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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Meatless Monday: Vegetable Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

What a day. Who would’ve thought that sitting through 8 hours of class could be so exhausting?? I came home feeling like a tightly wound ball of stress. Although I didn’t get home from class until around 6:50 pm, I still found time to squeeze in a quick workout at the gym, prepare a delicious, healthy lunch for tomorrow, hard boil some eggs for the rest of the week, enjoy a glass of wine, AND make a tasty meat-free meal for dinner. I must say, if I can keep up this pace I’m gonna make one hell of a super mom someday. Someday VERY FAR away!!! The only thing I didn’t do was make a homemade crust for my pizza tonight. Oh well, you gotta take short cuts once in a while, right?

Vegetable Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pizza dough (I used a store-bought kind and sliced off a piece about the size of my fist)

Your favourite tomato sauce (if you are using store-bought sauce, watch out for the sodium content!)

Your favourite veggies (I used portobello mushrooms, red bell pepper, steamed spinach, and a bit of red onion)

Your favourite cheese(s) (I used a little bit of havarti)

Directions:

1. Prepare your dough according to the package instructions. Mine said to let the dough rise for about 20 minutes prior to use, so I prepped all my toppings in the meantime.

2. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread it into a pizza shape. Spread your favourite sauce on top of the dough, add your veggies and cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 425ºF. Easy, right? And a great meal to make if you have kids, because you can get them to make their own personal-sized pizza with their favourite toppings.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

Nothing beats lazy Sunday mornings with delicious homemade pancakes and coffee!  I made this tasty dish this morning for my boyfriend.  With lots of fresh fruit and a few substitutions, this recipe can be reeeeeeasonably healthy ;)

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup  of milk (choose 1% or skim as a lower fat option)

1/2 tbsp of honey (optional)

1 large egg white

1 tbsp melted butter or non-hydrogenated margarine

1 cup of whole wheat flour (or half whole wheat, half all-purpose)

1 tbsp sugar (use a bit less if you are adding the honey)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt (eliminate if you are trying to cut down on sodium)

2 ripe bananas, sliced (set 1/3 cup aside for garnishing)

1 cup fresh fruit (I used strawberries, raspberries and blackberries)

Directions:

1. Pour the milk, honey, egg white and melted butter into a small bowl. Stir with a fork or whisk.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3. Make a “well” in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture.  Add the sliced bananas (set 1/3 cup aside for garnishing) and stir until just combined.  Don’t worry about getting all the lumps out – overmixing can result in tough pancakes.

4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Ladle the batter onto the skillet and cook the pancakes for a few minutes, until the bottoms are golden and bubbles appear on the surface. When the surface gets bubbly, flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook for another minute or two, or until they are golden on the other side.

5. Serve the pancakes topped with the remaining banana slices and fresh fruit.  Drizzle with a little bit of maple syrup if you like, but if you are trying to cut calories this can be left out – the fruit adds a lot of sweetness and moisture to the pancakes already!

Yeilds 4 large pancakes (MORE than enough for 2 people to share!)