Forget Ultra-Processed Foods: Bake a Persimmon Coffee Cake
If you need a good reason to bake a coffee cake at home try this one out. New but not surprising research indicates that eating "ultra-processed" foods--particularly commercially-made cookies and cakes--is associated with an increased risk of cancer. "Ultra-processed foods" are defined as those that use additives such as sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors. Often ultra-processed foods are high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. So, does this mean you should give up cakes and cookies and chew on oats and grasses? No, but you might consider baking treats at home rather than buying mass-produced, packaged, "ultra-processed" cookies and cakes that include a laundry list of unpronounceable or unrecognizable ingredients.
Today's recipe offering--Persimmon Coffee Cake--is a sweet weekend treat but actually is not too bad for you. Including some whole-grain flour, limiting the amount of sugar and fat in the recipe, and adding some sweet persimmon pulp keeps the cake from being too indulgent. Persimmon pulp also contributes important anti-oxidants (like Vitamins A and C), fiber, and minerals to the cake. Walnuts toast up sweet and crunchy on top of the cake and provide omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower blood pressure, cut down coronary artery disease and stroke risk, and offer protection from breast, colon and prostate cancers. Just as important as the nutritious ingredients, the coffee cake tastes really good--sweet, spicy, and moist. It's a treat but a good one.
Persimmon Coffee Cake -- Makes a 9 x 13-inch Cake
1 cup of flour
1 cup of white-whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 cup of persimmon pulp
1 cup of walnuts, broken or coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of raw (turbinado) sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In another bowl, whisk together until well combined the sugars, eggs, vanilla, oil, and orange juice. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a spoon until barely mixed. Add in the persimmon pulp and stir until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle the top of the batter evenly with the walnuts and raw sugar, if you're using it. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs on it. Serve the cake warm or cool.