By Neil Ebsworth, guest writer for sense* and brother of sense* Founder, Jonathan. A recipe from a cancer survivors immunity playbook – Read his story Click Here
Added Sugar Addiction
One of the hardest things we have to cope with when changing our diet is our addiction to sugar. Or more importantly, refined or added sugar.
Artificial sweeteners are no better for you as they breakdown and are metabolized as sugar in the body.
Whatever form it takes, refined sugar has no nutritional value to us. It causes insulin spikes and feeds cancer cells that suck it up for fuel as they have 10 times as many insulin receptors as a healthy cell.
It pervades our manufactured food products not just to preserve them but more importantly to keep you addicted and coming back to buy more.
So finding an alternative to tame my sweet craving was going to be key to success. When you potentially have metastasis floating round your blood stream, the last thing you want to do is feed them a banquet so they can multiply!
There is much written about refined sugar versus natural sugars and it is not really about the sugar itself as much as the delivery system.
You may have seen reports that fruit juices are no better for you than the fizzy soft drinks that deliver huge amounts of added refined sugar.
The reason for this is that the fruit juice has been stripped of the attached fibre found in the whole fruit. Eat the whole fruit and you get no insulin spike as you would if you just drink the juice.
So on this basis I created the chocolate brownie cake. This recipe would usually contain all the usual no nos. High in flour, (gluten), and added sugar.
We have replaced the flour with ground Almond flour. We sweeten with full fruit. Bananas, Dates and Cranberries topped up with Stevia. Stevia is a plant based sweetener that does not metabolize as sugar.
Fruit & Nuts, Zinc & Vit C
The nuts also provide a high ‘good fat’ content, high in Omega 3 oils and also high in zinc.
The cranberries are high level antioxidants, (Vit C) and along with the dates provide a high fibre content.
As you will discover this recipe will provide all you need to curb your sweet tooth cravings whilst actually providing some great nutritional benefits.
It has a high energy value which makes it a great start to the day as well as a mid morning snack with a cuppa. Add the optional toppings and it can make a great treat or desert course. Enjoy!
Chocolate Brownie Cake Recipe – Ingredients
Cake mix – (Food Processor required)
125g Almond Flour
3 large bananas (approx 400g)
100g Unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil
6 tsp (heaped) 100% Cacao powder
2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1 tbsp Vanilla Flavouring
7g Baking Powder
100g dried Cranberries
Pistachio Nuts 50g
Pecan Nuts 50g
50g Chocolate chips (optional)
6tsps Stevia (see notes)
200g 85% Chocolate (no added sugar)
1 can Coconut Milk or 400g single cream
100g 85% Chocolate (no added sugar)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1. Soak the dried cranberries and dates separately in water for a minimum of 3 hours (overnight is best). Drain the Cranberry water into a glass for use later in the recipe.
2.Place the Almond flour, Dates, Butter/Coconut oil, Egg yolks (having separated the whites into a bowl), Cinnamon, Stevia, Cacao powder, Bananas, Baking powder and Vanilla into a food processor.
Blend until smooth adding some of the Cranberry water to loosen the mixture. (About 50ml should do it, but depending on the size of bananas you may add a little more. The resulting smooth cake mix should not be dry but not too loose that it will pour into a bowl easily. Turn out into a large bowl with a spatula.
3. Whisk the egg whites until they form a soft peak.
4. Turn the cake mix into a large bowl and fold in the egg whites, ( add a third to begin with and when folded in add the rest of the whites and fold in gently. This will add air into the mixture and help it to rise, giving the cake a light texture.
5. Add the Cranberries to the mixture and fold in gently.
6. Take the Pistachios, Walnuts and Pecans and place in a dry, clean tea towel and cover. Give them a gentle bashing to break them up. Open the tea towel to check. I find you might need to snap a few by hand as they can be resilient and you don’t want to bash them into a powder!
7. Add the broken nuts to the mixture and fold in gently.
8. (Optional) Add the chocolate chips and fold in.
9. Grease a baking tin with butter or coconut oil and pour the cake mixture into it. Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. Use a skewer to test if the mixture is cooked through. (You should pass the skewer through the middle of the cake. If it is clean when removed the cake is done. Another sign that it is close to being done is it will start to crack on the top of the cake.)
10 Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To make the cake even tastier you can add a topping of chocolate. I personally like a double topping. A soft topping then covered by a hard chocolate topping over that.
Heat 200g of coconut milk to near boiling. Pour the heated milk over 100g of 85% dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth chocolate cream. Add a couple of tablespoons of stevia if you have a really sweet tooth! Allow to cool and then spread over the cake. Place in fridge for an hour to set.
Melt 100g of 85% dark chocolate with 2 table spoons of coconut oil. Remove cake from fridge and pour over the cake. Replace in the fridge to set for an hour.
Note: Stevia comes in many forms and concentrations of sweetness so it is difficult to guage how much to use depending on brand or type to can buy. I suggest you use your own equivilent of amount equal to what you might add to 6 mugs of tea the first time and then adjust to taste from that point on.
I hope you enjoy these other recipes.
1. Lasagna – A vegetarian version of the Italian classic. It looks, tastes and feels like the high carb meat and pasta dish but this version takes the carbs out of the pasta and replaces the meat with with high zinc alternatives including lentils and chick peas. – Click Here