Pudding cake recipe uses healthy ingredients

To live well is to eat well and you all know what that means: meals should be both nutritious and tasty! Luckily, slipping greens and lean protein into main dishes is a fairly simple process.

Dessert is where it gets more challenging. Solve this problem and satisfy your sweet tooth by trading a few key ingredients.

It is worth knowing what kinds of ingredients can be swapped in which recipes. Cookies cannot be easily transformed into a healthier snack if you want to achieve the perfect flaky texture because butter is a necessary component to that texture.

However, muffins, brownies and cakes are typically denser. This makes them perfect candidates for substituting healthier ingredients. They can be made equally as delicious as the sugary, buttery versions.

Muffins, brownies and cakes are perfect candidates for substituting healthier ingredients. They can be made equally as delicious as the sugary, buttery versions.

This recipe for pudding cake cuts out added refined sugar and huge quantities of fat to make a dessert that can double up as breakfast. The chickpeas, flax and nut butter add protein and healthy fat. Use almond, soy, hemp or rice milk to veganize the recipe. Spelt, kamut or buckwheat flour would all be great substitutions for coconut flour if you prefer; coconut flour is lower in gluten, so this recipe will work well for those with gluten sensitivities.

Serve each slice of cake in a bowl and let your imagination run wild with ideas for toppings. Warmed applesauce, a (little!) drizzle of real maple syrup or honey, or some fresh fruit will compliment this cake nicely. Your guests will never be able to tell that this cake is any different from its sugary, fatty counterpart!

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking pan with oil or line it with parchment paper.
2. Chop ¼  cup dates in a food processor until they are in very small pieces.
3. Add the following ingredients to the dates and blend until smooth:
• ½ can chickpeas (drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding them to the food processor)
•  1 browning banana
• ¼ cup all-natural peanut butter
• ½ tbsp cinnamon
• 2 tbsp ground flax
• ¼ cup coconut flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tbsp raspberry jam (homemade is best!)
• 1 tbsp milk

4. Stir in ¼ cup chocolate chips and then spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Arrange slices of banana (1/2 banana should be enough) on top of the cake, then drizzle peanut butter over top of the banana slices. Letting the peanut butter sit at room temperature, rather than being refrigerated, will make it more of a liquid so it will be easier to drizzle.

5. Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing; the consistency should be cake-like on the top and more moist and pudding-like in the middle. Makes six servings. Grab a spoon and dig in!

University of Winnipeg student Sagan Morrow writes a health and wellness blog. Check it out at www.livingintherealworld.net/healthy.

Published in Volume 64, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 30, 2010)

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