Sometimes I perceive myself as being overwhelmed by what I don’t have. I stress about not having enough money to replace my car’s clutch when it inevitably wears out from grinding uphill daily in stop-and-go traffic. I stress about having abandoned my college degree just two years in the making, about not having the intelligence to filter and craft my life experience into something meaningful, and about not having the gumption to dismiss this idea entirely and forge ahead. Sometimes I even stress about not having Le Cruset’s Crepe pan, but I also recognize that what I lack is not the problem.
I have what I need and then some. My life is not bereft of options. I’m free to choose what do with my free time. I chose where to live and who to marry. I chose to start this blog and elect each day to continue writing it. My diet is my choice and I am fortunate enough to decide what and when I eat. I forget at times this in itself is pure luxury.
Lately, I’ve been interested in variations. With many of the recipes I post, emails arrive asking what modifications can be easily made to support a low sugar, vegan, gluten free, or low fat diet. There are others, but these are the most common. Sometimes there is an easy fix, others totally stump me. I don’t post recipes that I haven’t tried before, so suggesting a substitution that I haven’t tried myself always makes me nervous. But these types of requests remain in my mind and lately I’ve found myself thinking of ways to accommodate “restrictive” diets. I like the idea of elevating the wealth of foods that your diet does allow, rather than wrestling with the presence what your diet won’t. The vegan apple molasses cake above was my first attempt at a vegan cake. The results weren’t outstanding. I think I used too much molasses. The texture and taste were both unkind. Attempt #2 was a win.
This cake is dense and moist. It’s also low in fat. Woohoo! Along with sliced apples, I put raisins right into the batter. If you are feeling adventurous, I would recommend adding any kind of seed, nut, or dried fruit in place of the raisins. I think coconut would also be rather good.
Vegan Apple Cake
1 ½ C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
¼ C Flax Seed Meal
1 C Sifted Almond Meal
2 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Cloves
1 C Unsweetened Applesauce
1/3 C Molasses
1 C Light Coconut Milk
2 T Lemon Juice
2 C Sliced Apples (from 4 medium—I used Gala)
½ C Raisins
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease a 9×9” baking pan with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, flaxseed meal, almond meal, baking powder, salt and spices.
In another large bowl, whisk together applesauce, molasses, coconut milk and lemon juice. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, whisking gently and constantly. Fold in half of the apple slices and all of the raisins. Pour batter into pan and arrange remaining apples over the surface of the batter. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake on a rack centered in the oven until cake is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, approx 1 hour. Cool cake completely before serving.