If tomorrow wasn’t the start of National Nutrition Month, I would be shedding many tears over the end of National Heart Month. I don’t know about you, but I have thoroughly enjoyed talking about ways to keep your ticker ticking and how to enjoy every bite along the way.
Lucky for us, today is no exception. Being the 5th and final week of “Love Your Heart”, we bring you…desserts! Didn’t know desserts could be good for your heart? Keep reading!
As for my offering, I opted for a cake that used wholesome ingredients like whole wheat pastry flour, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, blackberries, and polenta.
Over the past few week’s I’ve discussed the value of a diet high in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids that help promote healthy lipid levels in the body. By using a heart-healthy oil such as olive oil and omitting fats commonly used in baking that are loaded with saturated fat, such as butter, you can replace the “bad” fat with “good” fat.
This recipe also uses fiber-rich whole wheat pastry flour and cornmeal, as well as berries. Sneaking fiber into the diet isn’t always easy, but including it in food items such as dessert sure makes meeting the recommended 35-35 grams of dietary fiber each day a much less daunting task.
That said, don’t forget to exercise portion control and sharing when baking up things like cake. Too much of a good thing doesn’t make it better…it makes it excessive.
Because this recipe contains quite a bit of sugar, regular lemons will work just fine. I know my abundance of Meyer lemon recipes is quite the tease, but this is surely one instance where you could sub in the every-day, humble lemon!
Meyer Lemon and Blackberry Olive Oil Polenta Cake slightly adapted from Peanut Butter and Julie
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup egg substitute Zest from 3 large Meyer lemons (or 4 large regular lemons) 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed 8 oz fresh blackberries Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 10-inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar, eggs, and egg substitute on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is pale yellow and tripled in volume. Mix in the lemon zest.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and the lemon juice. Add this to the egg mixture, alternating with the flour mixture, in two additions each, mixing after each addition until the ingredients are incorporated. Gently fold the blackberries into the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly touched, and a cake tested inserted into the center emerges clean, 35-45 minutes.
Cool the cake in the pan set on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and allow the cake to cool completely.
Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and garnish with additional fresh blackberries (optional) before serving.
Yield: 16 slices.
Nutrition Information (per slice): 290 calories; 14.6 g. fat; 27 mg. cholesterol; 249 mg. sodium; 37 g. carbohydrate; 2.7 g. fiber; 2.1 g. protein
Result: Moist, crumbly, and bursting with lemon and berry goodness. This cake is refreshing and light, and packed with good-for-you ingredients. Get your sweet fix this guilt-free, healthy way!
And what better way to wrap up a stellar month than with a heart-healthy giveaway!? The kind people of Bob’s Red Mill (love’em!) have generously offered up this gift for one lucky winner:
How to win?!
- “Follow” Bob’s Red Mill on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter handle — that way, I can follow you, too!
- Leave a comment with your favorite dessert and any ideas you have to make it a bit more heart-healthy
This giveaway will end Sunday, March 4th at 11:59pm EST. No purchase necessary. Comments from Cara’s, Amy’s, and Lauren’s blogs will be included in this grand prize drawing, so be sure to head there to enter for a chance to triple your chances to win!