The holidays are not only for celebration and gift-giving but, for some, indulging in delicious feasts. You may have already tried pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice drinks, but have you tried incorporating this sweet vegetable into a cake?
Jennafer Ashley of Paleohacks has created this Pumpkin Cider Cake Recipe for Mercola.com readers just in time for the holidays. Its comforting flavor make it a great dessert or even as a gift to colleagues and friends, and is made with healthy wholesome ingredients, so won’t have to worry about your ruining your diet during this festive season.
Pumpkin Cider Cake Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Serving Size: 12
For the cake
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil for greasing
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup Dr. Mercola’s coconut flour
- 1/3 cup monk fruit sweetener
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan Salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 large free-range, pastured eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 Tablespoon Dr. Mercola’s apple cider vinegar
For the icing
- 1 1/2 cup full-fat coconut cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot
- 2 1/2 teaspoons monk fruit sweetener
- 2 teaspoons Dr. Mercola’s apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a Bundt cake pan with avocado oil.
In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit sweetener, baking powder, Himalayan salt and pumpkin pie spice.
In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, pumpkin purée and apple cider vinegar until smooth. Gradually stir wet ingredients into dry.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it evenly. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.
While the cake cools, combine the ingredients for the icing in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, about three minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
Gently flip the cake onto a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes longer.
Drizzle the cake with icing, then slice. Serve immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator up to one week.
This Healthy Pumpkin Cake May Become Your Next Favorite Dessert
This pumpkin cake uses nutritious substitutes for processed ingredients. But remember that it’s OK to enjoy a slice of healthy cake once in a while; just consume it in moderation. This dessert still contains some sugars that can cause or worsen health problems if eaten excessively.
4 Health Benefits of Pumpkins and Pumpkin Seed Oil
While pumpkin season usually occurs during September and October in the U.S.,1 you can have some of this vegetable at other times of the year. A 100-gram serving of pumpkin provides substantial quantities of potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, and high amounts of vitamin A.2 Pumpkins are also home to beneficial carotenoids,3 and that the vegetable and its byproduct, particularly pumpkin seed oil, can deliver the following effects:4
- Anti-carcinogenic — Some carotenoids may reduce your risk for prostate cancer5,6 and colorectal polyps and cancers.7
- Antidiabetic — According to a 2017 study, rats who were fed pumpkin polysaccharides lost body weight, reduced their plasma insulin, serum triglyceride, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and blasting blood glucose levels, and increased their high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and liver glycogen levels.8
- Anti-inflammatory — Results from a 2013 study revealed that pumpkin seed oil helped alleviate acute and chronic skin inflammation in mice.9
- Antioxidant — Another 2013 study highlighted that oil derived from 12 varieties of pumpkin seeds exhibited antioxidant capabilities.10
For this recipe, it’s best to use puree made from fresh, organically grown pumpkins. Look for those that weigh between 4 and 8 pounds and have no big bruises or soft spots on their skin. The Kitchn notes that pumpkins generically labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins” are ideal for cooking and baking. They can be stored for a few months at cool room temperature because of their long shelf life.11
Avoid buying canned pumpkin puree, as they often contain traces of an endocrine-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). Cans are usually lined with this substance, and studies have linked BPA to a higher risk of health problems, such as:12,13,14,15
- Female and male infertility
- Precocious puberty
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Hormone-dependent tumors (breast and prostate cancer)
- Heart attacks
- Coronary and peripheral arterial disease
- Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes16
- Negative effects toward the brain and prostate glands, and behavior among fetuses, infants and young children17
Apple Cider Vinegar Provides Some Much-Needed Tang
Although this recipe calls for only a small amount of apple cider vinegar (ACV), you’d be pleased to know that it can offer health benefits. ACV, which contains very little amounts of sugar and carbohydrates, may:
- Offer antimicrobial abilities that can combat bacteria strains like Candida albicans, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus18
- Help decrease blood glucose levels of people with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes19
It’s also a storehouse of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, C and E), minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper and iron), acids (acetic, propionic, lactic, gallic, chlorogenic, caffeic and malic), amino acids, phenolic compounds and flavonols.20
Use These Healthy Substitutes for Your Favorite Desserts
Some people avoid desserts because they fear that it will ruin their health and fitness goals. But dessert can be healthy — all it takes is a bit of ingenuity and patience, and you can definitely create a delicious treat that will not put a dent on your well-being. Just make sure to consume it in moderation, and to utilize the healthy ingredients that’ll deliver both flavor and nutrition. Here are some examples used in this recipe:
- Monk fruit sweetener — Also called Luo Han Guo,21,22 this sweetener is better than most sugars because research has revealed it may deliver anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic23 and antioxidant properties.24
- Almond or coconut flour — Wheat is the primary ingredient of most flours, and this can trigger digestion problems. Using a gluten-free flour like almond and coconut flour can help mitigate your risk for other side effects. Almond flour is made from blanched and finely ground raw almonds,25 while coconut flour is produced by grating dried coconut meat.
Before substituting wheat flours with almond and coconut flour, take note they can change the appearance or texture of your dish. Remember the following guidelines:
- Almond flour contains more fat and moisture, so you should deduct 1 to 2 tablespoons of oils, fats or liquids in the recipe.26
- Coconut flour can act like a sponge because of its high fiber content. Replace 20 percent of wheat flour in a recipe with coconut flour, and add an equal amount of liquid.
- Coconut milk and coconut cream — A far better option than pasteurized milk, coconut milk is made from fresh or dried shredded coconut meat.27 It’s beneficial for your heart health, according to a study that showed volunteers having increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol levels, and reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels after eating a coconut milk porridge.28
Avoid confusing coconut milk with thicker and richer coconut cream, which is created by simmering shredded coconut with some water.29 Although there isn’t a lot of information regarding coconut cream’s potential benefits, it’s still a better choice than processed cream because it contains vitamins, minerals and healthy fats needed for optimal health.30
About the Blog
Paleohacks is one of the largest Paleo communities on the web. They offer everything Paleo: from a Q&A forum where users get their top health questions answered, to a community blog featuring daily recipes, workouts and wellness content. You can also tune in to their podcast, where they bring in the top experts in the Paleo world to share the latest, cutting-edge health information.
Sources and References