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Stir-up Sunday: Sustainable baking tips for making a Christmas pudding


You can make your traditional pud more ethical with a few swaps (Picture: Getty Images)

Many of our festive traditions developed in the 19th century, from decorating trees to sending greetings cards, to the well-known soft drink delivered by an old guy in a red suit.

One popular Victorian custom that’s less common today, though, is Stir-up Sunday, when families would gather to make their Christmas pudding.

It falls on the last Sunday before advent and takes its name from a line in the Church of England Book of Common Prayer for that day: ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.’

This year, Stir-up Sunday fell on November 21 but it’s not too late if you feel like baking a festive favourite.

Here are three ways to mix Victorian tradition with modern-day environmental concerns.

Best for ingredients

You can always trust the Fairtrade symbol

Fairtrade standards encourage sustainable agriculture and help producers adapt to the effects of climate change.

Baking essentials include Taylor & Colledge Fairtrade Vanilla Bean Extract and BART Ground Cinnamon from Waitrose and Ocado, Marks & Spencer Fairtrade Dark Muscovado Sugar and Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Brazil Nuts.

Best for baking products

If You Care has baking covered

If You Care keeps the impact of baking paraphernalia to a minimum thanks to its cruelty-free, unbleached and compostable products, such as waxed paper, parchment roll and baking cups.

From £2.95 at stockists including Ocado, Waitrose, Abel & Cole, Planet Organic and independent health stores

Best for vegans

Christmas is for vegans too

Balk at the idea of baking, or want a plant-based option alongside your tried-and-trusted recipes?

The Waitrose Christmas collection caters for vegetarians and vegans whether they prefer mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding — or can’t choose between the three.

From £1, in stores and at Waitrose

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