When I shared this picture on Facebook asking if anyone could work out the ingredients I used to make it this bright green colour, I never thought I would end up with over 200 amazing guesses!! The title alone should give you a clue: yes, one of the ingredients is Spinach. Spinach is a great source of Iron however if we don’t have vitamin C at the same time, we’re less likely to absorb the iron.
“Eating a big bowl of iron-rich spinach may not be as healthy. The reason is that the oxalic acid in spinach binds with the iron which prevents its absorption by the body. The trick is to add some lime juice to enhance its nutritional perks. Vitamin C helps convert the iron to a ferrous state, which makes it easier for the body to absorb.”
This quote comes from the website NDTV FOOD, an article called ‘You’re doing it wrong – why Spinach and Lime Juice make the perfect pair.’`
The same rule applies to green smoothies. By adding a little lime, lemon or orange juice, you’re more likely to absorb the iron more efficiently and benefit from the life giving goodness harnessed in the spinach leaves. Spinach salad works really well when you squeeze a little lime juice over it or incorporate lemon or lime juice into your dressing.
SO: finally, yes the key ingredients are spinach and lime juice and if you make a cream cheese icing with a little lime in it, that’s the only flavour the kids will notice, making this a great cake for kids to eat too, without them realising they’re eating their veges at the same time. In fact, I noticed that when you cook this, you can’t taste the spinach at all so it’s great for fussy eaters. On a side note, my partner Pete recommended the name ‘Popeye Cake’ owing to the fact that like a carrot cake, there’s oil content in here and you can actually make this cake with Olive Oil. Spinach and Olive Oil together…..brilliant.
Anyway, while I made this cake as a low carb version using Almond meal to replace white flour and stevia to replace sugar, you can still make it with white flour and sugar if you prefer. The result will differ with a white flour version coming out more like a traditional butter cake recipe or madeira cake. Almond meal is heavier and doesn’t aerate in the same way, so this cake comes out more like a brownie or a mud cake. Either way, it’s delicious and if you end up buying a big bag of Spinach at the supermarket that you can’t quite get through, this is a great way to ensure nothing goes to waste.
A big shout out to the people at The Fresh Grower for sending me a big bag to chow my way through. It’s a superb product, really versatile and available at your local supermarket.
Here’s the recipe.
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 3/4 c Stevia or your preferred spoon for spoon sweetener
- 2 c fresh spinach
- 3/4 c of your preferred oil. You can use Olive oil, however this will change the flavour slightly
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 c almond meal or flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 container of cream cheese
- 1 tbsp stevia or your preferred sweetener
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 1 – 2 tbsp lime juice, according to your preference
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius
In a blender mix the eggs, spinach, vanilla, sweetener and oil till smooth. It will come out an insane bright green colour!
You can then either add your dry ingredients if your blender is big enough, or place them in a bowl and pour your liquid into it and mix through till combined
Grease a cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper, then pour in your cake mix
Cook for 20 mins and check to make sure it’s not to brown on the top. Cook for another 10 minutes, then test by poking with a skewer or knife, ensuring it comes out clean.
Once cooked, leave to cool.
Mix all the icing ingredients together in a blender till smooth. Cover the top and serve. Your other option if you’re not a fan of cream cheese is to serve with a little greek yoghurt which is particularly lovely if you like a little TANG.
Because of the oil content in the cake, it will become more moist over the following days so store in an airtight container and enjoy, one delicious serving at a time!
FYI: You can also make this into cupcakes as well! A great idea, particularly if you’re into portion control.
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