Low-Fat Lemon Cake (GFCF and vegan)

Low-Fat Lemon Cake (Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

I stumbled onto this recipe when I had literally one hour to make a cake and head out the door to a party. I was not happy with any gluten-free cake recipe I had ever thus far seen. Either they were just too loaded with fat and other undesirable things, or they just didn't taste very good. To make matters more challenging (or perhaps to help me to this success...) I was out of all oils, and all granulated sweeteners. I Grabbed my dessert bible -- Fran Costigan's Great Good Desserts Naturally (whole foods and vegan -- but not gluten-free) and looked for a recipe that did not call for any granulated sweeteners. Then I started substituting --- getting rid of the wheat flour and the oil and subbing things that I had on hand.

Everyone in my family -- plus everyone at the party loved this cake. In fact, it was one of three cakes set out for people to eat, and it was the only one without dairy and gluten -- and it was gone in a flash -- long before the other two cakes were finished.

So here is what I came up with:


1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes -- put in blender on high until made into flour
2 TBS ground golden flax seeds
1/2 cup tapiocha flour
1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1-1/2 tsp Rumford baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c finely diced and smashed apple or 3/4 cup applesauce
8 dates, pits removed and chopped
6 TBS lemon juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 TBS raw cashew peices
3/4 c real maple syrup
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 nonstick cake pans
parchment paper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cut two circles from the parchment paper that are exactly the size of the bottom of the cake pans and carefully set them in the bottom of the pans.
  3. Add the first 8 ingredients together into a bowl and mix well with a wire wisk.
  4. Place the smashed apple, chopped dates, lemon juice and vinegar into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend on high until all is totally liquified and smooth.
  5. Add the cashew pieces to the blender, and again blend on high until smooth.
  6. Add the maple syrup and extracts to the blender, blend once more and then add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry. Use a spatula to get every last drop. Mix just until blended -- be careful not to overmix.
  7. Carefully split the batter between the two pans. It will be very thick. Use spatula to smooth the tops as flat as possible, and bake for 25 minutes.

This cake is amazingly moist even though there is no added oil. It tastes great on the day it is made -- and unlike other gluten free cakes that I have made, it still tastes good the next day -- no stale flavor.

About 60% of Americans have the genes that predispose them to becoming gluten sensitive.

Recent research (By Dr. Kenneth Fine) suggests that about half of these people have detectable immunological reactions to gluten, and the majority will NEVER meet the classic definition of celiac disease -- even though gluten IS triggering an autoimmune reaction in their body which may affect many organs or tissues other then the small intestine.

Recipe for these GFCF Penguins is in my book!

Are You Educated on Genetic Engineering?

Biotechnology is the new frontier. Yet, few people in our country right now, have any idea, just how dramatically Genetic Engineering is poised to change our lives. Proponents believe biotech holds the possibility of doing some great things, and I believe it might have some great applications, but there is also evidence that this technology if misapplied or allowed out of the lab/hospital setting, could have significant and even disasterous consequences for our health, and well being. The problem is, there is so much money to be made right now in biotech, and so little required in terms of safety testing, and no requirement for product labeling, that human hubris and capitalism being what they are, I think we are headed for some difficult lessons -- before appropriate safeguards are put in place. I believe at the very least, people should have the option of taking the risk of exposure or avoiding this risk if they so choose. (But that is currently NOT the case.) Please watch the video below (it is less then 20 minutes long) of how one mother (who just happened to be a wall street food analyst) woke up to this issue. Then go explore this site: Seeds of Deception to learn the facts so that you can protect yourself and your family.

Should you avoid Genetically Engineered Foods?

Check this out -- Vitamin D

Many of us probably have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, which can be a contributing factor to the development of many of the related conditions and symptoms more common in those who are gluten sensitive. Watch this video -- It's worth the investment of thirty minutes of your time. I should mention however, that while some authorities consider D3 superior to D2, there is good data that if D2 is taken in reasonable amounts (like 1000-2000 iu daily -- not the huge megadoses that some doctors recommend taking on a weekly basis) that D2 is very effective. (And for someone like me who prefers to minimize any possible exposure to prions which may contaminate animal derrived substances -- of which D3 is one -- this is very good news.)

Dietition Jack Norris has great info on Vitamin D here. Be sure also to read Vitamin D Researcher/MD Michael Hollick's book, The UV Advantage.

Recurrent Abdominal Pain (R.A.P.)

Pre Celiac Disease?

As soon as my daughter could talk she began to report to me that her tummy almost always hurt. Although it didn't become really bad until she was about 8 years old -- this I believe was due to long term exclusive breastfeeding. Throughout her early years, I raised the issue of her chronic abdominal pain with our family doctor on many occaisions, and he would assure me that nothing was wrong, that RAP was very common in children and usually due to emotional issues. When it increased in severity we went to see another doctor -- he thought she might have ulcers -- but that test came back negative and the other tests he ran showed that she was in good health. He thought she was fine too. Eventually I learned about gluten from a friend and well you can read the rest of this story by clicking on the links to articles at the top of this page. However the main point I wish to make here is this: In looking back, it is clear to me now that my daughter -- probably from birth was reacting to gluten. Her fussiness, her greenish stools, her starting to nurse and then pulling off and crying, and then years of tummy aches -- all suggest that gluten was causing her issues from the very beginning. On many occaisions I suspected that wheat might be affecting her -- but its withdrawal never entirely resolved her issues. Now of course I know that gluten is not just in wheat, but also barley, spelt, rye, oats and lots of things made from these. RAP is very common and most the time, it's cause is never found. I would urge anyone who's child is suffering, to explore the possibility that gluten might be the cause of their distress.

Why is Gluten so Problematic?

August of 2009 Scientific American published this very in-depth article on Celiac Disease:


With this quote in it:

"Gluten, however, has a peculiar structure: it is unusually rich in the amino acids glutamine and proline. This property renders part of the molecule impervious to our protein-chopping machinery, leaving small protein fragments, or peptides, intact."

However one thing the article left unanswered. I want to know what is the scientific basis for so many doctors believing that antigliadin antibodies are non-specific and are not (by themselves) indicitive of a problem? The article said that anti-gliadin antibodies are NOT considered specific to celiac disease because they are often found in people who do not have celiac disease. But given that it has only been about 65 years that the medical profession has even made the connection between celiac disease and gluten, and only SIX years since the medical profession realized the incidence was at least TEN TIMES more common then they previously thought....why are they still assuming that anti-gliadin antibodies are nonspecific?

Could it be that all those people who do have antigliadin antibodies in their systems, but don't show damage to the villi are still having a dangerous reaction to gluten? Should the definition of celiac disease be altered...or else dropped altogether and simply be part of a condition called gluten sensitivity which may or may not create visible damage to the villi of the small intestine?

Taxonomic Relationship Amongst Grains

Taxonomic Relationship Amongst Grains
Only the Hordeae tribe make their own gluten -- but oats can absorb gluten if they are grown or stored near gluten containing grains.