Saturday, 19 April 2014

Honey Lemon Chia Seed Cake {vegan option, healthy}


The past couple of weeks have been great and nonstop! My grandma came to visit me here in Belgium two weeks ago and we've been having a ball of a time enjoying each other's company, strolling around the streets of Amsterdam and Belgium together, enjoying lots of chocolate and now getting ready for a lovely Easter weekend with J's family. Last week we visited Amsterdam and I can never seem to get over how much I love that city - the canals, the tulips, the museums, the gorgeous houses along the canal and of course the coffee shops. Just joking, Grandma and I skipped the brownies altogether (haha) and rather spent our time enjoying the beautiful city and opted for a bit of real shopping instead. I even managed to speak a bit of Dutch this time around which is a vast improvement over my last time in Amsterdam where I could not string two words together. This week we've been touring around Belgium and simply enjoying some quality time with family. The best part of our trip together so far has just been spending time together and chatting about just about everything under the sun. 


Among the many things my grandma and I share in common are our love of travelling, chatting and sweet cakes - which is exactly where this Honey Lemon Chia Seed Cake fits in. In preparation for Easter Weekend I could not think of a more perfect recipe to share with the ones I love than this sweet and fresh Honey Lemon Chia Seed Cake. This morning is the third time I've whipped this cake up so I am sure it is a keeper. This cake is soft, lemon-y, sweet, fresh and light. It makes the perfect mid-afternoon snack along side a cuppa tea or coffee and also works perfectly as a refreshing dessert after a holiday meal. The batter is also super tasty - I must not be the only one out there who loves tasting testing the cake batter ;) 


As you've probably already guessed I made this cake much healthier than your average lemon cake which as we all know tends to go a bit heavy on the sugar and butter. I managed to cut the sugar down to 1/3 of a cup, the oil to a 1/4 cup and leave out the eggs altogether. I gave this cake an extra pinch of sweetness by using a couple tablespoons of nutritional honey, accompanying the sweet flavours of the lemon perfectly.  I also chose to use a light icing sugar sprinkle on top rather than the usual lemon glaze which tends to go a bit heavy on the sugar. Those little black dots? I switched the traditional poppy seeds for ch-ch-chiaa seeds. These little black beauties are nutritional powerhouses - full of omega-3, calcium, manganese fiber and phosphorous. Who ever knew such a tiny seed could have so many benefits?



This cake is as easy as cakes go. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl, the wet in a larger bowl, mix them together and finally pour the batter into a loaf or muffin pan - depending on what you feel like at the moment. The easier the cake the better in my books :)

 Wishing you and your loved ones a fantastic & sunny Easter weekend  Let me know what you think or if you try this out in the comments, I love hearing your feedback!






Honey Lemon Chia Seed Cake

Makes 10 --11 pieces ; Prep. time 15 minutes + 30 minutes baking time 

Notes: This is a simply healthy lemon cake that makes the perfect light dessert. I recommend using coconut oil for its added sweetness or a melted butter-y type spread as a substitute. When testing this recipe with vegetable oil I did not like it nearly as much. Make sure to not over stir the ingredients after adding the flour in order to get the fluffiest and lightest possible cake!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (white whole wheat or all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (or poppy seeds)

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2 medium size lemons)
  • Lemon Zest from 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vinegar (apple cider of white vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp honey (or agave syrup for strict vegans)
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil (or melted butter or buttery type spread)

  • 2 tbsp icing sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

      • Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350f / 180c. Grease a loaf pan or muffin tin with coconut oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Measure out dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and chia seeds) into a medium sized bowl. Mix together ensuring that baking soda, salt and chia seeds are evenly dispersed.
  3. Squeeze and zest two lemons into a large bowl. Add the milk and vinegar and stir together with the lemon juice. Leave to sit for a couple of minutes (this makes a buttermilk!). Add the sugar, honey and melted coconut oil to the lemon-y buttermilk. Whisk together with an electric of hand whisk. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Lightly fold in the dry ingredients into the wet until you reach a cake batter consistency.
  5. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out perfectly clean (12 - 15 minutes for muffins).
  6. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before taking the cake out of the pan (Tip: Using a butter knife, go lightly around the edges of the cake before prying it out of the pan in order to loosen any edges that might be stuck to the sides of the pan!).
  7. Devour, Share and Enjoy :)
Find Additional Nutritional Information and Points+ here















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Thursday, 27 March 2014

One Pan Mexican Rice {gluten-free, vegan, easy}


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Friday, 21 March 2014

My first 10 km, Weight Maintenance & Looking Forward

On Wednesday evening I finished my first ten km race! In my very first blog post here at Ceara's Kitchen I discuss how I've grown from a state where I'd lose my breath attempting to run to catch the bus at the end of the street towards becoming one of those crazy people - you know who are you are ;) - who actually look forward to their morning jog. This post is a bit of a catch up of how I am doing running wise, in terms of maintaining my weight and what goals I am looking forward to in the upcoming future. If you need a catch up on my "before and ever-continuing after" I talk about overcoming my past of yo-yo dieting and continually working towards living a healthier lifestyle here.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Chocolate Banana Bread {vegan, one bowl, easy, healthy, low fat}


Some weeks you need a good piece of Hearty Banana Bread in your life and others you'd rather a big slice of soft, chocolatey, slightly sweet, and decadent Chocolate Banana Bread. This week is one of the latter weeks and this cake bread has filled the Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread void in my life quite perfectly.

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