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

Rosemary Quinoa, Bean & Butternut Squash Stew

Happy Holidays!

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the holiday season, staying warm, and eating lots of tasty treats!

“Santa” was kind enough to bring me a juicer for Christmas! I took some time today to test it out and made some green juice (kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon, and green apple), then froze the leftover pulp in an ice cube tray so I can easily throw them into green smoothies. I can’t wait to try making fresh orange juice :)

Green Juice

I had so much fun with it that I wanted to make something else, so I decided to try juicing some veggies to create broth for soup. From there I improvised, throwing whatever I had lying around the kitchen into the pot, until I ended up with this delicious stew! It’s the perfect meal to sit back and relax with after a busy week of holiday celebrations :) It’s also vegan and gluten-free!

Rosemary Quinoa, Bean & Butternut Squash Stew

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Vegetable Juice
1 tomato
1 small onion
1 red pepper, de-seeded
2 carrots
1 stalk of celery

Stew
Vegetable juice & pulp
500 mL no-salt-added vegetable broth
2 cups chopped butternut squash
1/2 cup quinoa
1 can white cannellini beans
1-2 handfuls each of kale and spinach
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic powder
A couple of pinches of dried sage
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. To make the vegetable juice, put the tomato, onion, pepper, carrots, and celery through a juicer. Pour the juice and pulp into a large stock pot. Add the vegetable broth, squash, quinoa, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and squash is tender. You may need to add some more water as you go, if necessary.

2. Add the beans, kale, and spinach and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in large bowls and enjoy!

Rosemary Quinoa, Bean & Butternut Squash Stew

Be Well xo