What does one do with leftover pumpkin puree? Bake a cake, of course! may I offer you another Checkit!withLeigh exclusive recipe?
by Chef Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
No wonder we gain an average of eight pounds during the holiday season. I say we start formulating our eating strategies now, before it get’s too far out of control! I wanted something healthy, while keeping the decadent richness that butter brings. At first, I thought about topping the cake with a sour cream glaze. Then I considered a traditional cream cheese frosting and finally decided on a sprinkling of gluten-free gingersnap crumbs and powdered sugar. Let me know in the comment section what you think would top this cake best.
- 8 oz. Neufchatel Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup Coconut-Palm Sugar
- 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground Cloves
- 1 cup Whole Grain Pastry Flour, or Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour Blend
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/3 cup Walnuts, toasted and rough chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Oil an 8 x 8 baking pan.
- Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar through cloves (above) and mix until very fluffy.
- Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix gently, just until incorporated.
- Fold in nuts and spoon into prepared pan.
- Level with a rubber spatula and bake 25-27 minutes. Do not overbake. This cake is very moist.
- Allow to cool in pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
When making a cake or quick bread, we want to avoid over handing the batter. Kneading or constant mixing produces gluten, which makes baked goods dense and chewy. This texture is good for sourdough bread and pizza crust, but a cake should be very airy with a tender crumb. This is why GF quick breads and cakes are some of the best recipes to begin with. You can’t over mix, because there is no gluten in the flour. Not only that, GF flour offers other nutrients. Bob’s GF blend is made with garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour, for example. I tested this recipe with three different types of flour. It worked beautifully every time.
Pastry Chef’s Tip
The reason powdered sugar always looks perfect and can sit for days on professional baked goods: they use “snow sugar.” This bakery secret is a blend of one teaspoon organic (Non GMO) cornstarch and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. For refrigerated baked goods, cut in a 3/4 tsp coconut oil using a fork. Your powdered sugar snow will never melt, again.
We couldn’t ask for a better pairing than cream cheese and pumpkin. All micro-nutrients work in synergistic ways. It’s just a matter of knowing which compounds play well together. The cream cheese is high in choline, a member of the vitamin B family, although not officially a vitamin. Choline is considered an essential nutrient only. Pumpkin is high in carotenoids. Both choline and carotenoids enhance cellular communication. What this means to us is quicker response time when an abnormal cell or cellular activity is detected. The information is delivered quickly and efficiently to whatever part of the body is being affected. This response slows down naturally as we age. This is why it feels like we’re “falling apart” when we reach certain age markers. Food keeps that cell communication from breaking down, keeping us efficient, disease fighting machines well into our advanced years. The fat in the cream cheese helps us absorb all of the fat soluble vitamins in the pumpkin, A, D , E, and K. The fact that we generally consume pumpkin pie in the evening works in our favor also. Research shows that vitamin D consumed in the evening increases blood saturation by 50%. With all of the spices in the batter, this cake is perfect for cold weather sniffles and coughs. These all belong to the natural antibiotic and antimicrobial family. This particular combination is also very effective at easing menstrual distress. Mix the spices together in boiling water. Steep like you would tea. Strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth and drink to relieve sore throat and chest/ lung congestion. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, keeping the water we consume bound to the tissue. Cold weather dehydration is always underestimated. Start building the moisture in your tissue now, before we are in the coldest part of the Fall/Winter season.
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!