A Skinnyfat Birthday!

That’s right, our blog is officially one year old! The time has flown, and it seems like just yesterday we wrote our very first post. But in that short time, we have changed so much. And I mean so, so much.

Fortunately, we still celebrate birthdays with cake. That’s one of those things that should never change.

When we created Skinnyfat, we had an entirely different mindset about food than we do today. Not just food, but life. Elesha and I have both grown so much, it’s almost as if we’re completely new women. It’s been a wonderful experience to share.

Just one year ago, eating was about restriction. It was about always being on a diet. It was about feeling guilty when we ate “bad” food. This blog was basically created because we saw ourselves as “too fat” and we thought we needed some type of food journal, a way to be accountable and “keep us in check”.

But this blog became so much more. The challenge of experimenting with new, healthy recipes created a deep appreciation and respect for simple, whole ingredients and the amazing health benefits that come along with them. Now, food is freedom! Healthy, life-giving whole foods are no longer something we eat because we have to or because we want to lost weight, but because they nourish our bodies, are delicious, and bring us true joy. No bad feelings are associated with food, and certainly no guilt, even when indulging. We have never felt so alive.

So even though Skinnyfat Girls was created in what I now consider a rather negative context, we are both grateful for what it evolved into and the positive effect it has had on our lives. Beyond that, it has positively impacted the lives of our families, friends, coworkers, and many of you faithful readers who have shared our health journey along the way. Thank you all for a wonderful year, and we’re excited for another one full of more great recipes!

If you’re celebrating a birthday soon, give whole wheat cake a try. It feels great to indulge without all the processed junk. Try subbing out ingredients in your favorite cake recipe: whole wheat flour for white, stevia, agave, and other natural sweeteners for sugar, coconut oil for butter, and so on. I “frosted” this cake with neufchatel cheese, firm silken tofu, banana, strawberries, and stevia all thrown into the food processor until smooth. Light and delicious!

And if you’re intimidated by layers, well, don’t be! It’s easy as pie! Though, I’m not sure the person who coined that phrase ever tried to make a good pie. Good pie is no piece of cake. Aaaaand we’re back to cake. If any of you would like this particular cake recipe, let me know and I will search for it. See, this birthday post was intended to include the recipe until I lost it. Fail.

I promise to be back next time with a brand new recipe for all of you. Until that time, eat cake and celebrate life! 🙂

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Un-Red Velvet Cake

If you take a moment to peruse our Recipes page, I think you’ll quickly figure out what our favorite type of food to make is.  Yep, you guessed it, dessert.  Now, when I arranged our recipe page and discovered this, I thought I would try to focus more on the other categories of food to make it more even.  Well, symmetry is just going to have to wait, because I have been trying to make this recipe for what seems like forever.  I’ve attempted red velvet pancakes, red velvet brownies, and red velvet cake, but have not succeeded.

So why have I been trying so hard to succeed in making a Skinnyfat version of this Southern delicacy?  Well, let’s just say that I have a special spot in my heart for this cake.

Yes, I had red velvet cake for my wedding.  It was the most delicious, moist, melt-in-your mouth slice of heaven I have ever had.  Maybe part of it was the how special the day was, but my memory of that cake has been difficult to get out of my head.

I have finally succumbed to the idea that I may never achieve the brilliant red color naturally, ergo I give you  my very own un-red velvet cake.

The best part of this cake is that it has no artificial coloring or white flour and it has beets in it!  Have your dessert and prevent cancer too.  How much better can it get?

Un-Red Velvet Cake

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping cup fresh beets, peeled and chopped (about 2 small beets or 1 large beet)
  • 1 cup raw sugar (or healthier sugar alternative)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (canned coconut milk with guar gum)
  • 2 organic eggs (or 2 flax eggs)
  • 1/4 cup butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (use whatever cooking vinegar you have, I used pomegranate vinegar)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Sift your flour and mix your dry ingredients, except for the sugar, together.

Peel and chop the fresh beets.

Then blend the beets, sugar, and the rest of the wet ingredients until smooth.

Gradually add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones, stirring constantly.

Take a picture, because this will be the last time the mixture will be such a pretty color.

Pour batter into an oiled cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.

Once you remove it from the oven, be sure to let it cool completely before taking it out of the cake pan.  I wasn’t that patient and it fell apart a little bit.

Even though this cake is obviously not red, it is a velvety, delicious, treat.  You can top it with this cheesecake batter for added perfection.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Throwback and cake…

Okay, so I was going through some pictures and I just happened upon my “Becky & Elesha” file.  I couldn’t resist, so here is a snapshot of Becky and I throughout our marvelous friendship.

The beginnings (2006)

We love Christmas and hats (2007 )

Always being silly (2008)

With my favorite blonde (2009)

Yes, we love each other (2010)

Becky and I share a lot of loves, but today I’m going to focus on one in particular: coffee.  Oh, the joy of coffee – the aroma, its bittersweet perfection, the joy of sharing conversation over a cup of it.  I must admit that I enjoy a small cup of espresso almost every morning, as part of a balanced diet, of course.  The other day, I met a lady who was 94-years-old and in awesome shape.  She was hanging out at the pool in 100 degree Texas weather and walking around cracking jokes, laughing.  It was amazing!  I’ve seen 70-year-olds who look older than she did!  My hubby asked her what her secret is and she answered “I drink coffee everyday”.  That sounds good to me.

So this brings me to another love of mine: cake.  I’m certain most of you can understand why it is a love of mine.  I mean, what’s not to love?  Sweet, moist, decadent, melt-in-your mouth cake.  Now there is this thing called coffee cake.  Match made in heaven, right?  Well, the thing is, coffee cake doesn’t actually have coffee in it at all.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like coffee cake and everything, but it really should just be called cinnamon cake.  Adding coffee to the name just builds up all this expectation of coffee flavored cake and my hopes are always dashed.  Well, no more.  I give you:

Real Coffee Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 ½ cups oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I used half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups raw sugar
  • ¾ cup butter (or any substitute)
  • 1 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  • ½ cup applesauce (in place of 2 eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground coffee (I used Kona)

Mix all your dry ingredients, except the raw sugar, together.  Then mix all your wet ingredients with the raw sugar and heat for about 1 minute in the microwave to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter.  Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a hand mixer.  If you want to add a cinnamon crumble, pour a portion of the cake batter into a muffin tin to bake two muffins.   Pour the rest of the cake batter into an oiled cake pan and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 350.

Once the cake is baked through, take out of the oven and let it cool a bit before take it out of the cake pan.

Now it’s time to make the dark chocolate ganache.  Don’t you love that word, ganache?  I do.  Even the word sounds delicious.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • ½ cup coconut milk (I’m sure soymilk would work as well)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 semi-sweet chocolate baking squares (I used Baker’s.  If you don’t have baking bars, just add whatever chocolate you have until consistency seems right)

Pour the milk and coconut oil into a saucepan and heat on low to medium heat until warm.  Once it’s warm, begin to melt the chocolate into the saucepan.  When the ganache is done, it will have a silky texture.

Now you can coat your cake with this amazing goodness.  Then sprinkle your cinnamon crumble over it and stick it in the fridge to harden up.

It really is perfection.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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