Can you oversteam a Christmas pudding?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you over-steam a Christmas pudding?”, and what are the health benefits of Christmas pudding?

Can you over-steam a Christmas pudding?

Yes, you can oversteam a Christmas pudding with no noticeable differences in the taste or texture of the finished product. But this does not mean that you can get away with oversteaming your pudding for as long as 12 hours. 

The oversteaming time should be within the safe window, 4 hours tops, so that the pudding is salvageable.

In the US, snacks have been shown to comprise approximately 25% of daily energy intake, with a large proportion coming from salty snacks, desserts and sweets. This is in spite of dietary guidelines recommending consumption of sweet, savory or salty snacks be limited (1).

The health benefits of Christmas pudding 

Dried fruits 

Dried fruits are not just a culinary delight. They are packed in macronutrients, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The most common choices of dried fruit for the Christmas pudding are sultanas, currants, apricots, and pears. All of these dried fruits are a rich source of potassium and iron. 

Dried fruits boast a low-glycemic index and keep your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar in check (2). 

Raisins, due to their rich fiber and iron content, are known as nature’s candy. They also provide a good amount of antimicrobial compounds, relieve constipation and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Specific polyphenols such as catechin, procyanidins, and quercetin have been correlated with antioxidant activities (3). 

Prunes are a good source of potassium, vitamins, and minerals. Due to which they relieve constipation, reduce inflammation, improve digestion and protect the cells against free radical damage (2). 

Mixed nuts 

Mixed nuts such as walnuts, pecan nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are added to the Christmas pudding for a toasty flavor and a crunchy texture. In addition to this, mixed nuts add to the nutritional value of the Christmas pudding. 

For example, almonds lower blood LDL levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases. The rich content of Vitamin E, polyphenols, and melatonin of the walnuts makes them an excellent antioxidant (4). 

The rich amount of omega-3 fats in the walnuts acts as antidepressants and reduces the risk of heart diseases (9). The distinct flavor of hazelnuts is what sets them apart from most nuts. 

Moreover, hazelnuts also provide a good amount of unsaturated fat, vitamin A, minerals, magnesium, and antioxidants (4). The antioxidants present in the hazelnuts protect the cells against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of cancer (5). 

Mixed spices 

Mixed spices added to the Christmas pudding are a great source of aromatic antioxidants. Mixed spices usually include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamoms, and pimentos.

Cinnamon is known for its excellent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (6). Cloves are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help relieve osteoarthritis. Antioxidants play a role in the body’s defense against cardiovascular disease, certain (epithelial) cancers and other conditions such as arthritis and asthma (7).

Allspice or pimentos have excellent antibacterial properties and improve digestion by preventing gas, bloating, cramps and nausea (8). 

The secrets to the perfect Christmas pudding 

Start early 

It is better to prepare your Christmas pudding in advance and let the flavors develop until the big day. But there is no compulsion. If you have a super busy schedule, you can even make the Christmas pudding on Christmas day.

Buy quality ingredients 

Use premium quality products if you want your pudding to taste incredible. Do not save money by using old packets of dried fruit or cheap liquor. Make the pudding with the freshest ingredients possible. 

Let it soak 

Let the dried fruit soak in alcohol overnight or for a few days for the best results. Alcohol infuses the dried fruits more efficiently if given a longer soaking time. 

Do not use a metal container for soaking. Metal interferes with the flavors and can even react with the fruit juice if added. Your best bet is to use an inert container such as a plastic bowl, a ceramic, or a Tupperware container. 

Get luck on your side 

Sterilize a coin and place it inside somewhere the pudding. Whoever finds the coin is thought to win a year filled with good luck. Make sure you warn everyone about the coin so that everyone carefully eats the pudding with no accidents.

Prep for perfection 

If you do not want your pudding to turn out soggy, make sure the pudding basin is watertight. You can ensure this by securely tying the kitchen string around the pudding basin rim. 

Another important thing to consider is to use pleated foil and baking paper sheets to cover your pudding basin. This will allow the pudding to rise easily. 

Other FAQs about Pudding that you may be interested in.

What do you eat Christmas pudding with?

How to reheat Christmas pudding in a microwave?

How to reheat Christmas pudding?

Can you eat Christmas pudding with alcohol when pregnant?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you over-steam a Christmas pudding?”, and what are the health benefits of Christmas pudding?


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  3. Olmo-Cunillera, Alexandra, et al. Is Eating Raisins Healthy?. Nutrients, 2020, 12, 1.
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