Recipes: Organic Wholemeal Gingerbread Cake

If you like your gingerbread, you’ll love this cake… I confess I haven’t tried it out on the boys yet but it has already won me over (Update! It got three thumbs-up from the boys). Given how well our gingerbread cookies went down over Christmas, I expect this cake to be well received. It was a tad on the sweet side – feel free to adjust your sugar – but it will go down really well with a black coffee.

As usual, we went organic as much as possible as well. It’s not as packed full of goodness as our Wholemeal Banana Cake with Wheat Germ and Oatmeal, but it does contain wholewheat flour – although you wouldn’t know it from the taste because it’s as light and fluffy as any regular cake.

Wholemeal Gingerbread Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g wholemeal pastry flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 125g butter

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160C. Prepare a 20cm x 30cm cake pan.
  • Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix on medium until smooth and changed in colour.
  • Pour into cake pan.
  • Bake for 55 mins or when the knife comes out clean.

Nutritional Benefits:

Health Benefits of Ginger

I must say that I’m hard pressed to state how much benefit can be derived from eating a slice of a cake containing only a teaspoonful of ground ginger, but ginger really does have a lot of health benefits. Ginger has been used to treat loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting (post surgery and during cancer treatment), flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness and motion sickness. This is because ginger contains a chemical that is used as an ingredient in antacid, laxative and anti-gas medications. Some people also find that ginger helps them with the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, cough, menstrual cramps, arthritis and muscle pain.

Read more about the therapeutic benefits of ginger.

An Easy Dinner Banquet

My first ever dinner party for the extended family where I cooked every dish. I know this is probably the most awful picture ever but it’s the only one I managed to get because I was just relieved to have everything done in time that I forgot to take individual photos of the dishes. And since it is also the only piece of evidence I have that I actually pulled this off (without starving everyone or sending anyone home hungry – I think), I have to post it:

My first dinner for the extended family...

What was on the menu:

Broccoli and Japanese Tofu in Egg Sauce

Broccoli and Tofu in Egg Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 roll of Japanese tofu, sliced
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder, MSG-free
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • dash of pepper
  • 100ml water

Method:

  • prepare the sauce – place all ingredients, except broccoli and tofu into a bowl and stir
  • soak the broccoli in the sauce
  • decorate a deep dish with the broccoli and tofu and pour the sauce over
  • steam for 8 minutes
  • serve

Recipes: Yummy Wholemeal Banana Cake

We had a lot of bananas so I decided to make banana cake. As usual, I couldn’t resist trying to sneak in some more “wholesome” ingredients, so here’s a recipe I modified that turned out so well, it received a positive unanimous response from all three boys…

Banana Cake

Ingredients:

  • 240g wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 30g oatmeal, ground
  • 20g wheatgerm
  • 160g brown sugar
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g butter
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (1/2 cup)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Prepare cake tin – line and grease. I used a 30cm x 20cm cake tin.
  • Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat on medium until changed in colour.
  • Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Verdict:

3 thumbs-up! G1 and G2 had it for dessert and loved it. Even Daddy thought it was good – and he’s like the number one radar for detecting (and rejecting) healthy ingredients (or perhaps he’s so used to me sneaking in stuff that he’s given up).

The texture was a little on the moist side but no one was complaining…

Banana Cake

Nutritional Information:

Recipes: Blueberry Muffins

G2 found a recipe for Blueberry Muffins from a his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book and asked me to make some for him. I heartily approved since blueberries

Health Benefits of Consuming Blueberries

  • high in antioxidants
  • preserves vision
  • breaks down belly fat and reduce risk of metabolic syndrome
  • good for bone health
  • prevents constipation
  • good brain food
  • protects the heart
  • anti-cancer
  • low glycaemic index – good for diabetics and for lowering blood sugar
  • protects against UTIs (urinary tract infections)

More health benefits of Blueberries.

So I did…

Mickey’s Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c bread flour – this is about 112g; I altered the proportions (30g wholemeal flour; 30g cornmeal; 52g wholemeal pastry flour)
  • 3/4 c cake flour – I used organic plain flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt – I would reduce this amount because it was VERY salty (perhaps to about 1/4 if you use unsalted butter and omitting it completely if you have salted butter)
  • 2 tbsp milk powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c shortening – I used butter
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 c blueberries fresh or frozen – we went with fresh blueberries

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line muffin tray with paper cup liners.
  • Sift flours, sugar, salt, milk powder and baking powder into a bowl.
  • Rub in butter.
  • Combine water and egg whites. Pour into dry ingredients.
  • Add blueberries.
  • Stir until just combined – be careful not to over mix.
  • Spoon into muffin tray.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Mickey's Blueberry Muffins

Verdict:

It’s not a bad recipe – the texture was nice (as you can see in the picture below). It was just way too salty. Perhaps I was supposed to use unsalted butter? I think the recipe could still work if we just reduce the salt to 1/4 if you use unsalted butter, or omit it altogether if your butter is salted. This is another recipe to add to the list of recipes for “left-over egg whites”.

As for G2, well, let’s just say he wasn’t exactly falling over himself to have more after the first bite, but at least he did spit it out. I do feel that a large part of what went wrong is really the salt content. Address that problem and I think it could make for a nice wholesome blueberry muffin recipe.

Blueberry Muffins

Recipes: Chinese Herbal Soup for Cough

G2 has been coughing a lot lately so my MIL suggested this soup. I don’t know what it’s called so I’ll just refer to it as the Chinese herbal soup for coughing. Here’s what’s in it…

Chinese herbal soup for coughing

Ingredients:

  • sea coconut
  • dried longans
  • goji berries
  • cordyceps? – the long yellowish herbs that look like worms – I’m not sure if this is cordyceps but cordyceps is generally used to treat coughs, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory disorders
  • half an old chicken
  • 1.5L water
  • salt/soy sauce to taste

Method:

  • Wash and soak dry ingredients for a few minutes, then drain and set aside.
  • Add meat to water and bring to the boil to remove the meat scum; remove from heat and wash off the meat scum.
  • Place everything into a slow cooker – meat, dry ingredients, and water – turn on high until water is bubbling, then reduce to low. Leave until dinner time.
  • Add salt or soy sauce for taste.

Verdict:

This one seems to have passed the taste test for both G1 and G2 so it’s a winner for us, too.


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