Strawberry Mousse Cloud Layer Cake, because strawberry and lime mousse sandwiched in between a gluten-free sponge, covered with a vanilla bean whipped cream and rose petals can only have one name, thanks to Instagram friends.
About a month ago Wholesome Cook turned 4!
Most bloggers I know will tell you that their blogging journey has been an interesting one. My story is no different. What began as an exercise is study procrastination, soon evolved into a passion for sharing home-cooked recipe ideas with friends, family and anyone else who’d stop by and care to listen. While it did take me a while to purchase a decent camera, I was always quite clear about what Wholesome Cook was about.
This past year proved to be yet another amazing year for the blog, and I could not be more grateful. Filled with wonderful opportunities, new friendships, projects, email exchanges and chance meetings with some of you, and a certain realisation.
As you may know, from the very beginning my goal with Wholesome Cook was to create a point of reference for healthy, nutritious and easy to prepare meals, without breaking the bank or over-complicating things. It has always been a pretty simple idea based on the premise of eating real, unprocessed food and on educating ourselves to choose the right, additive-free convenience foods when necessary.
I’ve definitely grown. I’ve found new inspiration and gained a much better understanding of whole foods, processing methods and my own preferences toward certain types of food.
From being Flexitarian to recognising Bioindividuality | The Bettertarian approach
Perhaps a little surprisingly then, I’ve also realised that being an omnivorous flexitarian with very few sensitivities is kind of hard nowadays. It is not as simple as being focused on a single-diet approach. Doubt set in and I’ve wondered whether I should be creating recipes that can be pigeon-holed in to a single diet box.
During my Health Coach studies at IIN, I studied over 100 dietary theories, each claiming to be better than the next. I pondered this question more than enough this year and then I thought, hang on a second. This is not how we eat.
I’m not a vegan nor vegetarian, although we try to eat that way around twice a week. We are not entirely Paleo either – Matt loves his pasta and rice, but I seem to have starch and to a lesser extent gluten sensitivities so I mostly avoid rice, pasta and unfermented breads. Some grains like rye and spelt I’m perfectly fine with. We have no issues consuming dairy, especially yoghurt which is naturally low in lactose, but do so mostly in small amounts and by default. Except for this cake, maybe.
It struck me then, that the best approach for me, for us and for everyone, really, is to become bettertarian!
Bettertarian, because we are all different and no single diet fits everyone the same. I call it bioindividuality. This is why I like to share recipes that can be easily adapted to suit different dietary needs.
And so, over the past year specifically, and because of a family history of numerous allergies and food sensitivities, Wholesome Cook has become a place where I’ve been exploring natural, allergy-friendly and mostly additive-free recipe ideas. My food philosophy? Eat clean food that is right for you, 90 per cent of time, indulge in the other 10. Put simply, eat real food that’s best for you.
Voices of 2014 Top 5 Food and Wellbeing Blog
This is why I am so proud to have been recognised as one of the Top 5 Food and Wellbeing Blogs in the Voices of 2014 competition over at Kidspot.com.au. Because my approach is holistic and not pigeon-holed. Because I am allergy-aware and will happily provide options for most food sensitivities, most of the time. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my thoughts and recipes there, so make sure to stop by.
>>>If you have a spare moment, I’d love for you to vote for me in the Pedestrian TV Blogster Awards. Wholesome Cook has been announced as a finalist yesterday!
The past 12 months
Have been really good on other fronts, too. I’ve developed a number of recipes for Sarah Wilson’s 8 Week Program and second book, I Quit Sugar for Life, and began writing a regular recipe column in Nourish Magazine. Over the life of the blog, I’ve written three ebooks in which I shared my journey and discovery of a healthier way of life through moderation, balance and eating mostly unprocessed whole foods.
For now, let’s eat cake!
Strawberry Mousse Cloud Layer Cake, to be exact. A celebration cake.
I wanted to make this cake one that a whole family could enjoy. Poor Zac hasn’t had a single strawberry since he’s had his braces put on so this was more than my own celebration cake. I removed the seeds from the puree which resulted in a velvety smooth strawberry, almost marshmallowy, centre. He loved that. Since we are fine with dairy I used fresh cream and yoghurt cream cheese to add a little probiotic goodness and balance out the fat content somewhat. For a dairy-free version you could use the thick layer of coconut cream instead.
I also wanted to make the sponge gluten-free because I know many of you are Coeliac. While I used almond meal, you could use the same amount of rice flour or gluten-free flour if allergic to nuts. The reason why I used actual sugar is simple. We so rarely eat cake that using 1/2 cup of unrefined Demerara sugar for the entire cake seemed very reasonable and moderate to me. Besides, consuming a little fat with sugar helps slow down its absorption into the blood stream. Of course you could use stevia, natvia, xylitol or any other granulated sugar you choose.
Thank you for sticking around
I am grateful for the fact that I am still here, sharing stories and recipes from my kitchen and inspiring you to cook from scratch. Your visits, comments, emails and social media interactions have been a testament to the stuff that I do. Thank you for reading, connecting and wanting to eat the best food for you.
Awesome things are going to happen over then next 12 months, I promise, but for now enjoy the cake.
With lots of love.