A low sugar high protein cake that kids will love
Those of you who know me know my passion for health education, and sugar is the number one issue on my agenda.
An average American consumes over 160 pounds of sugar per year! At that quantity, sugar is not a simple fuel that feeds our cells; it is poison. I will be brave enough to suggest that sugar overconsumption is America's leading cause of death. If you add up illnesses starting with type 2 diabetes, and ending with every disease that is fed by inflammation, you end up with sugar taking the gold for killing most of us. BTW, type 2 diabetes used to be an adult-onset disease due to many years of overconsumption; now, kids are getting type 2 diabetes because over 25% of children are obese, that is, obese, not overweight. And sadly, we are not simply overweight; we are undernourished! What a conundrum! Because of all the high caloric, high sugar processed foods, we end up with malnutrition since we do not consume enough vitamins and minerals.
But you know that, right? We all do.
So why is it that we keep accepting sugar as normal? Sugar is an incredibly addictive, harmful substance. It was harmful from the start to our society; sugarcane production in the 1700s and 1800s was the main drive for slavery. And now, 200-300 years later, we are being enslaved into a lifetime of ill health, and high medical bills. And don't you blame large corporations, money, and power for all your problems! We are all culprits in this self-harm.
So why do we keep managing this substance like it is fun and joy?
One anaphylactic shock from peanuts is enough to change our behavior at work, school, and food manufacturing. But millions of diabetic and dietary-related illnesses are not enough to take processed, sugary foods out of schools and office meetings. Even though about 25% of us are already on insulin medication.
Sugar is addictive but also a nourishing fuel when in moderation. Sugar is poison in high doses but necessary fuel when normally consumed. Sugar is part of special days and celebrations. Did I say that it is addictive? So, ever since sugar got cheap, we have found no more moderation. Instead of a special occasion, we now have coco puff for breakfast, a cookie, and a sugary snack every 2 hours throughout the day. We don't recognize it as an addictive substance, so even when someone is clearly hooked on sugar, we keep offering it at school, in the office, and at every gathering. Can you imagine someone with any other drug addiction, showing up at a gathering and right away being offered their "drug" of choice? Insanity! But that is sugar! So eat that Halloween candy, have a slice of cake, and order dessert at restaurants even when you are already super full...
This takes me to my least favorite holiday: Halloween. Oh, go ahead, boo at me all you want, I can take it. I find nothing wrong with the cute costumes but plenty wrong with the gore and blood. And I find it even more harmful that most American children have a 24/7 sugar rush for the whole month of October.
But I get it; it is hard to change culture, and it is hard to explain to kids that what is "normal" in society is really nowhere near normal, or good. So here is a little help from my home country, Hungary. My grandma used to make it for me, and I always devoured it: a nice warm cake full of my favorite barriers with a very light dusting of vanilla sugar. Of course, I had no idea I was eating mostly farmers' cheese, eggs, and sour cream with a little bit of flour, even less sugar, and fresh berries. It was basically a high protein, high calcium healthy meal.
And the best news for parents - you can make this in under 15 minutes!
farmers' cheese and berries cake
One pound of fresh farmers' cheese
6 eggs - yeah, uber protein!
1 cup of sour cream
8 tbsp of sugar (OK so a little won't hurt)
7 tbsp of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
One glass jar of sour cherry compote, not jam, not anything that is sitting in sugar - Sour Cherry compote is available in Eastern European or Persian stores. If you can't find it, or you think that your child will be weirded out by a fruit that is not common in the US substitute any fresh berries; put as much in there as you want.
Little extra flour in which you will roll the fruit before placing it into the cake
A little vanilla powdered sugar on top to make it pretty - but you can totally skip it as well.
Heck, it does not get easier than this!
Put all ingredients, with the exception of the fruit, into a food processor, or if you wish, a bit of upper body workout, and more chunky cheese bites; mix with your hand via a wooden spatula like my grandma did.
Put fruit of your choice into a strainer and sprinkle with a little flour till it is lightly but evenly covered.
Pour the cake dough into a deep baking pan about 14x9 inches
Evenly sprinkle the fruit on top
Bake at 375 for 40-45 min
Let it cool
Sprinkle vanilla sugar