Thursday, 1 November 2012


Paleo Hummingbird Cake
Cake.  A contentious subject at the best of times.  Paleo cake: more so.

Apparently, it seems to be the opinion of a lot of people in the paleo/health/finess community that making paleo cakes is cheating somehow, that making healthy versions of their nemeses will somehow lead them back along the path to ruin.

My opinion differs.  I would like to explain why.
Paleo chocolate brownies

The cakes, biscuits and sweet treats that I make often (but not always) do mimic, in appearance, texture and taste, their wheat counterparts, that is true but that is where the resemblance ends.

I replace wheat flour with either coconut flour or ground almonds, home made nut butters or ground seeds.  I replace sugar with honey.  I replace butter and nasty trans fats with coconut oil. My cakes are bound together with eggs and often include dried fruit, grated carrots or courgette and sometimes cocoa powder (no added sugar).

Paleo granola bars
The thing is that coconut flour, ground almonds, nut butters and seeds are much more filling and satisfying than wheat flour; they produce a slightly denser cake.  As a result, one slice really is enough.  It really is.  It's satisfying in a way that wheat flour and sugar cakes can never be.  So the first benefit is that it is physically much harder to overeat paleo cakes - you just feel too full.

Another benefit involves the honey that is used instead of sugar.  Having cut sugar completely from our diet, sweet things taste much sweeter than they used to, so as well as having less of a glucose spike than sugar-filled cakes, paleo cakes also use less sweetener.

When you consume normal cakes, filled with sugar, your blood glucose shoots up and your body reacts to this by dumping insulin into your system to mop it up and pack it away.  Then you are left with that all-familiar sugar crash.  So even so you have just consumed a highly calorific 'treat' in the form of a sugary, sweet cake, you want more.  This doesn't happen with paleo cake.  One slice really is enough!

Paleo brakfast muffins
Take my breakfast muffins for example.

The ingredients are as follows:

Coconut flour, eggs, grated carrot, raisins, honey, coconut cream, coconut oil and a little baking soda - in order of quantity used .  There is nothing in that list of ingredients that isn't going to nourish you in some way.

Compare it with the list of ingredients from a blueberry muffin from Tesco:

Sugar,Wheat Flour ,Water ,Vegetable Oil ,Blueberry Jam (11%) ,Blueberries (11%) ,Pasteurised Whole Egg ,Biscuit Crumble ,Dried Egg ,Modified Maize Starch ,Milk Proteins ,Salt ,Dried Skimmed Milk ,Vanilla ,Emulsifiers (Lactic Acid Esters of Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids, Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids, Soya Lecithins) ,Raising Agents (Sodium Aluminium Phosphate, Potassium Bicarbonate) ,Flavouring ,Blueberry Jam contains: Blueberries ,Sugar ,Water ,Dextrose ,Maize ,Gelling Agent (Pectin) ,Concentrated Lemon Juice ,Preservative (Sorbic Acid) ,Biscuit Crumble contains: Sugar ,Wheat Flour ,Cocoa Butter ,Dried Whole Milk ,Cocoa Mass ,Vegetable Fat ,Dried Skimmed Milk ,Glucose Syrup ,Salt ,Raising Agents (Sodium Carbonate, Ammonium Carbonate) ,Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins) ,Vanilla ,Glazing Agent (Guar Gum)

Sugar is the first ingredient!  But look at the lovely little picture of wheat - suggesting this product is good for you in some way!

Paleo double decker fruit cake
Another issue I have is with this view that it is cheating.  How is it cheating?  I haven't actually taken to living in a cave.  I'm not actually a cavegirl!  I do actually live in the 21st century and I'm totally with Nigella in that one of the great things about living in the 21st century is what humans have learnt to do with ingredients!  Cake is nice!  I'm not into self-harm, which is why I don't eat sugar and wheat and in the same vein why I don't continually punish myself and so allow the occasional treat - paleo style!

My nutrition clients come from a lifetime of addictiion - addiction to sugar and sweet treats, addiction to blood glucose, gained primarily from sugary wheat products.  To make them go cold turkey is a ridiculous notion!  It would lead them not only to fall off the wagon entirely but to chop it up for firewood and dance around it naked chanting, 'Death to healthy foods!'  

Paleo fruit tart
Ok, so the analogy may have run away with me at this point but to never eat cake again?  That's simply idiotic!

So if we accept that a realistic, sustainable, healthy eating plan involves some treats and involves living in he 21st century, then what can possibly be wrong with a combination of nutritious ingredients that deliver positive health benefits that just happen to be packaged to resemble a cake?

Krish xx

1 comment:

  1. 3 Researches SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you actually kill fat by eating Coconut Fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from major medicinal journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!