Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

Jessica Miller, Holistic Health Coach

the role of whole grains

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IMG_2374Whole grains

Refined grains (white flour, white rice, etc.) are quickly digested and can rapidly raise blood sugar leading to quick, short bursts of energy followed by crashes.  Refined grains, grains without the bran, are processed and absorbed much like sugar and trigger insulin production. Whole grains, like the oats in this cake, containing the bran and fiber are more slowly absorbed and do not lead to blood sugar spikes. The slower absorption of whole grains allows the body to absorb key nutrients that have been removed from refined grains. The fiber in the bran in whole grains helps to keep the colon moving while whisking away toxins in the body. Over consumption of refined grains can lead to obesity as refined grains are stored in the body as sugar, but tell the body to consume more of them because the body is nutritionally starving.

Alternatives to Gluten

Modern  strands of wheat look very different from ancient forms. They have been modified to create high yield strands and are difficult for the body to digest. Gluten is a gluey substance that our modern digestive systems cannot easily break down.

Chew Your Food

This cake is so delicious, that you will want to savor it. Chewing food thoroughly allows the saliva to release important digestive enzymes signaling to the body that food is being consumed. This allows you to feel satisfied more quickly and to avoid overeating.  Chewing also prevents your body from over-working to digest food that has not been broken down by the chewing process. This allows your body to save energy to devote to absorbing key nutrients.

I made this cake for a potluck of nutritionally-minded folk. I also had extra pears and apples from my farm share to use. This was a great option to please many dietary needs: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free.

raisin, apple, pear cake

inspired by: www.deliciouslyella.com

Serves 12:

  • 3 apples
  • 2 pears (any variety)
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked for 5-7 minutes)
  • 2 cups almond flour (or ground almonds)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup gluten free oats (if you don’t eat oats use brown rice or buckwheat flour)
  • 1/2 a cup of almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Peel and core apples and pears, chop into small pieces.  Add to saucepan with half the cinnamon.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until they become  soft.

Meanwhile, place pecans into a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds. Remove and place to one side.

Then place all of the remaining ingredients, except the pecans and raisins, into a food processor until nicely blended. Once the fruit is cooked add it to the food processor and mix again before placing the mixture into a bowl and stirring in the raisins.

Pour the mixture into a lined baking dish, top with pecans and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, until a knife can be stuck in and removed without any batter sticking to it. Allow cake to cool for one hour before slicing.


Author: Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

Holistic Health Coach, mindfulnutritionandwellness.com

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