Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Lungs Chocolate Cake

Makes: One 8" round cake or 10 to 12 cupcakes/muffins

Time: 40 minutes. 20 minutes preparation, 20 minutes in the oven.

-1/2 cup coconut oil  (or butter if you don't have coconut oil on hand)
-1/2 cup Stevia
-1/3 cup water
-3 eggs
-1 tbsp. vanilla
-1 1/2 cup almond flour
-2 tsps. baking soda
-1/2 cup cocoa powder (organic if possible)
-1/2 cup ground flax seed

if making cupcakes add...
-1/2 cup Ghiradelli chocolate chip (FYI other chocolate chip brands are no longer real chocolate, also organic is always better)

if making cake, ice with...
-3/4 cup Nutella

-1 mashed banana to give the cake a chewy fudge texture as well as a nice banana flavor.

1.Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix coconut oil and Stevia. Add in eggs, vanilla and water.
3.Once all the wet ingredients are combined, mix in almond flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and flax seed.
4.Assess the batter texture. 'Pretty' cakes and muffins with almond flour rely on a soft, wet texture--like a mousse. If the batter seems dry, add a few tablespoons of water.
5.Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. This cake can over bake quickly so keep an eye on the oven.

When made as muffins/cupcakes, these will keep in the fridge for up to ten days--making them an easy breakfast option. I heat them in the microwave for 18 seconds to melt the chocolate chips--it's like having a chocolate fudge cake for breakfast.

How can chocolate cake be good for asthmatics?

Here's the short version of how this recipe nourishes your health as opposed to just filling your stomach with any old thing.

Gluten free: Emerging science shows that about half  the population is gluten intolerant or sensitive and asthmatics are even more likely to have food allergies. No gluten means less inflammation and better breathing.

Almond Flour: Adds protein and fiber to blunt insulin response which stops weight gain, especially for those asthmatics who are insulin resistant as a result of steroid use or who are using steroids currently.

Never cooked with almond flour? It's very easy and versatile...assuming you like nuts. It also can feel expensive, but a 5 lb. bag lasts a long time. Baking for my family, 5 lbs will  last us three to four months. Muffins work out to be less than $1 each, very affordable.

Note: Store almond flour in the refrigerator to keep the natural fats from going rancid and extend shelf life.

Read more about the health benefits of almonds.

Flax Seed: A great source of Omega 3 and ligands that promote good health and reduce inflammation. Good source of fiber to blunt insulin response which keeps you full longer and stops weight gain.

Ground flax seed is readily available at grocery stores. In terms of flavor, I prefer the golden flax seed. Because the oils in the seed degrade quickly, always store ground flax seed in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

Read more about the health benefits of flax seeds.

Coconut Oil: A tasty fat less likely to pack on pounds. It has been shown to boost energy as well as metabolism.

Read more about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Eggs: Good source of protein which wards off hunger and steroid munchies.

Cocoa Powder: Packed with anti-oxidants that decrease inflammation. For me, personally, the cocoa powder in this recipe lowers my blood pressure markedly. This is good for those times I'm using a lot of albuterol which tends to increase it.

Read more about the health benefits of cocoa.

Stevia: Blunts insulin response, which combats weight gain. Further, studies have shown, at the right dose, that Stevia can lower cholesterol. This is important to asthmatics because dyslipidemia can develop with long term steroid use--all the good cholesterol disappears and the bad heart attack cholesterol takes over.

Read more about the health benefits of stevia.

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