Ugh, I received my tax bill in the mail today. That was enough to send me to the kitchen looking for some comfort food… Have you had one of those days? I didn’t find anything so I had to make something. I was in the mood for some cake, but it had to be healthy… and since Meghan Telpner’s recipe for Apple Gingerbread Cake with Chia seeds was handy, I ventured to make it…But as usual…I had to modify it…. Why not? I rarely make a cake without changing a few things here and there.
This cake was a total winner, because when the gang came home from shopping at the mall, it went pretty quickly. This cake is so moist and delicious… it’s definitely a “keeper”. Since this cake is also gluten and casein free, it is safe for those with grain and dairy sensitivities. Generally, “undoctored” gluten-free cakes can taste quite nasty, their texture equally bad. Ms. Telpner states it’s the apple sauce that gives this cake its surprisingly moist quality…But I have to disagree. I’m sure it’s the chia paste. Chia seeds have a mucilage property which makes them quite, well frankly, slimy. This cake calls for 2 tbsp. of ground chia seed mixed with 1/4 cup of warm water. Within minutes this paste becomes a glob of slime that, when added to the ingredients, makes the entire batter quite slippery. It’s this mucilageous, water retaining quality that helps the starch/protein combination in the cake retain its moisture so it doesn’t dry out as quickly. In addition, I have also removed the apple sauce, and replaced it with apple pieces. I have also added raisins and dates, this way there is no need to add any sugar.
Mucilageous or “demulcent” foods such as chia, okra and slippery elm can be very soothing for mucous membranes, and hence, great for sensitive or irritable digestive systems.
Here is my version:
Apple Ginger Date Raisin Cake
3/4 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. gluten free oat flour or buckwheat flour
1/4 c. almond flour (any nut flour will do)
1/4 c. sultana raisins
1/4 c. chopped dates
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. all spice
pinch of clove
pinch of Himalayan salt
1/4 c. candied ginger pieces soaked in water & drained – cut up into small pieces
1/2 c. chopped, peeled apple
3 tbsp black strap molasses
3/4 c. water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. coconut oil – melted
2 tbsp ground chia seeds in 1/4 cup warm water
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease pan with coconut oil or parchment paper
Mix together all dry ingredients
In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients
Mix in wet ingredients with dry
Pour into pan with a spatula
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until top is lightly browned and when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
More about Chia seeds:
Chia seeds derive their name from the area where they were traditionally grown – near the Chia River in the Chiapas region of Mexico. They were an important crop in pre-Columbian times. They have become very popular lately with Holistic Nutritionists, and are very easy to use. In addition, they are basically tasteless, so they can add a demulcent quality to just about any recipe. Nutritiously, they are high in calcium, phosphorus, manganese and omega 3 fatty acids. Combined with buckwheat and hemp seeds, they comprise the raw breakfast cereal ingredients in Holy Crap and Ruth’s Chia Goodness, which are sold in health food stores throughout Canada. They are gluten-free but can be rather expensive. However, people find that a little chia goes a “long way”.
Try this version of the recipe and let me know what you think! I love getting feedback. And, don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,