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.

 

 

 

 

 

Pistachio Nanaimo Bars: A St. Patty’s Day Surprise (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Ok friends, in my last post I mentioned I was going to share with you a few new ways to make your food more nutrient dense and kid friendly so you can feel good about eating it and serving it to your family. Now, don’t be scared. No, seriously, don’t because this recipe may have vegetables in it but you would never know. SERIOUSLY! YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW! Sorry, don’t mean to yell at you but I’m so excited! This is one tasty Nanaimo bar treat! And there are two cups of raw spinach in it.

Pistachio Nanaimo Bars with Spinach

Yup, you heard me right. Two cups of raw spinach. Now, I don’t normally “hide” vegetables in our every day meals because I want my kids to know what they are eating. My kids eat a lot of veggies but for some reason I cannot get  Little Q to eat dark leafy greens unless pulverized in my Kale Smoothie or baked into a Kale Chip. I think it is a texture thing and I know I am not the only mom who has this problem. Now, I have one more recipe up my sleeve that gets a little more greens into the diet! MUAHAHAHAHA

Pistachio Nanaimo Bars with Spinach

Enter from stage right these divine Pistachio Nanaimo Bars! These bars are based off my first vegan, gluten-free Nanaimo bar recipe which I make a Christmas time.  The original version is mint flavour, which you can certainly do here in place of the vanilla for the middle layer, I just wanted to make something different then what I had done before. What I like about this version is I decided not to bake the bottom layer (mainly because I have become more lazy now that I am a mother of two) and they turned out just as good if not better than the original! Seriously, you need to make these and use St. Patty’s Day as an excuse – that’s what I did! Who knows, I may just start throwing spinach into random things just to see how it turns out!

Pistachio Nanaimo Bars with Spinach

Pistachio Nanaimo Bars (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Lightly adapted from my original Vegan Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bar recipe.

BOTTOM LAYER

1/2 cup raw pistachios, shells taken off and roughly chopped

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup brown rice flour

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tbsp tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water for 5mins

Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper. Mix above ingredients in one bowl until well blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of the lined pan into an even layer using the back of a spoon to ensure that the mixture is well compressed. Set aside while you make the remaining layers.

MIDDLE FILLING

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for a minimum 3 hrs

2 cups loosely packed raw spinach (I used organic baby spinach)

2 tsp vanilla (if choosing mint flavour instead, omit vanilla & substitute 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract)

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 cup water (approx.)

Place filling ingredients in food processor with the ‘S’ blade and blend until smooth and creamy adding more water if necessary to attain this texture. Pour evenly over bottom layer and set aside.

TOP LAYER

For best results use Cara’s Raw Chocolate Bars recipe from Fork and Beans

1/2 cup coconut oil

6 heaping tbsp cocoa powder

4 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of sea salt

Heat in small saucepan over low heat and pour over middle filling once all ingredients have melted together. Set aside and let cool in fridge slightly before scoring the bars then put back into fridge to fully set. When set, cut bars into squares and serve. Keep in fridge for 1 week. Enjoy this healthy treat!