Blog Of The Month: Veggie DessertsThu 27 Feb 2014
Story by Kate Hackworthy
Veggiedesserts.co.uk is all about making vegetables as much about dessert as they are of dinner. I put vegetables into cakes, often replacing fat and sugar with healthier alternatives and come up with unusual versions of favourite treats. I donít sneak the veg into my cakes, either. The veggies are there loud and proud. After all, if a fussy eater is happy to eat Spinach and Vanilla Cake, they canít refuse spinach at dinner.
I started putting vegetables into desserts a few years ago, coming up to my sonís first birthday. I had been so fastidious about only giving him fresh, healthy food and it seemed at odds to suddenly let him tuck into the usual chocolate cake. I didnít want to completely deny him treats, but I felt that there had to be a healthier way to enjoy them, so I began to experiment. His birthday cake was low in sugar and fat, with one layer chocolate and beet and the other layer chocolate and butternut squash, iced with avocado buttercream. It tasted great and from there my obsession with putting vegetables into dessert grew.
I began to blog about my recipes about nine months ago, and Iíve really loved dreaming up new vegetable cakes, cookies and pies. Kale and Apple Cake with Apple Icing has proved to be very popular with readers, as has Beetroot Chocolate Protein Balls and my refreshing Cucumber and Lemon Cake. Carrot Jam (it tastes just like apricot!) has also been very successful and Iíve even used it in jammy biscuits.
My site has grown in popularity as more and more people seem to be looking for a way to slightly ease the guilt of desserts and make the cake calories a little less Ďemptyí.
You canít taste carrot in carrot cake, and similarly the vegetables in my cakes normally canít be tasted at all. Vegetables bring bulk, moisture, natural sugars and nutrients to desserts and mean that less fat and refined sugar has to be added. Avocado can make a great substitute for butter, while beets brings moisture and sweetness. With so many taste and health benefits, vegetables should now become an essential part of baking.
Sure, Kale and Orange Cupcakes with Orange Icing my sound unusual, but trust me, theyíre delicious. Itís time to eat your greens, in cake!
Healthy treat tip: One really ripe banana mashed and mixed with a cup of oats makes a small batch of healthy cookies. Add in raisins, chocolate chips, cinnamon, grated carrot, nuts or anything you like, roll into balls, flatten slightly and bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 160C/325F. The riper the banana, the sweeter the cookies so no need to add sugar.
See the Veggie Desserts blog at veggiedesserts.co.uk and find me on Twitter at @veggie_desserts
About the author: Iím a UK-based mum to a 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter who never go in the same direction. And I bake, with vegetables. Obsessively.
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