Sunday, January 30, 2011

Healthy indulgences.

I think everyone needs some indulgences in their lives. It's what keeps us sane, happy and well... human. An indulgence is as different as people are - some people indulge in a tall, fancy latte at a chic cafe; others in an expensive bottle of wine. or a well aged rare cheese. Others prefer something of the simpler sort - a bag of chips and a good movie.

My indulgences vary depending on my mood. Coffee is most definitely a major culprit, and you'll rarely find me able to turn down a glass of good wine. But today I indulged in something of a different sort. Instead of telling you about it though, I think I'll just show you.

Ladies and Gentlemen I present a simple coconut cake.

This is a recipe I adapted from on-line. I would describe this as a simple, very versatile light cake. I'm looking forward to experimenting with different mix ins and ingredients. But the recipe I'm including is the basic one. I have a slightly well worn oven so it took way longer to bake. If your oven is temperamental I would suggest lowering the heat and lengthening the cooking time.

Yellow coconut cake (it's vegan as well):

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3.4 cup raw sugar
1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy works)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients

2. In another bowl, mix all wet except oil, and stir well. Mix together wet and dry ingredients.

3. Add oil, 1 tablespoon at a time and mix well. (To be honest I'm not sure why you can't just add it to the wet ingredients. I did it this way though, and it turned out just fine). As a final step add in the coconut.

4. Bake 22-25 minutes till lightly golden or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(Variations : instead of using flain milk you could used some vanilla flavored soy milkt. I imagine using coconut oil would be a lovely addition as well).

Serve with coffee or milk, plain or topped with strawberry preserves, chocolate icing, nut butter – or whatever else suits your fancy.

People that call cake "unhealthy" don't really know what they're talking about. Admittedly the ingredient list doesn't contain any "super foods"l yes it was made with white flour and sugar. But milk is healthy, isn't it? Canola(or coconut ) oil is healthy, isn't it? Coconut is healthy. And a little raw sugar once in a while won't kill you either

Am I suggesting that a bit of cake from time to time is healthy - I sure am.

Here's another indulgence that may be scandalous to some, but healthy in my book - pizza.

(Sorry for the poorly lit shot - no windows in my kitchen)

Made with a whole wheat crust (awesome recipe here) and topped with eggplant, chopped tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, cheese, olives and mushrooms.

Let's break that down, shall we?

eggplant - contains vitamin A, B, C ; calcium and riboflavin, high in fiber and potassium and contains antioxidants

chopped tomatoes - high in lycopene (which is better absorbed by the body when cooked) vitamin C and potassium

olives - monounsaturated fats, B vitamins, pro-vitamin A, E, K

mushrooms-a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium, a excellent sorce of potassium, lots of fiber

whole wheat crust - a whol
e grain - need I say more

cheese - high calcium content, protein, and B vitamins plus a large amount of other essential nutrients such as phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamin A.

When I put it in that way it hardly sounds like an indulgence, does it? But if it is then you certainly have to agree it's a healthy one at that.

So go ahead - do it! Eat pizza more often. It's good for you :D

What's your healthy (or not so healthy) indulgence?

1 comment:

  1. The coconut cake looks delicious! Definitely a healthier indulgence, too.I love things that taste far more decadent than they are. I've learned that copious amounts of oil and sugar aren't even necessary to produce a remarkably delicious baked good :) I bet this would be lovely with coocnut oil!
    And the pizza looks fantastic as well. I love eggplant on pizza!