Blueberries are everywhere now! Here is a recipe for a grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free treat that has an interesting consistency, balance and taste. Blueberries add flavor, texture and an abundance of antioxidants to any baked product.
Antioxidants are a category of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help bind up harmful metabolic by-products called “free radicals” that can lead to tissue and DNA damage, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases.
Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that are formed from normal metabolic functions in the body. Free radicals are also generated when our cells are exposed to a variety of substances such as radiation, chemicals, pollution, smoke, drugs, alcohol, pesticides and the sun. A poor diet also contributes to the formation of free radicals. Anthocyanin (the pigment that makes blueberries blue) contains naturally occurring plant chemicals called polyphenols which have very high antioxidant characteristics. The darker, deeper blue fruits have the highest anthocyanin values, thereby supplying the most potent antioxidant sources.
The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston has developed an assay called ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), which rates the antioxidant capacity of foods. Fresh blueberries have a high level of ORAC, at 2400 per 100 grams. Researchers have found that blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 common fresh fruits and vegetables.
Sunflower seeds are also full of nutrition. Be sure to soak them in a salty brine before eating in order to remove enzyme inhibitors that make them hard to digest. You may also dehydrate them before using in this recipe. I simply soaked them and used them right away. If you aren’t planning on using them right away they must be dried or mold will form.
While sunflower seeds are high in omega 6 fatty acids (which should not be too high in one’s diet), they also provide omega 3’s as well as protein and fiber, phosphorus, potassium and folate.
Recipe: Blueberry Sunflower Cake
2 1/2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked in a salt brine for 7 hours and drained (where to get sunflower seeds)
4 Tbsp coconut oil (where to get all the coconut products for this recipe)
2 Tbsp coconut cream, mixed in 1/4 cup warm water to make coconut milk
4 whole eggs (pastured if possible)
3 eggs separated
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
5-6 Tbsp honey (local raw)
1 1/2 cups blueberries (organic if possible, fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp aluminum-free baking soda
- In a food processor, grind the soaked sunflower seeds until they are a fine paste. After a while, use the pulse setting as it seems to work best
- Melt a little oil to grease your 9 x 13 pan
- In a small pan melt the coconut oil and mix with the coconut milk, set it aside
- In a medium bowl, separate the 3 eggs and add the rest of the eggs to the yolk bowl. Set the whites aside and beat until stiff
- Add the coconut oil/milk mixture, the egg yolk mixture, honey, and vanilla to the sunflower seed paste in the bowl of the processor
- Process this until mixed well
- Add the dry ingredients to the processor: cinnamon, salt, coconut flour, baking soda and process
- Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the egg whites and the blueberries
- Pour batter into the oiled baking pan
- Bake on 350 (325 convection) for 40 – 50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes. If it is browned on top but not quite done, cover lightly with foil or parchment paper. (Note that parchment can catch fire so be careful if you use this).
- Let cool (this may be challenging!)
- When thoroughly cool, cut squares or slices with a pizza cutter and enjoy!
- Add some pureed banana or apple sauce to the batter for a smoother cake
- Sprinkle whole sunflower seeds on top as a garnish
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top as a garnish
This post is linked to: Sugar-Free Sunday, Real Sustenance, Savory Sunday, Sweet and Savory, Monday Mania, Weekend Carnival, Mangia Monday, Delectable Tuesday, Tuesday Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Made it on Monday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Foodie Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Creative Juice Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Follies, Turning the Table Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Friday Favorites, Fresh Bits Friday, Food Trip Friday, Foodie Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Fight Back Friday, Blueberry Sunflower Cake, Friday Food, Fresh Food Friday, Friday Potluck, Simply Delish