Weight loss has always been a challenge for me, especially when combined with my love for baking. Last year was a big lifestyle change, health-wise specifically. I worked hard to lose a lot of weight apart from all the pregnancy weight I had piled up. Having always felt like I had to choose between my love for baking and getting fit, it was the first time in my life I realized, I could have them both. Literally, I could have my cake and eat it too.
Last year was probably my 165th attempt at weight loss. So many times before, I had tried incorporating all sorts of big changes. I had miserably failed. What finally worked for me was making the smallest of changes, so my lifestyle seemed more or less the same but still was so different.
My biggest motivation was to be a fitter mom. Anyone with two littles, two kids, two boys would know how much energy keeping up with theirs, demands. These two things made the biggest difference and the rest as cliched as it sounds is history. I still haven’t made it to my goal weight and I’m not the fittest I can be but I’m almost there.
Have any of you struggled with weight loss while still trying to indulge in your passion for baking? I must use the word struggle because that’s what it has been for me. If you’d like to hear more of what worked for me, leave a comment below or dm me on Instagram. I’d be glad if my experience could help even just one person. I know I banked on the experiences of so many others to get where I am today.
One of the small changes I made in my successful weight loss journey was to make healthier versions of my favourite foods and that included all the bakes. Starting with using lesser sugar, more fruit for sweetness or simply swapping flour for wheat. Trust me, it’s the smallest changes like these that matter.
This cake is exactly an example of that. A healthier version of a date cake. I even threw in some banana so I could make it without using absolutely any sugar. I definitely didn’t lose weight eating cake, but I sure lost weight, without denying myself of all my favourite foods and my love for baking.
While I generally avoid cakes that require boiling and pureeing, simply because they take an extra 5 minutes, I went ahead with this one. I saved time by first setting the dates to boil and while they simmered and cooled I did all the other prep. So it barely took any extra time at all I’d say. Also, for a healthier cake, I could give those extra 5 minutes anyway.
Honestly, it wasn’t a very sweet cake, and I was completely okay with that. What it definitely was, was a very moist, healthier than most other date cakes I’d ever had. What I loved the most about this cake, was that glorious deep chocolate colour it turned into. Now that was just beautiful. Also beautiful and completely indulgent were those Fudge Brownies I posted last week. Did anyone try them yet?
If you do like your cake slightly sweeter, feel free to throw in half a cup of brown sugar, but if you’re ok with just about sweet then follow the recipe as is. Happy baking!!!!! And if weight loss isn’t your thing, and you love baking with dates, check out these recipes for date bars and sticky toffee date cakes from my old blog.
Whole Wheat Date Cake
For the date puree
200 gms dates
1 cup of water
For the batter
1/2 cup oil
1 large overripe banana
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Start with making the date puree. Simply toss the water and seedless dates in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer down for about 2 mins. Turn off the heat. Let it cool down a bit so you can blend it to a puree in the mixie.
2. While the dates are cooking and then cooling, line a medium-sized loaf tin with parchment. Although generally using parchment paper is an option to greasing and dusting a cake tin, I’d say to compulsorily use parchment paper while making a cake with dates.
Cakes made with dates generally turn out a bit sticky and using parchment paper just makes it so much easier to take the cake out and saves you time on cleaning the tin after. Let the parchment paper overhang so you hold it to lift the baked cake out.
3. Preheat the oven to a 180 C.
4. In a large bowl, beat the oil, banana and egg together for a minute with an electric beater. If you want your cake sweeter, then add in 1/4 cup of brown sugar at this point and beat for a minute.
5. Add in the milk and the vanilla essence. Then pour in the date puree. Beat till just blended.
6. Hold a sieve over the bowl and sift in the wheat flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder.
7. Bring the mixture together using a spatula. Your batter is ready to go.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for a good 45 – 50 minutes.
9. The cake is ready when it passes the toothpick test.
10. Cool the cake completely before slicing it.
If you’d like to hear about my weight loss journey and what worked out for me, leave me a comment below or dm me on Instagram.