Saturday, February 10, 2007

Healthy Apple Slice

I've been experimenting a bit lately with trying to improve the quality of nutrition in our diet. We don't do too badly but like most things there's room for improvement. One area we haven't been doing too great in until recently was the use of refined (white) flours and sugar. So I've been trying to gradually find ways to replace these.

This is a recipe that I came up with recently when I was trying to find a low-fat, low-sugar cake to serve to visitors. It's actually a cake but with a heavier texture than most cakes. You could bake it in a loaf pan but I use a square cake dish and it's not as deep, more like you'd expect a slice to be. You also get smaller pieces that way so you're not consuming "too much". :-)


2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 dessert spoons honey (fairly generous ones)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 fresh apples peeled and chopped

The best part about this recipe is that you basically chuck it all in a bowl and mix. I didn't add the apples until the rest of it was mixed together though. I have a salad server with a hole in the middle of it that I find just right for mixing the ingredients together. I'm sure any spoon would be fine though.

Topping: Once the batter was in the pan I sprinkled the top with oats and cinnamon before baking (did you know that both oats and cinnamon are good for diabetics?).

It takes about 40 minutes in my oven on around 180C but you might have to experiment a bit with your own oven - no 2 ovens seem to be the same. One good thing about it is that if it's undercooked a little it's not so noticable as it's a heavy-ish texture already. You don't want to overcook it though.

Once it's cooled you just cut it up into pieces - all pretty easy really. I love the fact that it doesn't need icing.

Here's the recipe I adapted it from:

1.5 cups SR flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp imitation vanilla essence
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Whisk ingredients together and bake 35-40 minutes at 180C. They use a ring tin in the recipe. You could use whatever you have. I'll often double this recipe if I want to make a cake or I've used it for making a kind of brownie (again in my square pan). If I'm making "brownies" with it I just dust the top with icing sugar. Otherwise you can ice it with chocolate icing.

You'll notice this recipe doesn't have egg, milk or butter/margarine in it so it's suitable for people with allergies to these things. Just make sure you don't ice it with butter icing if you're going to give it to someone with dairy allergies. :-) Not having these ingredients also makes it lower in fat (and you can lower it more by substituting half the vegetable oil for apple sauce like I did for my apple slice) and also fairly frugal.

Happy Cooking!