Healthy ABC Cake with Lemon Ricotta Icing

I adore banana bread and carrot cake, but I wanted to make something a little different to use up some old vegetables. So here’s my version of an ABC (apple, banana, carrot) cake instead! Packed full of fruit and veggies and with no added refined sugar, this can be a rather nifty way to contribute to your 7 serves a day!

Ingredients 

ABC Cake

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 large banana
  • 3/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil Nuttalex

Lemon Maple Icing

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C.
  2. Grate the carrot and apple. Set aside.
  3. Place the banana, milk, eggs and Nuttalex in a bowl and mush until combined (the banana can stay in chunks).
  4. Add the carrot, apple, almond meal, flaxseed meal and baking soda to the wet mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Place the mixture into muffin tins (or a 20cm cake tin) and press flat. Bake until golden and firm to touch (~30 minutes). Allow to cool before icing.
  6.  To make the icing, mix the yogurt, ricotta, maple syrup and lemon zest in a bowl (mix slowly to avoid lumps), the stir in the coconut. Spread on top of the cake / muffins and allow to set in the fridge before serving. I topped mine with honey roasted macadamia nuts for a little extra crunch!
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Linseed and Strawberry Donuts

Linseed or flaxseed is something that I usually find at the supermarket but have rarely used in cooking until recently. It’s a shame, because it’s a great source of good fatty acids and fibre, and is also the preferred fibre supplement for those who suffer from IBS and are prone to bloating.

In light of that, I may have accidentally created the ultimate bloat-free donut! Free from dairy, refined sugar and gluten!

Ingredients (makes 6 large)

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup linseed meal (also known as flaxseed meal)
  • 1/2 cup teff grain 
  • 250g punnet strawberries
  • 1 cup almond milk (or you can use regular milk)
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted olive oil Nuttalex (or just use olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla pea protein powder (entirely optional and just to add a bit more protein, but if you do add it, add another 1/4 cup almond milk)
  •  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or your choice of sweetener e.g. rice malt syrup, Stevia)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Grease a donut or bundt tray with your choice of oil or butter (or alternatively, NoDo Donuts make a great silicon mould!).
  2. Mix the quinoa flakes, linseed meal, teff grain, baking powder +/- protein powder until well combined.
  3. Add the almond milk, eggs, melted Nuttalex and maple syrup and mix well.
  4. Chop the strawberries into small chunks and add to the mixture, leaving some aside.
  5. Pour the batter into the tray, top with the rest of the strawberries and bake until they spring back when touched (about 15-20 minutes). Eat warm with your favourite natural peanut butter!

Lemon Rocket Pesto

This pesto recipe was a bit of a happy accident. I call it an accident in that, while I was house-sitting for my mother, her wildly growing herb garden wilted in the cold snap. Rather than attempting to resuscitate the plants, I preened them and ended up with an abundance of rocket and parsley.

I’ve now written a handy guide for growing and storing your own herbs after I learned my lesson – but at least I have some wonderful zesty pesto to show for it!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups rocket leaves
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup flat leafed parsley
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon infused olive oil (OR use regular extra virgin olive oil and add 1 tsp lemon zest)

Method

  1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a fry pan over a medium heat until browned. Set aside to cool. Note that there is about a three second difference between ‘toasted’ and ‘burnt’ pinenuts so watch them like a hawk!
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients in a food processor. While processing, slowly add the oil until everything is well combined. Serve with fresh warm bread, your favourite poultry, tossed with boiled potatoes……  the possibilities are only limited by your tastebuds!

Carrot Cake Chia Bircher

It’s like carrot cake, but not as you know it!

Ingredients (serves 1-2) 

  • 1 small grated carrot
  • 2/3 cup plain low-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/6 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup granola
  • 15g pea or whey protein of your choice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom

Method

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients and set in the fridge overnight.
  2. Top with whatever takes your fancy – I used natural peanut butter and more granola!

Pumpkin Spiced Porridge

It’s only cold here for about 3 months of the year, which means there are 12 weeks of prime-pumpkin-porridge-tasting time to be enjoyed!

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • 200g butternut pumpkin
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • pinch of pumpkin spice (I use 1 tsp cinnamon with 1 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
  • coconut or Greek yogurt and flaked almonds to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Skin and chop the pumpkin into small pieces and roast until soft and golden (approx 20-30 minutes).
  2. Place the pumpkin, spices and almond milk in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Use the ‘pumpkin smoothie’ as a base to cook the quinoa flakes, on a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously (particularly the bottom so it doesn’t stick) until the flakes are soft and the mixture is thick and creamy. If you need to add more liquid, add more almond milk as you go.
  4. Top with yogurt and flaked almonds just before serving.

Tip: The most time-consuming part is roasting the pumpkin. So, roast a large pumpkin early in the week so that there’s plenty on hand to make porridge whenever you fancy!

Granola-Crusted Salmon

I know, it sounds ridiculous, but trust me, it works! The trick is to use a granola that’s nut-based and doesn’t contain added refined sugars.

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • 2 salmon fillets, skin off
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1 bunch asparagus (I prefer raw, but it can also be blanched in boiling water for 1 minute just prior to serving)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Chop the sweet potato into rough chunks and place on a lined baking tray. Bake until soft (20 minutes).
  2. On another lined baking tray, place the salmon and bake for 10 minutes. Crust the granola in a small bowl, and while still hot, place the salmon skin side down into the granola and press firmly to stick. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, and allow to rest before serving.
  3. Serve the salmon with potato, spinach and asparagus.