Healthy Bakes?

Healthy Bake?
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake

Healthy Bakes…is there such a thing? You may or may not know, I’m a fitness fanatic and I love to bake delicious sweet treats! Since I started baking during the Holidays, it was the time of year that I could “write off” to eating everything I bake with abandon. The remainder of the time, I eat a more Paleo diet, and track my macros and micros carefully. I eat lean meats, paired with delicious fresh whole foods.

After starting this blog, I realized a few things. One, our lifestyle is so much different from when I was as a kid. We live in a much more sedentary world with technology always within our grasps. As a kid eating these wonderful treats, I never gave a second thought devouring everything in sight, especially those whoopie pies I shared earlier this month. But, I was never in the house, running around the neighborhood, riding my bike everywhere, total exhaustion by the end of the day. Calories, fat grams, fiber, all that stuff didn’t matter. And, luckily my genetics ran on the thin side.

It brings it back to my dilemma of baking as much as I do today. I enjoy making something from nothing! It’s a great feeling of accomplishment after I bake. I enjoy trying new things, new techniques and reliving flavors from my past. But me and my family don’t move around like we did 30 years ago. For me, I’m up at 5:30 am hitting the gym at least 6 days a week, if I didn’t, who knows how I would handle the confectionaries I’ve been baking.

I’ve been struggling with this blog, is it healthy for others to only share what I know? Is there such a thing as a “healthy bake?” So I did some investigating and stumbled across a cook book that got me to realize, I could bake something healthy for my family and myself. I could reduce the amount of refined sugars my family was ingesting with a baked treat they would love to eat. And I could begin to find balance in my dilemma of only sharing, high-fat, high-sugar, dairy-packed bakes.

The cook book is called Sweet Laurel – Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts. It’s written by Laurel Gallucci & Claire Thomas. They have a bakery in California and it was a result of Laurel’s husband’s intolerance to dairy and after her pregnancy becoming intolerant of gluten. Then she started experimenting and making traditional desserts dairy and grain-free. It’s an amazing story and you can read it online with a quick Google search.

I read all of the pages front to back over a couple of days. The pages spoke to me and I felt a sense of relief. So I went to the store and spent a few hours gathering all the ingredients recommended, dates, arrowroot powder, organic honey, maple syrup, almond flour, just to name a few. Off on a new journey of baking…how exciting.

So I’ve decided to use this blog and offer a more balanced approach to baking with a wider appeal. I’m going to start sharing how I can still eat desserts and maintain my waistline. I’ll still share “what I know,” but I’m looking forward to sharing with you what I’m learning and I hope you enjoy the journey that lies ahead.

For my first healthy bake from Sweet Laurel, Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake.

Makes two 6-inch layers or one 8-inch cake.

I made an 8-inch cake.

3 tbs coconut oil, melted – an additional amount for preparing the baking pan

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 large organic eggs

1 tbs vanilla extract

2 cups almond flour

1 tsp ground ginger

t tbs cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Great your pan with coconut oil and line with parchment paper.

In large bowl, combine coconut oil, pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt.

Little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Once fully mixed pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick and if it comes out clean it’s done. Cool completely on a wire rack.

After cooling you can make the topping below.

Espresso Coconut Whipped Cream

2 cups Espresso Coconut Whipped Cream

Be sure to refrigerate two cans of 13.5 ozs of coconut milk (overnight is best).

Remove the solid coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can. Spoon into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat the coconut cream on high speed until it begins to thicken and peaks form. Discard the remaining coconut water.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in 2 teaspoons espresso powder (mixed with two tablespoons of hot water – cooled) and a 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt. Don’t over whisk and don’t over fold. Spoon atop your cooled cake! Serve.

Enjoy the bake!


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