I. Love. Food. I spend way too much time looking at food photography and FoodGawker and Pinterest food boards. Cooking is an outlet for me, and I love trying recipes and developing new ones. A blog seemed like a sensible step to take, to have a record of my creations, and to share my recipes, pictures and ideas. So here it is! I’m glad you’re here.
So a little about me and my eating habits: I eat clean, and use fresh, usually whole foods and organic products when I can. To be clear though, I don’t eat strictly Paleo. I follow the 80/20 rule- 80% of the time, I eat meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and oils, nuts and seeds, but the other 20% of the time, I indulge. I absolutely cannot say no to frozen yogurt (Mmmm Yogurtland), and pretzel M&Ms are my weakness. I stand behind the 80/20 rule entirely though, it allows me to have a healthier relationship with food. Too much restriction is bound to backfire, so I leave room for “treats and cheats”. I also eat a modified version of Paleo/Primal, which includes Greek yogurt and dark chocolate; I’m all about finding what works best for your body.
So while my style of eating works for me, it wouldn’t work for everyone. When it comes to dietary wisdom, you need to take it with a grain of salt—doctors have not, and probably will not, come to a consensus on the healthiest diet. I will not get on a soap-box to preach why everyone should go Paleo, because I don’t believe that’s true. What I do believe is that REAL FOOD is undoubtedly better for you than anything processed. If you eat gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, vegetarian, safe-starch, Paleo, or any other diet and that works for you, then keep on keepin’ on. Just make sure you are listening to your body, and not to the diet dictocrats and dishonest media images of “health foods”.
(If you want to learn more about the fallacies of conventional dietary wisdom, watch Hungry for Change)
Enough chit-chat, here is today’s inaugural blog post recipe. This is my own, original recipe for Apple Date Cake. This cake is kind of like a quick bread; I bake it in a loaf tin, but I’m sure it would work well as muffins too! Just cut down the baking time. I drizzled it with a Walnut Praline topping, adapted from The Urban Poser’s Paleo caramel, but I’ve served this warm with vanilla ice cream as well and it’s a dream.
Apple Date Cake
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour (can sub 1 tbsp coconut flour or 2 tbsp almond flour)
6 tbsp desiccated coconut
¼ cup almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cardamom
1 large apple grated, include juices (about ¾-1 cup)
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
about 16 chopped dates
Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Chop the banana into chunks and heat it in the microwave in the same bowl as the coconut oil, until oil is melted. Mash the warm banana together with the coconut oil, and stir until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together grated apple, eggs, honey, and vanilla, and then stir in warm banana-coconut oil mixture until smooth.
4. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry, and then stir in chopped dates.
5. Pour into greased parchment lined 9×5 loaf tin (the batter should be pretty thick).
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until it’s a nice, deep golden brown, and a knife comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with Walnut Praline.
8. Slice, serve, and say Mmmmm.
Walnut Praline Topping
½ can coconut milk
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
2 tsp butter, coconut oil or ghee
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup walnut pieces
optional: 2-4 tbsp almond milk
1. Bring the coconut milk and honey to a boil over medium/high heat in a sauce pan.
2. Once boiling, turn down to medium heat, and allow to simmer undisturbed for about 10-12 minutes.
3. Add butter and vanilla, and keep on the heat for 3-5 more minutes, stirring frequently, until pretty thick.
4. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts.
5. Optional: If you want a more liquid caramel so that you can drizzle it, add a little almond milk at a time, and stir, until it reaches desired consistency.
6. Drizzle on top or spread onto slices.