We have been faithfully following the Feingold Program in our family since April. If you're new around here or unfamiliar with Feingold, it's a diet that eliminates all foods with artificial food colors and flavors, most preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and initially some foods with salicylic acid (like apples, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) Originally, I started the family on this program to see if it would help our autistic son. The results with the Beast were immediate and exciting. As I have related on this blog before, I started noticing positive results in the other kids as well as myself and the Nerd. Since then, we have slowly been moving towards an even more drastic change in our diet. Clean eating is eating lots of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, some locally raised meat, dairy products, seeds, nuts, and things made with whole grains. It excludes refined grains (like white flour and white rice and refined sweeteners as well as most "processed" foods. We have made gradual changes along these lines and love the way we feel when we "eat clean."
The Spud's birthday was the first time I attempted making a birthday cake clean eating style. I played around with some ingredients to make the cake, and then used the Gracious Pantry's recipe for chocolate pumpkin frosting. Somehow no photos were taken of the cake; so I can't tantalize you with a delicious-looking picture. You'll just have to take my word that this cake is good! The frosting is definitely different. The Nerd said it tasted a little weird at first, but then he started to really like it.
I call it (mostly) clean eating cake because there is turbinado sugar in it, and we also decorated the top of the cake with Joe-Joe's (Trader Joes' version of chocolate sandwich cookies).
(Mostly) Clean Eating Chocolate Cake
* 2 cups whole wheat flour (I think whole wheat pastry flour would work even better)
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 1/2 TBS baking powder
* 1 1/2 cups raw sugar (turbinado)
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 2 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups whole milk
* 2/3 cup coconut oil or softened butter (unsalted)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 pan and set aside. (This recipe would work also in two 8 inch round pans; but baking time will be shorter.)
2. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, and salt) and whisk together.
3. Combine all wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, whole milk, and coconut oil) and mix well.
4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and beat until smooth.
5. Spread batter evenly into the pan and put it in the oven.
6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top springs back gently when you touch it or a toothpick comes out clean.
When the cake is completely cool (and still in the pan), make the Gracious Pantry's frosting recipe (find it here) and smooth it over the top of your cake. I did use agave nectar instead of honey in that recipe. For my car lover, I smashed some Joe-Joe's and sprinkled them on the frosting and then outlined a monster truck arena with more Joe-Joe's. The Spud picked out some of his favorite Monster Truck toys to put on the cake, and I spelled his name out with foam letters.
The Nerd recently celebrated his birthday and has requested a late birthday cake - a cheesecake, no less. So I'm on the lookout for a clean eating cheesecake recipe now. :)
Enjoy your chocolate cake!