Since deciding to not use processed sugar in my cooking, I’ve been playing around with lots of different ways to sweeten things up. I can normally get away without needing much extra sweetener in raw desserts as that can be easily added with fruit and dried fruit like dates, but when it comes to baking, it’s a different story.
Apart from banana based cakes and muffins, I find that baking really needs some kind of sweetener added to make it a proper baked goodie.
So, when Natvia approached me about contributing a recipe for their e-book, I jumped at the chance.
Now, I have to admit, I have used stevia before but I normally use liquid so it’s hard to write a recipe with exact quantities as my drop might be bigger than yours, and so on.
I like that with baking stevia you can use it exactly as you would sugar, so 1 cup of stevia equals 1 cup of sugar in recipes. So much less complicated than getting the dropper out!
There are a lot of brands of stevia out there, but I like this one for two reasons. One, it’s 100% natural and made from the stevia plant, and two, it’s made in Melbourne which is as local as I’m going to get from Sydney. I highly recommend it if you want to give it a go and it’s pretty easy to find, I’ve seen it at my local Woolies and I’m pretty sure they also sell it at Coles. And if you’re in two minds, just get the smaller 200 g canister that they have available, that way it won’t be a huge waste if you decide you don’t like it.
Now what to bake? Enter pumpkin and coconut bread.
Pumpkin and Coconut Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 3/4 cup spelt flour (or plain flour, or wholemeal flour)
1 cup of Natvia
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup of coconut milk
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup walnuts
Extra pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and a TBS of oats for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Lightly grease 1 loaf tin with coconut oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add flour, Nativa, baking soda, salt, all spice, ginger, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Top with the extra shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds and oats.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting into slices.
I served mine with freshly made roasted hazelnut butter.
Whilst I don’t make cakes that often, I’m glad to know that there’s a good option to make a sugar free one that tastes good too and doesn’t have that yuck after taste.
Next time, I’m going to try and make a gluten free version so watch this space.
Peas, love and mungbeans