Celebrating 100 Posts… with Cake

This is officially my 100th blog post!

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 2 years since I started this blog back in February of 2012. What started as a creative project to “beef up” my resume has turned into something I’ve now managed to sustain for a couple of years – all thanks to the support of you, the readers!

I know I don’t post as often as I used to when I first started this blog, but I’ve kept it up because, well, I think it’s fun, but also because of the support and encouragement I’ve received along the way from friends, family, and random strangers on the Internet.

Those of you who know me know that I’m a bit of an Instagram addict. I’m one of those lame people that like to constantly post pictures of food (#sorry #notsorry). It means a lot when people comment on my food pictures saying how tasty it looks, or even asking if I can share the recipe. I LOVE food and I LOVE to cook. I’m no expert, but knowing that certain meals I create inspire other people makes me happy :) So thank you for sticking with me on this wellness journey, regardless of whether you’ve read one post or kept up with them all!

To commemorate this milestone, it’s only appropriate to celebrate with cake. Apple cinnamon cake.

Okay, perhaps this recipe doesn’t fit your traditional definition of “cake”, but it’s as healthy as cake comes and in my opinion is pretty darn close to the real thing! If you remember my last post, I was lucky enough to get a juicer for Christmas. I’ve been using it a lot lately and have been searching for new ways to put the leftover pulp to good use.

I stumbled across a recipe for a whole wheat zucchini loaf, and after a few modifications ended up with a delicious, hearty, fibre-packed loaf of apple cinnamon goodness. I keep making homemade apple juice just so I have pulp handy to make this recipe – it’s THAT good.

Juicing!  Juicing!

Plus it can also be easily adapted to be vegan and/or gluten-free.

So without further ado… let’s eat cake!

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Loaf

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups apple pulp (equals about 5 large apples + 1 lemon, juiced)
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup date sugar (about 20 pitted dates put through a food processor. I was hoping they would be pulverized into a sugar-like substance, but they ended up more like a sticky paste, which was fine.)
2 eggs (to make this recipe vegan, try using 2 flax eggs. 1 flax egg = 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (to make this recipe gluten-free, try substituting with gluten-free options like almond flour, coconut flour, etc.)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3-4 tbsp apple juice (if necessary*)

Directions:
1. Combine the apple pulp, oil, date paste, and eggs in a large bowl. The date paste was so sticky it was hard to combine everything using a spatula, so eventually I gave up and just used my hands to mix everything together.
2. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon). Add to the apple pulp mixture and combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add the apple juice*.
3. Bake in a loaf pan greased with coconut oil at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Loaf

This loaf slices up nicely without crumbling apart, even when it’s fresh out of the oven. I like to top a slice with peanut or almond butter and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds :) That’s pretty much the same thing as cake, right?

Be Well xo

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How To Open A Pomegranate

Pomegranates are such beautiful fruit. I’ve always had a habit of ignoring them because I wasn’t quite sure how to open one. Turns out it’s really not so difficult! If you’ve been avoiding this delicious fruit, I highly recommend giving one a try. When you’re selecting a pomegranate, pick by weight, not colour. The heavier fruits have juicier arils (the edible, bead-like red seeds inside the pomegranate).

This video walks you through the steps it takes to open a pomegranate. Helpful tip: Do NOT wear a white shirt when trying to open one :) If you’re wondering why it’s best to open a pomegranate under water, it’s because the white-ish membrane floats. This makes it easier to separate from the arils, which sink to the bottom of the bowl (picture shown below).

Arils are packed with polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants, and are a good source of fibre and other nutrients. They can be enjoyed on their own, sprinkled on salads, or stirred into some yogurt. I sprinkled some on top of my bowl of oatmeal this morning – delicious! When stored in a sealed, refrigerated container, they can stay fresh up to 10 days. Enjoy!

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Be Well xo

Oatmeal Raspberry Breakfast Muffins

I looooove muffins. However, I pretty much stopped eating them after I learned how bad they are for you. Did you know that the whole grain muffins from Tim Hortons contain more than 400 calories and up to 9 grams of fat? Yikes.

I was rather excited after I came across this recipe on 366 Days of Pinterest for Strawberry Shortcake Muffins. It was like a healthy version of the whole grain muffins I’ve been forcing myself to avoid eating. After a few modifications of my own, I created a delicious high-fibre treat for Sunday breakfast :)

I will definitely be making these again!

Oatmeal Raspberry Breakfast Muffins

Recipe adapted from 366 Days of Pinterest (original recipe posted by Dashing Dish). Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar (Next time I’m going to try getting away with only 1/3 of a cup, or experiment with other sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp flax seeds

1 1/2 cup raspberries (Frozen works best. Mixing fresh raspberries into the batter runs the risk of producing pink muffins!)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners (apparently paper liners don’t work as well). I didn’t have any silicone or foil liners, so I just used a bit of cooking spray to grease the muffin tins and used a small spatula to pop the muffins right out.

2. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor (except the raspberries). Blend until the oats are smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and gently stir in the raspberries.

3. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Other fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or bananas would probably also work well. Pecans, walnuts or almonds would also make some tasty additions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Well xo

Chickpea-Quinoa-Spinach Pizza Crust

Yep, you heard right! Chickpea-quinoa-spinach pizza crust. Or more simply, vegan pizza! This beauty was inspired by something I recently pinned on Pinterest. It was a little bit time consuming to make, but SO WORTH IT – and probably one of the healthiest pizza crusts there is. Chickpeas and quinoa?? Talk about a protein/fibre-packed meal!

The original recipe for this wonderful creation can be found on the blog Hobby and More. Since I did not have chard or kale, I used spinach instead. It gave the crust a much greener, but lovely, colour. I also did not have some of the Indian spices, such as Garam masala, so I ended up using some coriander instead.

I could smell the pizza the entire time it was cooking. It was simultaneously torturous and heavenly. Unfortunately I realized just after putting the pizza into the oven that I should have taken the time to make a cilantro pesto sauce instead of using the store-bought sauce I found in the fridge. *face palm* Oh well, next time! And there will definitely be a next time for this recipe! The only thing I will warn you about is that it can be rather delicate. The edges of my pizza got nice and crispy, but the inside was a bit more soft and fell apart a bit easily. I probably could have kept it in the oven a bit longer, but I was impatient! Anyways, enjoy! :)

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