New Years Resolutions and LOW FAT CAKE!
With the strains of Auld Lang Syne fading, champagne corks littering the kitchen, and the early signs of a New Years Day hangover kicking in, its time to start those New Years Resolutions!
Yes, another year, another list, probably very similar to last years no doubt…lose weight, eat better, drink less, improve finances, reduce stress, stop swearing at other motorists….but enough about me. Sadly, research shows that that while 52% of participants in a research study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved them! Oh dear.
I think the trick is to perhaps make your goals measurable, much like the ingredients in a cake. Without those individual small measures it is difficult to achieve the wonderful, aromatic, tasty baked treat that we set out to make in the first place.
So this year instead of jumping in feet first and trying to take on all those resolutions at the same time, lets take it slowly. It is always a good idea to exercise regularly for example, but at the same time don’t feel you have to cut out everything that tastes good. A balanced diet is the best diet, and if that includes a little bit of something rather naughty now and again, it is far better than trying to cut it out all together, invoking intense cravings and then totally splurging.
We should all try to eat food from the five main food groups, being carbohydrates, proteins, fruit & veg, dairy, and fats and sugars. Fats and sugars should make up the smallest part of our diet, but they are still important. Unsaturated fats help to keep a healthy immune system, and certain sugars increase energy levels.
So instead of cutting out the naughty but nice content of your diet completely, just cut it down a little. Try some low fat and sugar recipes, or try and fit your 5 a day fruit and veg into your baked goodies as well? Fruit, nuts, vegetables and seeds are all wonderfully good for you, with natural sugars which are great energy boosters too. You could try banana loaf, orange or lemon drizzle cake or carrot cake, just for starters.
In fact, the popularity of carrot cake dates way back to the medieval period of history. It is said that carrots contain more sugar than any other vegetable other than sugar beet, and as they have always been fairly easy to come by throughout history, they were used to make sweet desserts during a time when sweeteners were not only very expensive, but very scarce. It is also suggested that the popularity of carrot cake rose for a second time during the Second World War in Britain due to sugar rationing. Many carrot cake recipes also include optional ingredients such as nuts, raisins, pineapple or coconut, all of which are wonderfully good for you.
So as I try to turn my kitchen demeanour into that of Nigella Lawson, as opposed to that of Gordon Ramsey in a 12 mile tailback on the M25….try to stick to those healthy resolutions as long as you can, and if all else fails you can be like the other 88% of us, and go and cut a huge slice of chocolate mud cake.
Low Fat Carrot Cake
60 g granulated sugar
50 ml vegetable/olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
130 g plain flour
10 g baking powder
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
3 large carrots, grated
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and grease and line your 18 cm cake tin.
Put the eggs, granulated sugar and oil into a bowl and beat well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice, and fold in to the mixture.
Add the grated carrots, sultanas, lemon juice and salt and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out to cool.