully before Christmas).
Wholefoods are collating recipes and background information from all their independent health store customers for the book (no title as yet) which they plan to make into a celebration of the Irish health food trade, it’s history and it’s personalities over the years, store owners and staff as well as suppliers. It’ll be part cook book, part potted history of the Irish Health Food trade and, having been part of the story from the very beginning, we’re hugely proud in Only Natural to be taking part in the project. We’ll keep you informed here on progress. We hope to be selling it for the Christmas season and profits will be going to Ireland’s Special Olympics funding.
For the moment why not just try Ruth’s delicious and super easy cake for a flavour of things to come?

Orange and Almond Cake

This vegan, gluten-free cake is utterly scrumptious and a great recipe to add to your repertoire! It can be served warm with spiced dairy-free cream in winter or with fresh berries and vegan ice-cream in summer … a perfect dinner-party staple. The texture is reminiscenty of a traditional steamed pudding, a real favourite for many!

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Alan Corcoran Instore


Tune into The Morning Mix this Thursday 15th December at 11am to hear how Alan got on when he paid us a visit instore to sample some of Ruth’s Christmas gluten free Chocolate Biscuit Cake.

Don’t worry we don’t want you to feel left out so there will be tastings instore this coming Saturday 17th December along with copies of the recipe so make sure to call in and pay us a visit!

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Ruth’s Healthier Mince Pies Recipe!

Ruth's Healthier Mince Pies Image

Healthier Mincemeat

These mince pies are full of festive flavour. They would be perfect by the fire with a cuppa or with your favourite Christmas tipple! Traditional Mince Pies use quite a lot of sugar as well as shredded suet or butter. Now, I’m a firm believer in moderation and think there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a traditional mince pie or three over the festive season! Wouldn’t it be great, though, to have an alternative that won’t leave you reaching for your stretchy pants!

For this recipe, I used large home-grown cooking apples as they are abundant in our garden at the moment. I love the tangy undertone of flavour that they give the mincemeat. Those of you with a sweeter palette should use 5 sweet eating apples instead though! Making sure to buy the best quality dried fruit you can is also important as they don’t have sugar and fat to hide behind. Treat yourself to the best that you can!


4 Apples, peeled and chopped
500g Raisins (400g +100g)
250g Dried Cranberries
100g Dried Cherries
4 Teaspoons Mixed Spice
1 teaspoon Ginger
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
900ml Freshly Pressed Apple Juice (or good quality store bought)
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
100g Flaked Almonds
Zest of an Orange
60ml Brandy

Ruth's healthier mince pies raisins pic


  • Combine the chopped apples, 400g raisins,  cranberries and cherries in a large pot over a medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (except the brandy, flaked almonds and the remainder 100g raisins).
  • Bring to a gently boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Add 30ml brandy and flaked almonds. Leave on a low heat to simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the heat and add the remaining 100g of raisins and brandy.
  • Leave to cool and then store in an airtight containter in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
  • Make into mince pies using homemade or store-bought pastry (see below).


  • Omit the brandy for a booze free mince.
  • If you really want to add a touch more sweetness at the end, try adding Brown Rice Syrup. It’s a frutose-free sweetener so it won’t send your blood sugar haywire!
  • For a foolproof gluten-free alternative to making your own pastry, ask us in-store about Silly Yak Gluten Free Puff Pastry and Amy’s Gluten-free Shortcrust Pastry! Easy-peasy!
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