Classic (but not so classic) Lemon Loaf

I hope the title of this post hasn’t thrown you all for a loop! It’s classic, but not so classic. Like I said on Facebook, this week’s post would be a lemon loaf based off of a recipe I found in my Grandmother’s hand written cookbook. This cookbook has generations of women’s hand writing in it. Women who have cook for years for their families – caregiver being their primary job. As I go through the book, I think about how the roles of the women in this book changed throughout the generations. My Great Grandmother’s role in life and to her family would have been significantly different from my own mother’s role or even to the role I play to my family.

Classic (but not so classic) Lemon Loaf

I really like being a working mother, a working woman, it is something I take pride in. I truly enjoy being able to contribute to our family in that way. Plus, I might go crazy if I was full time caregiver – this week has been March break at my son’s school and I am slowly going crazy 1,2,3,4,5,6, switch crazy am I going slowly 6,5,4,3,2,1…(any Sharon, Lois and Bram fans out there?). For all the mom’s out there that stay at home with the kids full time – you are amazing! I wish I had the patience.

Classic (but not so classic) Lemon Loaf

Anyways, my point is that this lemon loaf originally was made for afternoon tea with the ladies or perhaps a bridge game where the women would have a break from the everyday hustle of the family to gossip about the neighbours. I’m totally making that up by the way…I have no idea what would be talked about but I have a feeling it was close to that. Does anyone in my generation play bridge? I never learned how to but I did learn how to play crib. You don’t hear about people gathering for bridge games anymore. You certainly don’t hear about Candy Crush gatherings either. Can you imagine “Hey girls, lets gather at my house Sunday afternoon with our smart phones to play Candy Crush and eat lemon loaf. xo Suzanne”. We would all stare at our phones for two hours, barely make conversation while eating sweet treats and sipping red wine – I mean tea…

Grandma's Lemon Loaf Recipe

Wow, am I ever chatty today. OK, let’s get to this “classic” lemon loaf recipe, shall we? As we can see from exhibit A (A = above) my Grandmother used to make this loaf often. This page is well used from the cookbook. *Heart* Although I think back and I’ve never tasted this recipe EVER so she obviously only made it pre-grandchildren.  Can’t remember a baked good made by my Grandma for us grandchildren. I asked my Mom though and she said she used to make this quite often for bridge games with the ladies.

So, what have I done differently? Changed the flour, changed the fat, changed the sugar, changed the garnish…pretty much making this not a so classic of a lemon loaf anymore – hence the title.  My version of this loaf is gluten-free, paleo, packed full of fiber, refined sugar-free but still bursting with lemon flavour.

Tip, tricks and notes about this recipe:

1. Be aware when making this loaf that coconut flour soaks up liquid like crazy, so I would suggested eating this with good cup of tea or a large glass of water. Coconut flour has an incredible amount of dietary fiber in it making it a great option for diabetics (2 tablespoons has 9 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fiber as an example). It is also high in iron.

2. Allow the loaf to cool completely before taking it out of the pan and eating it. This will allow it to crumble less. After cooled, store in fridge. But be warned, this is a crumbly cake.

3. Try to use organic lemon if possible as you will be using the rind in this recipe. If not, make sure you wash the outside of the lemon before using it. A simple vinegar and water solution will do just fine and make sure you rinse.

Classic (but not so classic) Lemon Loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, liquified (but not hot)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup non dairy milk (cow's milk OK if that's all you have)
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • FOR TOPPING 1 tbsp melted honey mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice sprinkled with 1 tbsp chopped pistachios (almonds could work also)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar, apple sauce and milk together.
  3. Add lemon rind, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until blended. Add coconut flour and mix with a spatula (will soak up all liquid fast). Once mixed, place into loaf pan and with wet hands mold the dough into the pan.
  4. Bake for 55mins to 1 hour. Remove from oven and top with honey, lemon & pistachio topping.
  5. Let cool on baking rack completely before cutting with sharp knife. Store covered in fridge for 3-5 days.

 

 

 

 

 

Grief and Date Squares (A Gluten-Free,Updated Version!)

Gluten-Free Vegan Date Square

I mentioned in my last post that there had been a lot of crazy things that had happened in my 6 week postpartum period.  One thing that I have been dealing with, is the loss of my Grandmother. A woman who influenced almost every decision in my life – from the way I part my hair, to the man I chose to live my life with and how I make stuffing for a turkey. She was a woman who I wish all women had someone like her in their lives. Because my Grandmother always made me feel good when I saw her and supported me through and through. She was so much of an influence on me that I named my most recent child after her.

Gluten-Free Vegan Date Square

My Grandmother would be the first person I would call when I had new and exciting news. It is hard for me to think that I can no longer pick up the phone and call her and tell her some good news. I don’t think I’ve ever felt grief like this before. Last year when we lost our dog, I did feel grief for a short period, but not like this. It is that feeling in your throat where you want to clear it all the time, in fear that you may break into tears if you don’t. The simplest thing can trigger it – a song on the radio, a flower at a park, or a glance at your children’s smiles.

So what do I do when the grief begins to take over my day? How am I to cope with this emotion that I have never really experienced before? I have two children that I am responsible for taking care of. My fear is that the grief would take over my day – making each day harder to get through and eventually lead to depression. Some people may cope by delving into work or a bottle of wine. Since I’m on maternity leave and breastfeeding, those are not options for me. But don’t get me wrong, I have consumed a lot more chocolate lately… However, I am trying to recognize the emotions I’m feeling as they come in the day. When the day is hard to get through, or I begin to feel terribly home sick, I reach out to my family and friends for conversation. It may be a quick talk to my husband or a text message to my sister to help me. Usually the conversation ends with a happy memory of my Grandmother which allows me to feel some comfort knowing that she lived a long life and was able to experience all that she did. And how lucky am I to have had a woman in my life who was such a positive influence? She made each of my brothers and sisters and me feel special in an individually unique way. I am go grateful to have had that.

Gluten-Free Vegan Date Square

This recipe was originally posted here on Roll With It on December 3 of 2012 during the ’12 Days of Naughty made Nice!’. It is the number one post that brings people to my site from a google search. When I was dealing with gestational diabetes, there were several recipes that I adjusted so I could still eat some sweets without spiking my sugars. My gluten-free, vegan date square was one of them. I changed what I used to sweeten the squares and what was use to bind them. These changes added more fiber and lowered the carbohydrate amount making them even nicer! Better in nutrition AND in texture. So, you are welcome!

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Date Squares
 
Updated from original recipe posted on December 3rd, 2012.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup dates, pitted & diced
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • zest of ½ lemon, juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup of walnuts, blended in food processor until crumbly
  • 1¾ cup quick oats (gluten-free)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in ½ cup water for at least 5mins
  • ½ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. Combine the dates, water, sea salt lemon zest and juice in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Heat for about 10 mins until soft and paste-like. Set aside in bowl and let cool before using.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, walnuts, brown rice flour, oats, coconut sugar, soaked chia seeds & baking soda to make the crumb.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with some coconut oil. Take half of the crumb mixture and press into pan. Layer on the cooled date paste. Cover with remaining crumb mixture.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-45 mins. Let cool before cutting into squares. Can be stored in the freezer for several weeks or in the refrigerator for one week.