I have mentioned before on the blog that I try to eat in a healthy fashion. Mostly! I say mostly because I am inordinately fond of cake; I also like to eat the occasional burger and fries with a dollop of added-sugar-horror aka tomato ketchup on the side; and I indulge in the odd ninety-nine ice cream cone.
I do my level best not to divide foods into good and bad, so nothing is totally off-limits, while at the same recognizing that some foods are better, health-wise, for me than others. So long as I manage a rough 80:20 healthy/unhealthy food ratio I am happy enough.
Recently the 80:20 balance has been wobblier than a half set jelly and my cholesterol level is higher than recommended so when I saw a cook book by Dale Pinnock called The Medicinal Chef with the following strap line: ‘Eat Your Way to Better Health, I bought it, even though I had sworn off ever buying another cook book. It’s not that I don’t love them just that there is no room for any more of them in my teeny kitchen. Still and all I have no regrets about buying this one and surprise, surprise the first recipe in it that I was attracted to was for a cake. But not cake as I know it as it’s a no cook ‘cake’ dense with all manner of healthy ingredients. Here’s how to make it.
8 tablespoons mixed seeds (such as flax, pumpkin, sesame or sunflower)
3 handfuls of goji berries
1 handful of pitted dates (I added an extra couple of handfuls for added sweetness and balanced the addition with just a little more coconut oil)
4 tablespoons of cacao powder (not the same as cocoa, cacao powder can be found in health food shops)
1 teaspoon desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon chopped nuts (such as pecans, walnuts or brazil)
1 tablespoon chopped dried fruits (such as dried apricots or cranberries)
1. Prepare a loose-bottomed 20 cm round or rectangular cake tin by lining it with baking parchment.
2. Place all the ingredients except: the coconut oil, chopped nuts and dried fruits, in a food processor. The recipe recommends pulsing them a few times but I actually blitzed them for a couple of minutes to get a coarse mix.
3. Put the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over some freshly boiled water and wait for the oil to melt. Add the just melted oil to the other ingredients in the processor and process until they combine fully into a firm paste but don’t worry if it’s a little liquidy-y as it will harden in the fridge.
4. Put the mix into the prepared tin and press down firmly so it fully fills the tin. Sprinkle the reserved chopped nuts and dried fruit on top of the and press down lightly.
5. Place the cake in the fridge for about three hours until set firm. Remove from the tin slice and enjoy, it’s delicious and super filling!
Notes: first this is a very forgiving recipe so don’t worry too much about exactly how much a handful of a particular ingredient is, secondly if you are missing most of the ingredients your local health food shop is probably the best place to buy them all in one go, and lastly if you haven’t used coconut oil before you may not know that it’s solid below 24°C.