Celebrate Christmas additive free with Melanie

If you’re struggling to think of some fresh Christmas ideas, the wonderful Melanie Avery – author of Let’s Party! Additive FreeLet’s Celebrate Christmas! Additive Free and more – has generously shared some of her favourite additive-free Christmas recipes. Here’s how she likes to celebrate:

Christmas would have to be my favourite time of year. The magic and wonder, the sparkle and twinkle, the carols and Christmas decorations and let’s not forget the cooking and creating!

Even though it can be quite warm in Australia at Christmas and we have often had a ‘cold’ lunch on Christmas Day, I still prefer the tradition of a warm Christmas lunch. My favourite and easy lunch recipe is Herbed Roast Chicken and Vegetables served with Asparagus & Beans with Citrus Butter. Our family has a few favourite desserts that we share at Christmas but we always have Additive-free Traditional Christmas Cake (which last year I converted to be gluten free) and nibble on Rocky Road later in the day while playing games.

Enjoy the recipes which can all be found in Let’s Celebrate Christmas! Additive Free and have a wonderful Christmas.

Herbed roast chicken and vegetables


Whole chicken
1/3 cup macadamia nut oil
2 tsp mixed dried herbs
8 small-medium potatoes, halved
500g kent pumpkin, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Un-waxed kitchen string


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C for fan-forced). Trim any obvious pieces of fat from the chicken and discard the neck. Rinse the chicken, including the cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Tie the legs together with the kitchen string.
  2. Brush the chicken with 2 tbsp of the oil and sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper. Place the chicken with the breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Place the pan on the lowest shelf of the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  3. In a separate roasting pan, add the potatoes, pumpkin and carrots and remaining oil. Toss to coat all vegies in the oil.
  4. Put the pan of vegetables on the highest shelf in the oven, with the chicken still on the lowest shelf. Roast the chicken and the vegetables for 40–50 minutes, turning the vegetables while cooking.
  5. Serve with your favourite green vegetables.

Asparagus and beans with citrus butter

125g pure butter
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp grated lime rind
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1½ tbsp Masterfoods Dijon mustard
2 bunches fresh asparagus
500g fresh green beans


  1. Beat half of the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until it is softened.
  2. Add rinds, juice and mustard, beating to combine.
  3. Roll the butter mixture into a 15cm log in baking paper. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
  4. Trim the ends from the asparagus and beans and cut the asparagus in half.
  5. Boil or steam the asparagus and beans separately, until they are just tender. Drain.
  6. Toss the remaining butter through the vegetables and serve on a dish or platter, topped with slices of the citrus butter.

Additive-free traditional Christmas cake

Makes a 20cm square cake (a round tin could also be used). Be sure your dried fruits are 100% fruit with no additives such as sulphur – choosing organic helps.


225g unsalted butter
225g soft brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence
4 teaspoons orange marmalade (additive free)
4 teaspoons golden syrup
1.25kg organic, mixed dried fruit
225g plain flour
50g SR flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
120ml brandy, rum or port (additive free)


  1. Preheat oven to 150oC/130oC for fan forced. Line the base and sides of a deep, 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence, orange marmalade and golden syrup and beat until the ingredients are combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the fruit. Using a metal spoon, fold in the flours, mixed spice and cinnamon alternately with the liquid. Stir until the ingredients are just combined and the mixture is almost smooth. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a wetted hand.
  4. Tap the tin gently on a work surface to settle the mixture. Wrap a triple thickness of baking paper around the tin and secure with a paper clip. Bake for 3- 3 1/2 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Leave the cake out overnight before turning out of the tin.
  5. If you want to jazz up your cake, you can tie a length of ribbon or Christmas Cake wrap, around the sides of the cake and tie in a bow.

Rocky road

400g Green & Blacks milk or dark chocolate
1 packet Smallows
1 packet Natural Confectionary lollies
½ cup organic desiccated coconut
1 cup of crushed nuts or 1 packet of Arnott’s Scotch Finger biscuits (if prefer nut free)


  1. Line a slice tin with baking paper. Cut the lollies into small pieces with kitchen scissors and place in a large mixing bowl with the smallows.
  2. Add coconut and either nuts or broken up biscuits to the bowl. Combine.
  3. Melt chocolate and pour over ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir to combine and then spoon into slice tin. Push down and put in the refrigerator to set.
  4. Once set, take the Rocky Road out of the tine and cut into pieces.
  5. It is sometimes good to make a double batch as it doesn’t last long!!!

TipA mix of both milk and dark chocolate works well. Great for gifts in a nice jar or lined box.

•   Twix Bars chopped up can be used to replace nuts or Scotch Finger Biscuits as can Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits.
•   Nestle Choc Melts can also be used for this recipe.
•   A white chocolate Rocky Road can be made with Green & Blacks White Chocolate (or Nestle White Melts), pistachios, Craisins, biscuits and with or without coconut.
•   Be brave, lots of variations can be made using additive free ingredients.

About Melanie Avery

A passionate mum to three gorgeous children, Melanie began her additive free journey nearly four years ago when her daughter suffered stomach pain, bloating and asthma.  After eliminating additives from her home, both Melanie and her family have reaped great health benefits. She started Let’s Party! Additive Free to share her growing knowledge and awareness about food additives with as many people as possible.

P.S. If you’d like to win a copy of Let’s Celebrate Christmas! Additive Free, simply

  1. Like us on Facebook
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