Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cinnamon Crumb Cake- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Low Carb

Hello Everyone!

Who's excited about the upcoming holiday? Like most of you, I'm looking forward to a nice dinner, but more than that, a year as a healthy, happy, and very blessed lady. Past Thanksgiving holidays haven't been the easiest, but we're sure looking forward to the holiday this year in this household!

Today I've got a yummy recipe to kickstart the holiday week off on the right foot. I love to bake in the fall and winter, so this is when most of my baked goods recipes happen. Call it eating with the seasons, but I hardly touch a stove in the middle of spring and summer, if at all. So far, my muffin pan has been put to good use so far with my chocolate coconut muffins and Pumpkin, Apple, and Almond Butter muffins, but diversity is a virtue to be appreciated. So why not pull out the loaf pan to switch things up a bit?:)


This bread uses one of my favorite products, Flavor of the Earth cinnamon, which is the best cinnamon I've ever had and the only one I use. I've posted on this amazing cinnamon before, and I can promise you that if you ever try it, you'll never buy storebought cinnamon again.



Real cinnamon comes straight from Sri Lanka, unlike cinnamon products sold in the grocery store that are cinnamon imitators by heart. Ceylon cinnamon is true cinnamon, not cassia cinnamon which is the type most of you might purchase. Cassia is a plant that tastes much like cinnamon, but with a harsher, almost slightly bitter, burnt flavor. It's also a darker very dark burnt orange color, while true cinnamon is a beautiful, light and almost copper- colored golden brown. It's also delicious and much healthier for you.


Ceylon cinnamon tastes much sweeter, and has a light "spirit" to it, if you will. It will definitely please your tastebuds, not to mention it won't cause potential liver damage like regular cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is a little pricier than cheap cassia, but serves as a perfect example that you get what you pay for. Now, let's talk about the best brand.



While I can't testify that I've tasted every brand of Ceylon cinnamon out there, what I can tell you is that Flavor of the Earth brand is my personal favorite because it's freshly ground by hand, not a machine, so it preserves the natural vitamins (like chromium, B vitamins, and even magnesium) found in cinnamon. It also offers a more delicate flavor. Flavor of the Earth also gets their products in fresh regularly from Sri Lanka and grinds them upon arrival. This way, you're not buying cinnamon that's sat on a shelf for who knows how long.

I store mine in the fridge but it keeps fine if you want to store it in your pantry. I also like that it's sold in a larger bag because you get more for your money and it's easy enough to spoon out into an old spice jar to use in smaller servings. A large 16 ounce bag lasts me about 5-6 months (but that's only because I use it liberally everyday.) If you barely use cinnamon, I'm sure it would last well up to a year or even longer.

I use it in oatmeal, smoothies, baked goods, and it's even good in root veggie soup! Try it in this bread if you get the chance. It's mind-blowing healthy and really sweet, with no added sugar whatsoever.


Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Low-Carb

Makes: 1 large loaf cake (or 8 muffins)

Ingredients:

Cake:
Crumb Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons raw coconut butter, slightly melted
  • 2 tablespoons pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon liquid stevia
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, add the coconut flour, oat fiber, milled chia, flax psyllium, cinnamon, and other spices if using. Stir well and sift finely with a fork to remove any lumps.
2. In a blender, add the almond milk, vanilla, vegan yogurt, Simple Syrup (or regular liquid stevia), and the water. Blend to incorporate well and then pour into the big bowl with your dry ingredients.
3. Stir until a thick batter forms. I like to leave a few swirls in the batter so it's nice and pretty when I pour it in the pan. This will also give it the same effect once it's baked.
4. Let the batter sit for a minute once it's full incorporated and has no powdery spots left. Depending on the exact brands and ingredients you use, it may require you to add a little more water. You want it to reach a little bit thicker of consistency as regular cake batter, almost like a thick muffin batter. Too thin of a batter will produce a floppy cake.
5. While your batter sits for a few, grab a loaf pan and grease it with some coconut oil just enough so your batter won't stick. Pour your batter into the loaf pan -(try not to lick the spoon!)
6. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and prepare to make the crumb topping.
7. In a food processor, add the pecans, coconut flour and stevia. Add the melted coconut butter and pulse. It should be crumby at this point:) If you don't like pecans, sub with your favorite nut or use coconut shred or oats.
8. Sprinkle the topping on top of the cake batter in your pan evenly.
9. Bake 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. You'll notice the crumb almost soaks into the top of the cake, which I prefer to those crumbly, messy cakes that end up falling off and leaving
10. Remove, let it cool on the counter away from the stove for at least 25 minutes. I let mine cool for an hour or more.
11. Remove, and serve.

*Note* This cake contains no eggs so it's a bit delicate. Treat it with care:) Also, when you remove it from the pan, I suggest using a smooth case knife to pry it away from the edges. Gently lift it away from the sides of the pan. Then turn the pan upside down and gently shake it onto a glass plate and turn it back over to serve. I sometimes leave mine in the pan in my fridge once it's cold and just slice it piece by piece when I want some. Much easier if you're just enjoying this for yourself.

You'll notice the crumb almost soaks into the top of the cake, which I prefer to those crumbly, messy cakes where the crumb ends up falling off and leaving you without the crumbs- no good! They're the best part:)



You can purchase Flavor of the Earth Cinnamon on Amazon and get all my other products I used that are staples for my baked goods on iHerb to save $5-$10 off your order plus free shipping over a $20 order, or Vitacost and get a $10 discount off any order of $30 or more.

My favorite part about this dish is it's 100 percent vegan, completely delicious, and one of the most indulgent tasting desserts out there with no sugar, butter, or oil. Healthy can be delicious and cruelty-free too!

Have a great week!